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CAD Grad and the History of UAT

Students come from near and far to the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) to study a wide variety of technology topics, choosing degree programs from cyber to robotics to gaming. But UAT hasn't always been UAT! Read on to learn more about Alumni John Hawley who attended when we were previously known as The CAD Institute. 

When did you attend UAT and what did you study?

I attended UAT in 1992-1993 when it was called The CAD Institute. I studied Computer Aided Drafting & Design Information Systems.

What is your current position, and what does the job entail?

My job title is Sr. Informatics Analyst at Aetna. However, my duties have evolved over time from mainly reporting to a position on our framework team supporting the operations business intelligence team. This entails research and recommendation of the team’s technical tools; configuration and support of those tools once implemented; production support for our team’s business product, streamlining and automation of team processes; providing tools training and resources; and the occasional report or Power BI visualization.

How well did UAT prepare you for your career?

My UAT education did a great job in helping to kick off my technical career. It provided a solid foundation in logic and technical concepts that allowed for future growth in multiple fields.

What did you find most valuable about your education?

For me, the most valuable part of my education with UAT was that it was accelerated, but extremely thorough. I found that my education gave me an edge in the workplace because my UAT education was superior to other avenues.

What advice do you have for students entering tech careers?

Continue to build on the foundation built with your UAT education. Tech is always evolving, so continuing education is vital. Be prepared to do your time. It will pay dividends later.


History of UAT

Do you know how UAT has evolved?

UAT was founded by Dr. Dominic Pistillo and his wife Ann in 1983 as the CAD Institute, where students were trained in computer-aided design and engineering. The college was only. a small classroom of 10 students in Tempe, AZ, but the founders quickly realized that educating students in emerging technologies had significantly higher leverage, and they began working towards becoming a university. Today, UAT serves close to 1,000 students and is pioneering unique training in technology education.

UAT was officially granted accreditation in 1992. The school went from a certificate-granting body to a college offering nationally-accredited associate and bachelor’s degrees. The CAD Institute changed its name to University of Advancing Computer Technology in 1997 to reflect the University’s broad technology offerings in a collegiate setting. UAT then began to build a new campus to house the growing number of students and classrooms.

Founder’s Hall opened in 2007 to house the growing number of on-campus students. The residence hall houses 260+ students and affords creative work spaces, a movie theatre, a fitness center and a game room. That same year, UAT became a candidate with the Higher Learning Commission and an affiliate of the North Central Association, a regional accrediting body for higher education institutions. The progression of the campus also garnered recognition for its Network Security Program. UAT was designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) as designated by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Today, UAT continues to grow and is highly regarded as a pioneer with students in computer science, network security, game programming and much more, with a number of their majors added as technology advances. The evolution which began in a small classroom to now a university is a testament to the vision of the founders.

UAT continues to cultivate and provide education for future innovators.



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