Walking into James Lewis' office, there
is no mistaking his profession. First there are the security cameras. Then the case filled with motherboards, disk drives and computer chips. Books and CDs are stacked on more shelves, along with piles of lab exercises.
"Are those cameras live?" I asked.
"You don't know, now, do you?" He smiles but we move to the conference room just to be on the safe side. Lewis is one of the country's leading high-tech security educators and no one knows more than he does about how to play it safe.
Lewis has been "playing" with computers since the 11th grade, when they were mainframes that took up an entire room. After high school he joined the Air Force and worked on computer systems in a military command center in California.
"In those days PCs did not exist," says Lewis. "They were all special-order kits. Everything is more complicated now because you need to know much more about software today than you do hardware." Lewis remembers the days when working on a computer meant opening the system and using oscilloscopes and soldering irons; it was more about electronics than language.
As computer systems grew and became more integrated with business, and as businesses grew and became more reliant on computers, Lewis made the jump from military computers to the private sector. When Lewis came to WCC he had already worked as an engineer at several high-tech companies,
gotten his M.A. from Eastern Michigan Universityand been an assistant professor at Baker College in Flint. "You name it, I've taught it," he says.
As he finishes his fourth year teaching at WCC he knows he made the right choice.
"The technology programs we have here are second to none," says Lewis. When asked why he's stuck with computers and technology so long, he shrugs his shoulders and grins like an excited child.
"The stuff is in my blood. I love the constant learning. It's a calling."
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students find that WCC can make a difference in their lives.
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Washtenaw Community College's faculty members bring a unique collection of specialties and experiences to our campus. Their life experiences and diverse backgrounds offer students a different perspective in the classroom and add to the vibrant culture at WCC.
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