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DES quickly becoming 'valued partner' of Mercyhurst University

DES is Mercyhurst University's go-to integrator for classroom technology. Most recently, DES designed and installed the audio and video solutions for Mercyhurst's new Cyber Education Center.
Feb 28, 2019

ERIE, Pa. — Dagostino Electronic Services is Mercyhurst University’s go-to integrator for classroom technology.

A few years ago, Mercyhurst was looking to make some upgrades and contacted DES following a recommendation from Extron.

DES has since upgraded the technology in dozens of classrooms and installed a state-of-the-art phone system in the university’s board room and audiovisual equipment in conference and events spaces.

Most recently, DES designed and installed the audio and video solutions for Mercyhurst’s new Cyber Education Center.

“We are really excited about the Cyber Education Center,” Jeanette Britt, CIO and VP of Technology at Mercyhurst, told DES. “It’s an amazing facility. It looks great. It’s very high-tech, very functional and will help meet the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals.”

The 8,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2018 before the start of the fall semester, consists of a cyber lab, two general-use computer labs and a security operations center where students gain hands-on, real world experience.

“We really think this facility gives our students an advantage,” Britt said. “To be able to learn and then walk across the hall and work in a real, live security operations center [and gain] hands on experience is invaluable.”

“The unique experience that the students will have in the center will allow them to get their hands dirty early on in their education, before they get to the workforce,” Dr. Christopher Mansour, a professor of computing and information science and cybersecurity at Mercyhurst, added.

DES was involved in the Cyber Education Center project from the start.

Britt explained, “As soon as this project came up, we called DES. They came up and met with our students, our faculty, the project team, and really listened to what the needs were of the space and really presented an amazing package of technology solutions.”

The cyber lab runs on its own network, with its own servers and firewalls, separate from the rest of the university. Professors can simulate real-world events such as hacks, data breaches and malware, allowing students to experiment without spreading sensitive data across Mercyhurst’s main network.

As such, there is no wireless in the room. All of the technology is hard-wired. There is a Crestron controller at each student workstation wired to the controller at the teaching podium so students can present and share their screen on monitors throughout the room.

The two general-use computer labs are equipped with Crestron AirMedia wireless presentation technology and controllers, projectors, monitors and drop-down screens. Audio processors and speakers were also installed by DES.

When the project was complete, DES trained faculty and staff on the technology throughout the space. DES also provides ongoing support to the university as necessary.

Britt said, “Any time we have questions, we pick up the phone and they’re right there willing to help.”

The design of the Cyber Education Center is almost as impressive as the technology. The space is clean and modern, and it’s white, shiny walls add to the wow factor.

“The students and faculty could not be more excited about this space,” said Britt.

Nemanja Matijevic, a senior at Mercyhurst studying information technology and data science, called the center “out of this world.”

“No one expected this,” he said. “I feel like I’m in a movie.”

Mercyhurst credits DES, in part, for the project’s overall success.

“DES really provided us with the solutions we needed to bring the Cyber Education Center together,” Britt said. “We could not have done it without them.”

She concluded, “Working with DES is a pleasure. They are partners with you through a project from the beginning to the end. They bring smart solutions. They are incredibly flexible and I would recommend them to any university or company.”

About Mercyhurst University

Mercyhurst University is a four-year liberal arts Catholic institution founded in 1926 by the Sisters of Mercy.

Mercyhurst offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and more than 10 master’s programs at it’s main campus in Erie, Pennsylvania, and secondary campus in nearby North East, Pennsylvania.

Approximately 3,400 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled at Mercyhurst each year.

About Dagostino Electronic Services

Dagostino Electronic Services is a multi-faceted, full-service communications company passionate about designing and installing technology solutions to meet the needs of our customers.

DES specializes in the integration of structured cabling systems, data and wireless networks, security and surveillance systems, phone systems, and cybersecurity and multimedia technologies.

Founded in 1973, DES is the preferred technology provider of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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