Calvin Fabre earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Southeastern Louisiana University. Upon graduation, he began his career writing software for offshore, deep-water oil rigs in harsh environments. During that time, he pioneered an automated data replication system over satellite connections and email between installations in Brazil, Mexico, Norway, Egypt, Scotland and the U.S. All this was done before the proliferation of the Internet. Calvin Fabre currently serves as President of Envoc (pronounced "Invoke"), a Louisiana-based corporate software development firm. He founded Envoc in 1997 with the goal of writing customized software specifically tailored for a business's unique needs, in short - "software you can't buy off the shelf." He leads a 16-person creative and software development team that sees a client's brand from creation through consumption whether in web, print, media, corporate dashboards, portals, or mobile applications.
" 'Well, class: Would you buy it?' That was the question asked of my peers by the late Dr. Bill Curran to my Computer Science 411 Software Engineering class. He was referring to the final software package our team created using tools of the late 1980's. Looking back, this question applied to much more than a 9-week senior project, but to all of the deliverables I would learn to build in the next few decades of my career in computer software development. The training he and the other faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University provided prepared us for more than the next set of classes. It prepared us for our careers and gave us the ability to produce goods and services of value that would further enrich the world of software -- software that would make for an enjoyable day at work for its users.
As our class of Computer Science students progressed through its prerequisites, we came to enjoy the challenges the faculty threw at us. We frequently occupied their offices during office hours, which we saw as playgrounds for further learning - learning the rules of logic, understanding the insides of compilers, accessing their large repositories of knowledge and experience, and hearing their personal stories. They instilled in us the importance of creating works of value -- works that others would deem worthy enough to 'buy.' If a college curriculum could provide you with life lessons, training and empowerment that would affect the rest of your life, as well as others, 'Would you buy it?' You bet."
Chester (Chet) Parrott earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree from Southeastern Louisiana University. He was hired immediately by Amedysis, Inc. upon graduation and is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at LSU. He also received job offers from Hewlett Packard's Public Sector Cyber-Security consulting group, United Airlines Corporate Security Division, IC Synergy International, and LP (Security Consulting).
"I started this program thinking that a degree was a piece of paper that was required for me to have job security doing consulting. I was wrong.
The Computer Science program, through its curriculum, professors, and rigor have completely revolutionized the way that I approach problem solving, professional behavior, communication, and the direction of my career. It has inspired me to push my education and experience beyond just "working" into that of a life-long learner that is eager to give back to the community.
It has also reversed my opinion of Louisiana in general. I was completely eager to leave the state and take a very high-paying position with another company that offered me a position. I realized that our state is the most "ground-level" sort of investment we can make at this point in our career. New York City, Washington D.C., Dallas, Silicon Valley, Austin TX, and any number of other technological and power hubs started at the same point we are now.
It was my Louisiana History class that made me realize how the state never really recovered after the Civil War and what gains we might have made were crippled by Hurricane Katrina and the outflow of companies and resources that resulted. After the ghost-state that was left behind, we've seen the state morph into a place where low housing costs and tax benefits are a boon to startup technology companies. We are growing in ways the state has never done before.
It is this knowledge that I gained from my "Piece of Paper": the best investments are not always monetary. I choose to remain because I am investing in myself, my family, and a community that I have the opportunity to shape with my actions. It is here I will have a chance to make a difference; thus, here I will stay."