Join theCAT and become a part of our IT organization!

Your first step towards becoming a CAT is to attend the Braindump Orientation. Sign up to receive notifications about the Braindump Orientation 2023 by logging into your PSU email account and clicking the button below.

SIGN UP FOR THE BRAINDUMP ORIENTATION 2023

Admission to theCAT only happens once a year during the Fall term. If you are interested in joining, please make sure that you attend the 2023 Braindump Orientation that is held in early October in 2023.

Any PSU student can join theCAT, regardless of major, background, or prior experience. Come by to see what we’re all about!


Masked volunteer standing if front of theCAT logo

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What is theCAT?

TheCAT is the Computer Action Team: a self-selected group of student volunteers from diverse majors and backgrounds who learn, grow, and innovate together on the systems in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science (MCECS).

TheCAT is managed by the Director of Computing for MCECS and consists of a team of volunteers, student workers, and a handful of full-time employees. With the guiding hand of experienced veterans in the IT industry, students are given license to make connections and shape the organization for years to come.

Full-Scale IT Support

TheCAT maintains user services in MCECS via front desk duty carried out by student volunteers, both remotely and on campus, in FAB 82-01. Volunteers gain experience in handling support tickets, managing labs, assisting faculty and staff, and engaging in various team projects.

Computing Infrastructure

TheCAT manages a centrally administered but distributed network of Linux and Windows systems that span many buildings on campus. Volunteers have the opportunity to assist in systems administration and configuration, software installation, user account management, and fast-paced collaborative problem solving.

Networking Infrastructure

TheCAT also runs the MCECS network at PSU, providing the connectivity to ensure all internal systems work together as well as a critical role in the external network connectivity of the University.

Administrative Infrastructure

Additionally, theCAT has a number of teams that facilitate internal growth and strengthen communication with all of MCECS and the greater PSU campus. They provide volunteers the opportunity to gain skills such as leadership, public speaking, technical writing, graphic design, and video editing.


What is the Braindump?

The Braindump is a 14-month volunteer program that combines weekly lecture, hands-on training, group collaboration, and individual discovery within the context of our full-scale IT organization.

Volunteers graduating from the Braindump program

Volunteers gain a varied arsenal of technical, communication, and administrative skills that can fill up a resume. Some attain positions of leadership in various teams. All gain a diverse community of friends and professional connections that will last beyond PSU.

Although onsite engagement delivers the most benefits for Braindump participants, theCAT also provides attend anywhere capabilities for much of its training and front line duties. Contact us if you have any questions about remote participation.


What’s covered in the Braindump?

Our continually evolving collection of topics and team projects include:

  • CAT IT infrastructure
  • User services
  • Platform-specific user level stuff for:
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Networking
  • Platform-specific systems administration stuff for:
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Networking
  • Hardware management and troubleshooting
  • App development (web/database)
  • DevOps
  • Technical writing
  • Graphic design
  • Public speaking/communications
  • Project management
  • Video editing

What happens after the annual Orientation?

We ask that you fill out the CAT application and send it to us by the following Friday on Induction Day. You must have submitted your application and attended the induction session in order join the CAT.

Email us at topdog@cat.pdx.edu and ask us for an application if you don’t have an active PSU Odin account.

If you have questions, please send e-mail to support@cat.pdx.edu or call 503-725-5420.


Come for the IT, stay for the network