Welcome to LEaRN
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What is LEaRN

The Lafayette Engagement and Research Network (LEaRN) Collaborative is a result of a joint partnership between the Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG), the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL), and CGI. LEaRN is focused on understanding how smart community initiatives can be successfully leveraged to help local governments better manage resources, improve planning, make more informed decisions and improve citizens’ quality of life.

Additional supporting partners of LEaRN include the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), One Acadiana (regional chamber of commerce), and the Lafayette Public School System (LPSS). For projects such as the EPA Smart City Air Challenge, LEaRN has partnered with additional organizations to help accelerate this transformation such as Microsoft, the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, IL and The Enterprise Center in Chattanooga, TN in an advisory council capacity.

LEaRN about Air Quality

The EPA Smart City Air Challenge

The Lafayette Engagement and Research Network (LEaRN) collaborative for Smart Cities was awarded EPA’s Smart City Air Challenge (https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-smart-city-air-challenge-awardees) in November of 2016. This project will help demonstrate how communities can leverage emerging IoT technology with a lower barrier to entry for Smart Cities, paired with educational, in kind and “crowd sourced” efforts to fit a 300 sensor network within a constrained budget.

LEaRN will leverage the educational network of LPSS, SLCC and UL to engage citizens in a community wide citizen science effort where interested students and the public will learn about IoT devices, big data and data analytics as related to traffic congestion and air quality. The results of this project will be open and available to other cities around the world. As we execute our work, you can track our progress on our GitHub page (LEaRN Lafayette GitHub), read our brainstorm and meeting notes, read about our lessons learned, and access the source code for Kinota, the Open Source Java API built as a part of this project using the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Sensorthings standard.

Checkout our live dashboard featured here: LEaRNDASH


CGI’s Kinota™ is an open-source implementation of the OGC SensorThings API, and stores those data in a scalable cloud-based data repository, allowing visualization and analysis tools to provide real-time insights. Smart community applications include:

  • Air and water quality monitoring and anomaly detection
  • Transportation demand monitoring
  • Flood prediction
  • Infrastructure monitoring
  • Public safety

Get Involved

Meet the Team

Anne Swanson

STEM@CGI Manager

Anne's mission in life is to connect good people with each other. Professionally, she does this by working as STEM@CGI Manager where she leads the nationwide STEM@CGI program. In 2016 she led the CGI U.S. team that won one of the 7 worldwide CGI Dream Connector grants. Since that time she has worked with more than 20 CGI locations hosting more 75 STEM education events, and reaching more than 8,000 students. Prior to her current role, Anne was the college recruiter for the Lafayette office, successfully hiring 160 new members over a 3 year period. From October 2015 to October 2016, she served as CGI Lafayette’s corporate social responsibility chair. She’s won two of CGI’s prestigious “Bridge Builder” awards for helping engage her company’s members in civic causes. She spoke at TEDx Vermilion Street in 2016 regarding her struggle and management of her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXII and currently serves on the Leadership Institute of Acadiana Board. She also active in local civil rights efforts. In 2001, she earned her public relations degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In her personal time, she loves trying to figure out the meaning of life with her husband Rick, spending quality time with her family and friends, and playing with her two dogs - Summer and Flash.

Will Labar

CGI Project Lead

Will has lived in Lafayette for about 20 years and currently serves as Vice President of CGI’s US Onshore Delivery programs. This program has 7 centers across the US and has created more than 1,600 jobs in partnership with local communities and universities across America. Over 550 employees are based in Lafayette and CGI plans to employ up to 800 in the region. CGI is the world’s 5th largest independent IT and business process services company with over 77,000 members in 400 offices across 40 countries, focused on digital transformation expertise across industry verticals such as Health, Global Finance and Trade, Energy, Manufacturing, and Government.

Joseph Dale

CGI Functional Lead / GIS SME

Joe is a Spatial Data Scientist at CGI and also the functional lead for LEaRN. Joe earned his Bachelor’s degree in Watershed Hydrology and Natural Resources Management from The University of Arizona and has a Masters in Fisheries Science and Aquatic Ecology from Oklahoma State University. Joe’s passions include environmental conservation and sustainability, citizen science, DIY projects, and spending time with family and friends eating freshwater crustaceans.

Lashonda Dean

STEM@CGI Education Consultant

Lashonda is a graduate of UL Lafayette, and a lifelong resident of Acadiana. Her current role with CGI as STEM Consultant allows her to support members across the U. S. in implementing STEM programming. Lashonda is a natural communicator with a strong background in sales, creative development, and relationship building. She is passionate about bridging the educational divide and utilizes her role within STEM@CGI to empower others to do the same. Lashonda most enjoys her role as mom to her three sons and appreciates doing work that will diversify the future workforce of the industry they also love.

Nicolette Darjean

STEM@CGI Education Consultant

Nicolette is from Lafayette, LA and currently works at CGI in Lafayette where she serves as U.S. STEM@CGI Education Consultant for CGI’s global STEM education program. She received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. After working five years as an engineer, she started a family and changed her profession to high school STEM education as a highly certified educator in the areas of Chemistry, Physics, and General Science. Over her almost 20 years in education, Nicolette’s work and passion has included building a recognized engineering department at a local STEM school in Lafayette while leading students in her department in all areas of engineering and technology, coaching students in both U.S. First Robotics and International MATE Underwater Robotics competitions, as well as engaging students in premiere projects that served and educated the community of Lafayette in STEM. Her favorite time is spent with her two children, Victor and Victoria.

Dr. Josh Sonnier

CGI Technical Lead

Josh leads Digital Solutions within CGI Federal’s Emerging Technology Practice. With a broad background in research, data science, software development, and technical research and development, Josh spent many years in academia before joining the private sector. In his current role, he manages a team of data scientists, architects, and full stack developers delivering innovative solutions to CGI clients. He holds a Ph.D. in applied mathematics with a focus in computational physics.

Daniel Krulick

Hardware Engineer

Daniel graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and has worked for CGI Federal since. He likes all levels of technology from soldering circuits to high-level code and has been part of robotics teams all through high school and college. In Boy Scouts, he achieved the rank of eagle and went on to be the president of the Campus Scouts at Virginia Tech. In 2010, his volleyball team went to nationals and now he spends some of his spare time dominating random volleyball pickup games in local parks in Lafayette.

Previous Team Members

Warren Abadie

Traffic Engineer

Warren is employed with Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) where he currently serves as City/Parish Transportation Engineer. He began his career with LCG in 2004 as an Engineer Aide. In 2005 he was promoted to Traffic Maintenance Supervisor where he supervised crews in charge of Traffic Signals, Signs and Markings. In 2009 he was again promoted to the Traffic Signal/System Engineer. In this position he performed traffic signal timing and system engineering analysis. In 2013 he was promoted to his present position as City/Parish Transportation Engineer and oversees the Traffic Engineering Development, Signs and Markings, Traffic Signals, Transit, and Parking Divisions.

Karthik Chepudira

Data Scientist

Karthik is an experienced data scientist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He has a strong engineering background with a master’s focused in information and data science from University of California, Berkeley. He is passionate about creating smart products that leverage emerging technologies, benefit society and drive innovation. 

Matt Delcambre

UL Technical Lead

Matt is an accomplished technology executive with expertise in infrastructure and cloud architectures focused on driving organizational results. He has repeated success in forming and incubating technical sales team aimed at leveraging technology solutions to solve customer challenges and drive competitive advantage. Matt is a versatile leader with experience managing organizations focused on enterprise architecture, business value, top partners and product/technology specialist.

Katy Dupre

Business Analyst

Katy is a business analyst at CGI working on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projects and is the functional lead for the LEaRN project. She is a Lafayette native with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in political science from University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of New Orleans respectively. She recently returned to Lafayette after a decade of living and working all over the country including Montana, Chicago, and New Orleans. Her professional experience spans across industry lines in both the public and private sectors, including economic and real estate development, civic engagement, and coastal restoration. She holds a certification in “Big Data and Social Analytics” from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning and enjoys researching emerging public policy and community development trends, with a focus on digital social innovation. In her spare time, Katy loves relaxing with her dog, Norah Jean, Cajun dancing, and freshwater fly fishing.

Imari Eaglin

STEM@CGI Consultant and Business Analyst

Imari is from Baton Rouge, LA and currently works at CGI in Lafayette, LA where she serves as a Business Analyst for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and STEM@CGI Consultant for CGI's global STEM education program. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Management with a minor in International Business and concentration in Business Analytics at University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she is currently a candidate for her Master of Business Administration. A few of her passions include analytics, STEM education, high school and college mentorship, community service, conducting research on the topics of organizational culture and behavior, diversity in leadership, corporate social responsibility, and more. Recently, she accepted both the 2018 Exceptional Service and Philanthropy Awards from UL for her service on-campus and in the Lafayette community. Imari's favorite pastime is traveling the world with her yorkie, Chanel, with whom she shares a birthday.

Dr. Ramesh Kolluru

Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development

Dr. Kolluru is Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development at University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). In this role, he establishes the strategic vision that drives the transition of UL Lafayette to a top-tier, modern research university through research, scholarship, and innovation activities of its faculty, students and staff. His leadership efforts include coordination and implementation of plans, initiatives, policies and activities that support the integrated activities of research, teaching, and student mentorship that enable UL Lafayette to expand its regional and global impact through the discovery, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge.

Ben Matkin


Ben works for CGI Federal in Lafayette. He develops web applications for the EPA as well as the Lafayette community. He graduated from University of Texas with degrees in Math and Theatre, and received a masters in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He fell back on application development after his acting career never took off.

Dr. Brian Miles

Technical Lead

Brian is a software engineer and environmental scientist who specializes in environmental and geospatial applications. He is currently the technical lead for the LEaRN project. His work has included software development, environmental modeling, and energy policy. Brian used to play trumpet and drums in rock and roll bands.

Samuel Molinski


Samuel is a web developer with a diverse set of skills. His core skill sets is in developing web applications built with PHP, JavaScript, MySQL and No-Sql. He also has front-end development skills and mastery of CSS and HTML. When is he is not developing, he enjoys traveling, MMA, and loves spending time with his dog Scotty.

Terysa Ridgeway

Business Analyst

Terysa is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. She has extensive experience in solving complex business and technical problems as both a Software Engineer and a Program Manager. Her experience in software coding and development catalyzed her efforts into becoming a life-long learner of technology. She is actively involved in educational outreach programs that empower women and minorities in her local community, and she takes great pride in giving back as a STEM advocate and mentor. She has received numerous accolades and has been recognized locally and internationally for her efforts.

Gretchen Vanicor

Director of Sustainability

As University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s first Director of Sustainability, Gretchen works closely with the Office of the President and the President's Council on Sustainability to identify and prioritize areas for campus-wide sustainability efforts, plan and develop strategies to reduce energy and material consumption, and engage university leaders to improve sustainability broadly across campus units. She also serves as the campus spokesperson on sustainability issues.