December 7, 2016

For immediate release

Contact: Esther Watstein 203-332-5226

Housatonic Community College Student 2nd Place Winner in Connecticut Skills Challenge

Elevator Pitch
HCC student Mahdi Saeikhalili

Mahdi Saeikhalili, an international HCC student who resides in Shelton, has won 2nd place in the finals of the Connecticut Skills Challenge organized by the Conn. Technology Council. The Challenge is a coding and engineering contest for the state’s top student coders and was held on Dec. 3 at the Yale School of Management in New Haven. Saeikhalili is in his first year at HCC in the Computer Science Program, majoring in Computer Information Systems.

Saeikhalili was one of the top 50 state-wide competitive computer programmers selected to take part in the event. He qualified earlier this year at preliminary events. The 50 competitors, representing 13 colleges and universities in the state, were divided into ten teams. The teams each selected a project from a prepared list which they had to complete and prove within a given time period. The competition took place from 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. Competitors had to create and design a computer program that accomplished the task set forth by the project. Saeikhalili’s team was randomly arranged from the competitors in the finals.

The 2nd place win awards Saeikhalili’s team $2,500, or $500 each. The Connecticut Technology Council is an association of technology oriented companies and institutions dedicated to innovation and providing leadership and networking assistance for growing companies.

Saeikhalili served an apprenticeship this past summer with A100, a program that provides technical training to aspiring software developers to get them start-up ready. HCC is a member of the Northeast Resiliency Consortium composed of seven colleges receiving a grant from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT) which has enhanced the HCC Computer Information System Program curriculum and provided Saeikhalili with support towards his career goal.