Speaker series for UOG’s virtual Tech Fest starts tomorrow



he public is invited to tune into a series of “Tech Talks” and esports matches this week as part of the University of Guam Office of Information Technology’s third annual Tech Fest. The event this year focuses on the theme of “Tech’s New Normal” and highlights how technology has bridged people together, assisted education, and sparked new hobbies during the pandemic.

“It’s been 15 months of pandemic living […] so we wanted to focus on how things are being done now as opposed [to before],” said Manny Hechanova, the university’s interim chief information officer.

Tech Fest’s virtual “Tech Talk Series,” will start at 1 p.m. on Wednesday on Zoom featuring local leaders speaking on how technology has reinvented businesses and education in the past year. 

Continuing at 10 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday, the event will feature speakers with local heritage working for distinguished organizations and businesses around the world speaking on their experiences in the technology industry. 

“If you ever thought, ‘I’m a little fish —I don’t know if I’ll make it in a big pond’ or the dreams that you had just seem unreachable, our speakers will prove that entirely wrong,” Hechanova said. “They will show you that their persistence, their drive, and their education got them to where they’re at today.”

The conference is targeted toward high school, college, graduate, and post-graduate students as well as anyone in the community who is interested in technology. It is free to attend and no registration is needed. 

Wednesday speakers:

  • 1:30 p.m.: Paul Lazarra, Counselor and Psychology Teacher at Tiyan High School 
  • 2:05 p.m.: Juvy Cariño, Robotics Teacher at L.P. Untalan Middle School
  • 2:45 p.m.: Tavion Duenas, Student at Guam High School
  • 3:20 p.m.: John Paul Calvo, CIO for MidPacific Distributors Inc.

Thursday’s speakers:

  • 10:35 a.m.: Nicole Limtiaco, Senior Software Engineer at X, The Moonshot Factory (Calif.)
  • 11:20 a.m.: Randy Dahilig, Senior Network Engineer at Boyce Technologies Inc. (N.Y.)
  • 12:10 p.m.: Tristan Palanca, Product Analyst at Bleacher Report (Calif.)
  • 12:55 p.m.: Gabe Aguilar, Software Engineer at Visa (Calif.)

Friday’s speakers:

  • 10:35 a.m.: Katrina Palanca, Vice President of Global Partnerships at Spurs & Sports Entertainment (Texas)
  • 11:20 a.m.: Carlo Sugatan, Usability Analyst at Verint (Mich.)
  • 12:10 p.m.: Jay Castro, UX Content Strategist at DoorDash (Calif.)

The Tech Fest event is also hosting Triton Esports tournaments at 7 p.m. tonight and Wednesday for League of Legends, Valorant, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The live and recorded broadcasts are viewable on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/uogtritonesports

Access to the event and the complete agenda can be found at https://techfest.uog.edu.