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Posted by raherschbach on 19 Oct 2017

Golf enthusiasts and members of the Capitol Technology University community gathered on a brisk day in Windsor Mills on Monday (September 16) for a golf outing in support of student scholarships.

With autumn leaves and the rolling hills of central Maryland as a backdrop, 12  teams comprising 48 golfers teed off at The Woodlands, a challenging but fun course designed by celebrated golf course architect Lindsay Ervin, who has deemed it his “best design.”

Held every year in the autumn, the event raises proceeds that then go towards scholarships awarded to students. The 2016-17 Golf Scholarship winners, Ralph Stormer and Pierce Smith, addressed participants at the event.

Stormer said that he used the golf scholarship money to perform needed upgrades to his computer.

“I’m an astronautical engineering major, which means that I will have to run programs like STK, which is used for tracking satellites and propagating orbits,” Stormer said. “These programs are computationally and mathematically intensive."

The computer enhancement, he said, allows him to run these programs more smoothly and has freed up time for his senior project, which is focused on developing a modular design for CubeSats.

Smith spoke of his roots in rural Lancaster, Pennsylvania and recalled how he decided at an early age that he wanted to be an astronautical engineer. “I chose Capitol because of its hands-on activities and its great ability to get you a job,” he said.

Since his sophomore year, Smith has served as lead engineer for the Cactus-1 satellite mission, one of the most ambitious aerospace endeavors that the university has so far attempted.  In addition, he has helped design payloads for other projects conducted by student teams at the umiversity.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without scholarships,” he said.

Dr. Bradford L. Sims, the new president of Capitol Technology University, greeted the two scholarship recipients and also announced the tournament winners.

The Good Guys -- Bob Lentz, Robert Lentz, Tony Solesky, and Brad Tingle -- won first place this year, with a score of 60. Second place went to Pin Seekers – Chris Dionot, Haden Land, Dave Olson, and Chris Thomas – with 62. Shankapotomus, consisting of Fred Hessner, Paige Hessner, Jeff Rhyne, and Melinda Bunnell-Rhyne, won third place with a score of 63.

Jeff Rhyne scored the men’s longest drive, while the women’s longest drive was achieved by Terri Veenstra. The closest to the pin award went to Mark Liberatore.

For photos of the 2017 tournament, click here.

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Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017

Capitol’s on-campus hub for practicing cybersecurity skills in real time is already busy, just weeks into the new school semester.

Cybersecurity LabThe university’s Cyber Lab, designed to help create a pipeline for cybersecurity expertise in the region, enables students to simulate, detect, analyze, and combat a wide range of cyber threats. After familiarizing themselves with cybersecurity concepts and principles during their classes, students can amplify what they’ve learned through hands-on activities in the lab.

bachelor's in cybersecurity student in lab

Students running the Cyber Lab, with the guidance of Capitol faculty, are already planning activities such as last month’s Cyber Saturday event, geared towards high school and community college students. The September 21 event, starting at 9 am, offered exciting, game-oriented activities that also introduced students to cybersecurity fundamentals.

Participants in past events have used Raspberry Pis to remotely control lamps, radios, and other devices. Others have sought to kick each other off computer networks in a challenging game of virtual King of the Hill.

As the year progresses, the lab will also become a base for the university’s competition team as it prepares for the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC).

Resources like the Cyber Lab are integral to Capitol’s approach to cyber education, which stresses practical knowhow and hands-on experience. In a field that is changing day to day as cybercriminals find new avenues, applied learning is critical, according to Capitol faculty.

“It’s a huge differentiator for us,” says Dr. William Butler, chair of Capitol’s cybersecurity program.

 

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Posted by raherschbach on 16 Oct 2017

“I want to be able to do something and contribute to the defense of our infrastructure,” says Emmanuel Onwulata. He’s a master’s student in cyber and information security at Capitol Technology University, and one of two Capitol master’s students to be selected this year for the prestigious Information Assurance Scholarship Program.

The award “gives me the opportunity to do cybersecurity research, which I love with a passion,” Onwulata says. It’s a critical field nowadays, he adds, because of “the current situation, where a lot of systems are being hacked due to inadequate protections and controls.”

Onwulata and Josh Nelbach are Capitol’s IASP recipients for 2017. Selection for the Department of Defense sponsored program results in a full scholarship package including tuition coverage as well as a $30,000 stipend. After graduation, recipients go on to cybersecurity roles in the federal government.

Nelbach says he is “extremely grateful” to have been selected. Like Onwulata, he sees it as an opportunity to serve the country as it grapples with an increasingly complex array of cybersecurity threats.

“It’s an investment by the American people in their own security. America is investing in me by ensuring I can gain the best education I can in order to defend our nation,” Nelbach said.

Capitol, a pioneer in the field of cybersecurity education and a designated Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) in the field, has also announced this year’s recipients of the school’s Cyber Transfer Scholarship Program, which is awarded to community college students seeking to complete bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity. The CTSP is funded under a grant from  the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Andrew Brant (Northern Virginia CC), Willie F Brown (Delta College), Matthew Harris (Volunteer State CC), Brad Howell (Volunteer State CC), Shelly Kleinert (Volunteer State CC), Nathan Little (Delta College), Justin Scheidler (Delta College), Jonathan Taylor (Prince Georges CC), and Jonathan Varner (Augusta Technical CC) will receive the CTSP scholarship, which covers the classes needed to move from an associate’s to a bachelor’s degree. Coursework for CTSP students is offered online, enabling them to earn their degrees without relocation.

Scholarship programs such as the IASP and CTSP not only open doors to students but also help ensure that the country has a corps of well-educated professionals in a critical field, said Dr. William Butler, who chairs the cybersecurity program at Capitol.

The university was among the first to offer academic degrees in the field, including a doctorate established in 2010, he noted.

“Capitol has well-established relationships with employers and government agencies, and we’re an NSA-designated Center for Excellence,” said Butler, who also directs the school’s Critical Infrastructures and Cyber Protection Center. “Our faculty consists of professionals working in the field. They can provide insights and exposure to current trends that the students won’t get elsewhere. As a result, a Capitol education increases students’ chances of success as well as their earning potential.”

 

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Posted by raherschbach on 16 Oct 2017

Imagine being able to operate your computer without needing a mouse or a keyboard, by controlling it directly with your brain.

Imagine using your thoughts to adjust the temperature settings in your home, change channels on your smart TV, play the new Taylor Swift single, or turn on the lights.

Sound like sci-fi fantasy? Once, it would have been. Now it is becoming reality, as a result of brain machine interfaces (BMI) – an emerging field  that is generating intense interest.

Now Capitol Technology University, home to one of the nation’s most highly regarded cybersecurity programs, has launched a program of BMI research under a recently-awarded federal grant.

Dr. Jason Pittman of the cybersecurity program and Dr. Garima Bajwa, a member of the engineering faculty, will be working to assess the security implications of this emerging technology.

Linking brains to computers can bring about enormous benefits and conveniences, but also opens up new avenues for criminal or malevolent behavior, Pittman said. Malware could potentially be employed that gives adversaries direct access to their victims’ thoughts.

“Imagine the Equifax breach, but in the context of your thoughts,” he said. “Someone’s not breaching a company to steal data that’s on the hard drive. Rather, someone’s seeking to backchannel an EEG device so they can read your thoughts while you are thinking them.

Dr. Bajwa and Dr. Pittman hope to help mitigate these risks through their research, which is focused on authentication -- that is, on ensuring that BMI-controlled devices can only be controlled by the intended user, and that the user’s thoughts are controlling only the intended devices.

“A new paradigm is emerging for how we interact with machines, and along with it comes a new paradigm for criminal action,” Pittman said. “With this capacity-building grant, Capitol is helping to map out this new and largely uncharted territory.”

As part of the federal grant, Capitol will also be providing an opportunity for young people to learn about brain machine interfaces as part of the university’s popular Cyber Saturday program, aimed at community college students. Sessionsi n February, March, and April will focus on BMIs.

“We’re going to introduce brain machine interfaces to students and have them engage in a variety of activities – controlling computers, playing games, and operating various devices,” Pittman explained. “We’ll also be teaching them about the cybersecurity aspects.”

Interested in learning more about BMI research at Capitol? Contact the cybersecurity program at cybersat@captechu.edu.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 16 Oct 2017

Building global internet access is an endeavor that betters the lives of billions, and the global communications firm OneWeb is helping to spearhead the effort.

Hank Tseu, a senior ground software architect at the firm, visited the Capitol Technology University on Tuesday (September 26) to discuss OneWeb’s plans to build the world’s largest satellite constellation in a bid to make affordable internet access available to everyone on the planet.

According to the company, “we’re applying advanced technologies such as cloud computing and big data to launch and operate the world’s largest satellite constellation. And by doing so, we will transform how the world interacts with the internet through affordable, ubiquitous access for all.”

Tseu was the keynote speaker at this fall’s Career Conference at Capitol, a twice-yearly event designed to help match companies and organizations with up-and-coming talent in the business and technology fields.

“We’re excited,” said associate director of career services Sarah Alspaw, who organized the event. “The skills and qualifications of our students happen to match OneWeb’s hiring needs closely, and we also believe students will be excited to hear about the company’s mission and the opportunities they might have to contribute.”

Firms like OneWeb depend on being able to recruit qualified engineers and technologists, and Capitol attracts these industries because of the degree programs offered at the university, including astronautical engineering and computer science, Alspaw said.

Industry is drawn to Capitol because of its ABET-accredited engineering programs and its designation as Center of Excellence in cybersecurity, and because of the practical experience that students at the university acquire early on, she said.

“They’re impressed by the hands-on projects that students are involved in here, such as the Cactus-1 satellite project, and by the fact that these projects are largely student-driven,” she said. “We enable our students to become leaders early on in their academic career, whereas at other schools that might not get that experience until their senior year.

Companies, Alspaw said, are also impressed by the Capitol Technology University Commitment, under which the school pledges that qualified graduates will be hired at competitive salaries within their fields within 90 days of graduation. Should that not happen, Capitol offers up to 36 undergraduate credits tuition-free.

“It shows we have great confidence in our programs and in the employability of our graduates,” she said. “Not many schools are willing to make that kind of commitment.”

To find out more about how Capitol connects businesses and organizations with qualified talent, contact Career Services at careers@captechu.edu


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