Digital From Day 1 Podcast

Digital From Day 1 text within a lightbulb on a patterned background of microphones

A podcast to spark conversation and encourage innovation in education.

As innovation continues at a breakneck pace, technology plays an ever-larger role in how we live, learn and work. To be prepared to join the modern workforce, students need to begin developing digital skills from their first day in a classroom. But their journey truly begins with well-informed educators and administrators.

The Digital From Day 1 podcast builds on Digital Flagship’s outreach to K-12 students and educators to encourage early adoption of digital literacy skills. You'll hear conversations with a variety of leaders in the fields of technology and education, bringing you their insight on the latest innovations and where we might be headed next. With their knowledge, not only can you better prepare students for higher education, but they will ultimately be a more informed and prepared set of learners headed for the workforce.

Season 4

Ep. 25 - App Fest

Tech Leaders in Industry

Digital Flagship and the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship host a panel with Jerry Valentine (Founder, Renter Mentor), Chris Asman (Founder, Studium) and David Graham (Founder, FuzeMee). The panel will discuss the process of building entrepreneurial spirit, designing innovative human-centered solutions and strengthening leadership skills.

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Listen to Earlier Seasons

Want more of Digital From Day 1? Find all episodes, including our first season, on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Meet the Team

Brenden M. Dickerson (co-host)

Brenden Dickerson is a Program Manager for Digital Flagship where he oversees The Ohio State University Mobile Design Lab Program which provide STEM outreach to OSU, K-12 and surrounding Columbus communities. His passion for education is combined with his interest in emerging technologies and best practices as he’s been recognized as comSpark 30 under 30 Technology Award Recipient and Miami University’s 18 of the Last 9 nominee. In his leisure time, he enjoys various outdoor activities with his family and friends, reading books and traveling. In short, Brenden believes that “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”

Joel Nelson (co-host) 

Joel Nelson is the Program Manager for Learning Programs. He comes to Ohio State from Columbus State Community College where he served as Program Manager for the Office of Employer Engagement and Experiential Learning where he was responsible for developing K-16 pathways to careers in partnership with Central Ohio employers. Prior to this he served as Academic Program Manager for Dual Enrollment where he  developed college readiness programming, STEM and career exploration pathways, and academic support  models for partnering K-12 school districts. Joel also currently serves on the STEM Industry Council Advisory Board (SInC), a consortium of educators and employers providing work-based learning experiences of Columbus City School students

Jake Cheng

I graduated magna cum laude from The Ohio State University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and minor in Security and Intelligence. Moved to the US for college from Taiwan after high school, I have served as the Director of Digital Technology and Social Chair for PGN and worked in multiple departments throughout my time at Ohio State, including 3 years with OCIO/ODEE and now as a Digital Flagship Student Mentor. I will be joining Accenture as an Infrastructure Advisory Analyst later this year.

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Ovee Daithankar

I am a sophomore at the Ohio State University studying Electrical and Computer Engineering. I work with Digital Flagship as a student mentor. I have been learning Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance form) for 8 years and I enjoy painting and crafts.  

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Kate Dunne

I am a rising third year majoring in Operations Management and am pursing a double minor in Real Estate and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In addition to working as a Student Mentor under Digital Flagship, I serve as the Co-Coordinator for the Interns Program in the Undergraduate Student Government and an Associate Consultant for Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations. In my free time, I enjoy reading, listening to music and I'm an avid runner and road cyclist. 

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Bennett Heyn

I am a Sophomore studying Management Information Systems with a minor in Design Thinking at Ohio State University. In addition to my academics, I am also the President for Artificial Intelligence Club, as well as a VP of Marketing for the Business Builders Club, and Business Scholars. I enjoy developing content for the Mobile Design Lab!

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Tarj Shah

I’m a senior majoring in philosophy at the Ohio State University. Apart from being a student and a Digital Flagship Student Mentor, I own a non-profit organization in my home country, India, where we serve menstruators through education, empowerment, and donations. In addition to it, I also serve as a Committee Representative in Undergraduate Student Government. I aspire to be a lawyer after graduating from tOSU, and utilizing the skills I acquire to help as many people as I can.

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Liz Webb 

I am a rising Senior studying Public Management, Leadership, and Policy and Geography from Bowling Green, Ohio. In addition to working as a Digital Flagship Student Mentor, I serve as the Chief of Staff in Undergraduate Student Government, host a radio show on OSU's student radio station, and am a member of SPHINX Senior Class Honorary. 

Advisory Board

The Digital From Day 1 Podcast Advisory Board provides insight and perspective to guide contentsuggest and provide access to subject matter experts and develop strategies to enhance the podcast’s growth and reach.

Barbara Dunlap

Barbara Dunlap is the Coordinator for the AEP Transmission Co-op and Internship Program and responsible for building a pipeline of talent focused on the newest generation of engineers.

Through on-campus engagements with organizations like IEEE, NSBE, SWE, SHPE, and SASE, Ms. Dunlap is tasked with strengthening strategic relationships, developing retention strategies, and expanding engagement programs for K-12 schools that will assist with building talent for the future of energy. In addition, she serves on the executive boards of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States.

Prior to taking her current role with the AEP Transmission Business Operations department in 2017, Ms. Dunlap was a Transmission Line Engineer with American Electric Power for 11 years and the single point of contact for the public utility and transportation relocation projects.

Barbara proudly hails from Cleveland, Ohio with strong ties to West Point, Mississippi. Armed with a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Engineering Technology from the University of Toledo and a MBA with a focus on Leadership from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Barbara is honored to be a Spring 2022 doctoral candidate at Ashland University. She plans to change the world by applying research to develop effective, evidence-informed solutions.

Cory Tressler

Cory Tressler is the Director of Learning Programs & Digital Flagship at The Ohio State University. He holds  an undergraduate and degree from OSU and master of arts in teaching degrees from OSU and the University of South Carolina. He has been an elementary school teacher and an administrator in South Carolina, where he helped create virtual learning and technology rich classroom experiences for over 20,000 k12 students. At OSU has helped lead the Digital First initiative, assisting with the development of public iTunes U courses, the OSU Marching Band iPad program, and the Digital First Impact Grant. In 2014, he was co-author and PI of the College Ready Ohio Straight A Grant. In 2017, he helped launch Digital Flagship, which is a large-scale partnership between Ohio State and Apple focused on providing students with mobile technology to enhance their academic and career readiness, provide coding curriculum for any interested student, and embracing mobile app development opportunities at the enterprise and individual levels. 

Kristen Gillenwater

Kristen Gillenwater is the TECH CORPS Regional Manager for Central Ohio. Gillenwater manages program implementation and operations for TECH CORPS in the Central Ohio region. Gillenwater has over 15 years of experience building strategic partnerships within the Columbus community. She is a graduate of Otterbein University, with a Computer Science major. Kristen is an active volunteer and member of the community, giving back through organizations such as 100 Women of Westerville, the Boy Scouts of America and the Westerville North Theatre Department. 

Tanya McClanahan

Tanya McClanahan is the Supervisor of Higher Education Partnerships Division for Columbus City Schools,   Ohio's largest school district serving over 50,000 students. She has 20 years of experience in the educational arena including curriculum planning, project management, recruitment and retention initiatives and community affairs. HEP establishes collaborative relationships to address urban school reform between Columbus City Schools and Higher Education Institutions where partners commit to collaborate in order to improve the access, retention, and completion of postsecondary education through highly targeted initiatives and maximized use of resources. The Higher Education Partnership Division also serves as the district’s main contact for College Credit Plus programs and partnerships.