Rising Star Maj. Samuel Abbott-McCune

Maj. Sam Abbott-McCuneName: Maj. Sam Abbott-McCune

Age: 38

Organization: U.S. Military Academy

Title: Course director, IT-382

Nominated for: Revamping a network laboratory used for information technology training, which involved running more than two miles of cable, rackmounting 50 pieces of equipment and creating several cable patch bays so that equipment could be interconnected without moving. Also supervises quality control of 500 classrooms at 15 different locations.

First IT mentor: Dennis Seward at Virginia State University was the IT tech while I was attending school for my bachelor of science. It always fascinated me the way he could integrate anything. We would talk often about the latest gizmo that has come out and what it could be used for. I was in awe of his compartment bins of mismatched components and the working prototypes that would be built out of both commercial off-the-shelf and repurposed items.

Latest accomplishment: The reconfigurable network lab at West Point. It consists of the integration of both physical and virtual network routers and switches as well as a mix of virtual and physical computers. This lab is reconfigurable and now supports multiple classes, which has increased the ability of the student to practice the theory by supplementing the theory with hands-on active learning.

Career highlight: The best thing that has ever happened to me is the ability to support the warfighter. Working in the field of IT in conjunction with the military has allowed me to mentor, teach and coach other servicemen and servicewomen to use technology to enhance their capabilities, regardless of what path their military career takes them.

Favorite bookmark: Google.com. The use of data-mining techniques with Google hacking allows you to find new and exciting technology to use and integrate.

Dream non-IT-related job: I do not think I have a non-IT related job that I would do. When I retire, I will probably work on the restoration of cars.


The annual Rising Star awards are presented by the 1105 Government Information Group, publisher of Federal Computer Week, GCN and Washington Technology,  to public and private sector employees in the federal IT community who have gone above and beyond their job descriptions to make a lasting impact in their organization. See all the 2009 Rising Star award winners.

Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.

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