Dakota Cooper ('12) | Information Technology & Computing

dakota cooper

Information systems major 
from Fayetteville, Ark.

Dakota Cooper went to a small country high school in Arkansas where technology classes offered little emphasis on information systems. However, he'd grown up watching his dad work as the chief information officer at Tyson Foods. Dakota knew from his father that working in information systems meant a big job market, lots of opportunities and a good salary.

I definitely wanted to go to a Christian school. I just felt drawn here.

That's why he did an internship with Tyson Foods the summer after his senior year. During his stint with the company, Dakota helped the tech team change the company's database system. The old database system was run by a man who worked from his home in New Mexico; when the auditors examined the company's recordkeeping, they suggested it wasn't a good idea to have so much information controlled by a single person in an off-site location. The tech team was in charge of transferring the records to the corporate location.

Dakota's job was to run reports of the information and check to make sure everything was in order before it was added to the corporate database.  That experience made Dakota want to learn more about the different areas of technology, he said.

The learning process gained momentum at ACU. Before registering, Dakota knew only a little about the university. Both of his parents were alumni, and he had visited the campus during high school to look at the football program. And he knew he was looking for a place that shared his values.

"I definitely wanted to go to a Christian school," he said. "I just felt drawn here."

After almost a year at ACU, he knows he made the right choice. He likes the close relationship between students and professors, and appreciates the willingness of SITC faculty to help when he has questions. The warmth and welcoming spirit of students and faculty is a benefit as well.

"One of the things about this school is that a lot of the people really care about you," he said.

Although Dakota isn't sure what he wants to do with his degree, he's excited about the new possibilities that emerge daily in the field of technology. From electronic bar codes that help track shipped packages to security officers' efforts to foil hackers, he sees a future in which technology makes life better for everyone concerned.

"Technology makes things globally easier," he said.

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