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Student Ken Hayes Earns Special Recognition in Wake of Washington Navy Yard Shootings

Nov 04, 2013

Ken Hayes is both an Information Systems Engineering (ISE) student at the Bristol Campus and is an information technology employee of CGI Federal.  Ken lives in Gray, Tennessee and commutes to the local CGI Federal office in Lebanon, Virginia.  In the wake of the recent Washington Navy Yard shootings tragedy, Mr. Hayes earned very special recognition from his employer.

 “The Washington Navy Yard shootings left our customers without desks or computers to return to while the police investigation continues…” reads an email originating from Kerri Engley, Director of CGI Federal.  In the email, New Jersey Avenue CGI Federal office and their government customers expressed their appreciation to the CGI Federal IT staff.  The email state: “At our customer’s request we contacted the Helpdesk to see if it was possible to configure 10 laptops for guest use while New Jersey Avenue organized cubicle spaces.  Within five hours of the initial request, most of the guest laptops were delivered and by the next business morning we received the remainder.  This was an outstanding team effort from IT to assist customers who have been traumatized and are in need of basic office items just to function in their positions.”

The email continued to specifically thank National College student Ken Hayes from Information Systems-Incident Command “for organizing the appropriate teams and contacting us within two minutes of the Helpdesk request to let us know it was being worked.”  Lisa Black, vice president of CGI Federal also commented via email, “The combined effort really reflects a great team effort not only internal within IT but also in support of the company as a whole.”

Ken began pursuing his degree at National College in July of 2011. “The ISE program was brand new, I had been doing that kind of work for about five years and I thought I knew computers until I met [instructors] Mr. Anthony, Mr. Evernden and Mr. Giffin,” says Ken.   Ken will graduate next spring.  After that, he is considering pursuing a Cybersecurity bachelor’s degree from National.  When asked why he chose to attend college, Ken said that he was struck with a series of personal tragedies in less than 40 days which included being laid off from a job he thought he would have until he retired, the deaths of two family members as well as his mentor. 

“As I was digesting this news and deciding what my next move would be, I was driving on 11W and saw the National College sign, turned up the hill saw the business & technology sign, walked in and the ISE program was just starting. I read about the program and signed up. I had done the job for five years and that was going nowhere. With a degree and certifications I would be creditable and I could work on networking with peers in my industry.”

Besides possibly pursuing another degree, Ken’s future goals include excelling at his current job. “I literally take what I learn in class from my instructors’ experience and apply it immediately and it shows in my work,” said Ken.  “I give it 120% or at least I try.  It is challenging to say the least and the school work is demanding but I knew this going in.” 

Ken also wants his nephews to attend and succeed in college. “My biggest short term goal is to get my nephews through college and not only do I preach it-- I live it,” he says. “They know that I do not ask them to do anything I would not do not myself.  You still have to do the work.” 

Ken Hayes, student and CGI Federal employee.

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