Gannon celebrates opening of the Hatchery


Caonabo Camilo, Staff Writer

Gannon University will officially open the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge’s third-floor innovative space – known as the Hatchery — with a dedication ceremony set for 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Gannon community members are invited to attend virtually through the university’s Facebook page where it will be recorded live.

As the renovations are so new, many students may not know much about the Hatchery.

According to Haley Figurski, Media Relations and Marketing manager, the Hatchery is a space in the I-HACK building where students can develop new ideas related to protecting cyber intelligence and supply the tools to bring the new ideas to life. Figurski said that it is a “collaborative innovation space that integrates industry and professional development with academic creativity and learning.”

The Hatchery will consist of The Maker Lab, The Knight Studios-Senior Design Suite, Project Studios, Extreme Networks and GIS Mapping Lab, and the Erie Insurance Idea Lab. Each space has its own experience, with access to 3D printers, high-end video production equipment, business intelligence consulting services and GIS mapping labs that provide unique experiences for Gannon students.

The Hatchery will also give students access to internships and project opportunities with many local and global companies. Among these companies are Erie Insurance, Extreme Networks, UNISHKA, MCPc Inc., Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Aurora Worldwide Development Corp.

UNISHKA is a social purpose corporation that provides consulting and research services to governmental, commercial and civil society organizations. Through UNISHKA, Figurski said, “Students will be trained in anti-corruption through real-world work that includes data collection, data analysis and other similar work that counters corruption.”

MCPc Inc. is a technology leader in security, networking and optimization. Students will be offered opportunities through mutual support in operations, training, technology and marketing. In addition, MCPc Inc. will outsource entry-level work to qualified students.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners provides early staged and established companies with funding, business and technical expertise and access to a network of innovative, expert resources. Students will engage in executing projects identified by Ben Franklin Technology Partners focused on crowd funding.

Aurora Worldwide Development Corp. serves global organizations in the marketplace and utilizes technology to gain insights to create a culture of intelligence. In the partnership with Gannon, students with business, entrepreneurial and critical thinking backgrounds will collaborate with Aurora WDC on contracted work.

The Hatchery dedication ceremony celebrates the completion of the phase two renovations in the I-HACK building. The ceremony will be hosted by Gannon leadership, including a prayer by the Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, and other guest speakers from local and global companies who helped to make the Hatchery come to be.

Keith Kennedy from Erie Insurance will be a guest speaker for the event.

While the entire Gannon community is invited to virtually attend the event, the space is unique to the majors who would benefit the most from the experiences. The space is open to students from all three colleges who have courses in the minor in creativity, students who will be utilizing the Maker Lab as well as staff, faculty and members from the partner organizations and companies.

Two students in the School of Engineering and Computing are looking forward to the new experiences available to them with the opening of the space.

Ben Lubina, a sophomore cybersecurity major, has a class in the I-HACK building and is excited for the Cyber Defense Club to be able to meet in the building. As a space conducive to collaboration, those able to utilize the spaces benefit from the creative environment. The space works well with Lubina’s love of technology and coding.

Victoria Bartlett, a junior cybersecurity major, added, “This will impact the cyber majors because it will provide opportunities to get practical experience, mentorship and valuable knowledge from industry professionals.

“Since I have most of my classes in the I-HACK building, being able to use this new space is very exciting. I’m looking forward to all of the possibilities it will provide and can’t wait to see how it will all come together.”


[email protected]