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Posted by raherschbach on 15 Feb 2018

Music plays in the background in a room full of quiet conversation. An occasional giggle breaks out as the students laugh at their artwork.

S-LAB, the student leadership advisory board at Capitol, is actively seeking to provide more events and activities for our student body this year. We recently checked out one of their regular events, Paint and Sip night. S-LAB is currently running the popular event twice a month, and we can see why. We walked away feeling happy, full, and relaxed.

There was plenty of food, from cheese and crackers, to fruit, to marshmallows, and various sparkling beverages for painters to enjoy. Attendees were able to choose from various sized canvases and a wide variety of colors to create their own mini masterpieces.

“Even if painting isn’t your thing, the ability to sit down with your friends for an unplugged activity can be a rare treat,” said director of student life and residential services, Brandi McKee. “You can come in and listen to music and meet new people while keeping your hands busy. It’s a fun time.”

Paint and Sip isn’t the only event S-LAB has brought to Capitol students this semester. In January, S-LAB held a lock-in event, with 70 to 80 students in attendance throughout the night. Students gathered in the library for video games, board games, and food in this all night event.

Also in January was S-LAB’s first annual Glow Party. This dance party was a big hit, with neon lights and a totally tubular 80’s theme.

So far in February they’ve brought us a game party, where students gathered to watch the big game on our big screen in the auditorium, and a silent library event, with competitive games based off of the hit MTV show.

Coming up, S-LAB is planning an improv day for February 23rd. This event will have improvisation-style games which students can participtate in, and should deliver lots of laughs for anyone who comes. Also in the works, a rescheduled Trivia Night with a game show feel.

S-LAB is striving to have more events available to students throughout each month. Some events have even seen the raffling off or giving away of Capitol swag to attendees.

To keep up with S-LAB events, check them out on Instagram at @captechu_slab. Those wanting to join in on the fun can also catch the next Paint and Sip night on February 20th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Room 266.



 

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 15 Feb 2018

Malware at the Olympics: cybersecurity pros weigh in

If it wasn’t clear already, the weekend news out of Pyeongchang demonstrates it once more: nothing is immune from cyber attacks.

An image of the Olympic ringsAs the opening ceremony got under way, the official website for the Winter Olympics went offline. WiFi networks in the Olympic stadium and the press center crashed. Attendees found themselves unable to print out tickets or locate event venues. Reporters had difficulty filing their stories.

The likely culprit? Sophisticated “wiper” malware that was dropped into the network using stolen credentials. Once in, the malware harvested other logins and passwords, hijacked Windows tools used to scan the system, ran scripts and commands, and hid its tracks by cleaning out system and security logs,

“The timing and the nature of the attack suggest that the intent was primarily to embarrass the organizers of the Games,” says Dr. Mary Margaret Chantré, cybersecurity professor at Capitol Technology University. “Unlike many other cyber attacks, this one was not about theft of money or data. Rather, it appears intended to cause disruption and make problems for people during a high-visibility moment at the Olympics.”

On Monday (February 12), researchers from Cisco Talos Intelligence reported that the incident was likely carried out by someone with in-depth knowledge of the Pyeongchang network.

Those responsible “knew a lot of technical details of the Olympic Game infrastructure such as username, domain name, server name, and obviously password," wrote the researchers, Warren Mercer and Paul Rascagneres.

In addition to creating headaches and a potential public relations fiasco, the attackers may have had another motive, Chantre says. “The attack may also have been a way of demonstrating capabilities – of telling the world 'look what we are able to do. We can get into your networks and take them offline.'"

Want to help unmask cyber adversaries and fight attacks such as the Pyeongchang network breach? Consider enrolling in a cybersecurity degree program at Capitol Technology University. Capitol is an DHS and NSA-certified Center of Excellence in cybersecurity education, offering programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. For more information, contact the cybersecurity program at cybersat@captechu.edu

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Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 14 Feb 2018

For financial strategists and decision makers, the big data revolution can be a double-edged sword.

data analytics financeMore and more information is available, coming from an exponentially growing array of sources – but capturing it isn’t an easy task. Old-school solutions just can’t keep up with the influx.

Important data that should be driving financial decision-making can come from social media, real-time market feeds, customer feedback, sales reports, or clickstream data from websites.

The information can be broad in nature, pointing to general trends. It can also be business-specific – for example, data on the number of patients with a particular type of insurance, or data about how much of a certain product was purchased online, as opposed to a brick-and-mortar store.

Processing all this information requires more than a spreadsheet. Increasingly, businesses are recognizing the need for trained business analysts and data scientists who understand how to differentiate the signal from the noise.

Dr. Michael Fain, Director of Doctoral Programs“Numbers and data should drive financial decisions that administrators make for the mission, vision, and value of their respective organizations,” says Dr. Michael Fain, director of doctoral programs at Capitol Technology University. The university offers business analytics degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, designed to provide students at different phases of their careers with the tools they need to organize big data and recommend strategies for success.

Capitol’s technical master’s in business administration in business analytics and data science program is offered 100% online and caters to working professionals. All of the classes for the business analytics and decision sciences PhD program are also offered 100% online, with a short residency requirement for completion.

 “We teach you how to take data, or numbers, and plug these numbers in to help leadership come up with a strategic plan,” Dr. Fain said.

“Data and business analytics is the degree right now,” he said. “It is cutting edge. It subscribes to best practices. And I think that whatever formulas leaders have used to guide their strategic plans, whether it be for one year or five years, it’s not been until they’ve started using these concepts and paradigms involving data analytics that we can really see some substance in terms of decisions that are made.”

Our world today is data-driven. The company that isn’t taking advantage of that data is going to fall behind the one that is. Becoming the financial resource that companies need is no longer only about having the business knowledge and financial skills to recommend smart company practices. Today, you need to know analytics.

With a degree from Capitol, you’ll be equipped with that knowledge. Want to learn more? Request information on our graduate programs here, or click here to learn more about our bachelor’s degree program.

 

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 13 Feb 2018

It’s no secret: in today’s economy, tech fields have the strongest momentum.

And schools like Capitol Technology University, with its 90-year track record in technology education, are equipping a new generation of students to harness that momentum and build stable, rewarding careers.

“We were doing technology education decades before it became mainstream,” says Dr. Bradford L. Sims, who took the helm as Capitol’s president in 2017. “We started out in 1927 as a radio institute and trained thousands of radiomen who went on to serve in World War II. After the war, we were there for the many veterans who wanted to make the most of the GI bill and launch careers in electronics and engineering. Our focus all along has been on providing educational opportunities in tech fields.”

Fast-forward to the 21st century, and those fields are dominating the economy. A Bureau of Labor Statistics report released in 2017 found that STEM occupations are growing at a rate double that of other fields – 10.5% between 2009 and 2015, compared to 5.2% in non-STEM fields.

“Colleges and universities, many of which did not pay any special heed to tech, are now busy regrouping to keep up with the trend,” Dr. Sims notes. “At Capitol, though, it’s what we’ve been doing all along.”

While technology programs are starting to proliferate in the academic marketplace, Capitol’s decades-long history provides an important asset: with long experience comes a surer understanding of how to teach technology in a way that best prepares students.

“Anyone can put out a shingle and claim to be training students how to do tech,” says Dr. Helen  G. Barker, chief academic officer and vice president for academic affairs. “But do they necessarily know how to teach it effectively, in a way that has tangible impact on career prospects?”

“At Capitol, our institutional expertise has helped us identify approaches that work,” she said. “We’ve responded to successive technological innovations – from radio at the start of the 20th century, through the electronics and telecommunications booms, and into today’s digital era. Through this experience, we’ve been able to identify some of the fundamental attributes of successful technology education.”

Those lessons are encapsulated in an approach dubbed The Capitol Way. Put simply, the Capitol Way means an emphasis on applied learning as well as theory.

Students don’t simply learn concepts out of book, or draw up abstract diagrams of how things are supposed to function. They get down to work on real-life projects – including satellite payloads and engineering innovations.

“Although the Capitol Way goes back many decades, the research that is coming out today strongly confirms the value of our approach,” Barker notes.

In 2015, for instance, a 2015 Association of American Colleges and Universities survey that assessed the ability of colleges and universities to keep up with current economic trends. “Employers strongly endorse an emphasis on applied learning and view student work on applied learning projects as valuable preparation for work,” the AACU said in a summary of the findings.”

Taken together, the trends have put Capitol – for years a small “niche” university, with a student population of under 1,000 – on a path to robust expansion: this year alone, the school is launching an array of new programs, including cyber analytics (undergraduate and graduate), mechatronics engineering, unmanned and autonomous systems, and Technical MBA degrees in cybersecurity as well as in business analytics and data science.

Meanwhile, for students aspiring to undertake high-level technology research, Capitol has unveiled a PhD in Technology, whicy can be tailored to a variety of specific technological fields.

“We feel we have developed a successful model for educating people to become skilled professionals across a wide array of technical and engineering fields,” Dr. Sims says. “With these fields continuing to burgeon for the foreseeable future, institutions like Capitol have an increasingly prominent role to play in the higher education arena.”
 

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 9 Feb 2018

Soren Ashmall is well-known to students in Capitol Technology University’s business programs for his dynamic teaching methods, employing multimedia and even music to reinforce the concepts he is teaching. In addition to being a professor, Ashmall is also deeply involved in the development of new programs at the university, in his role as Associate Director of Master’s Programs and Assessment. We spoke with Professor Ashmall about his academic vocation, his goals and priorities, and some of the activities – both professional and personal – that engage him.

How did you become involved in higher education?

It’s been part of my life from the beginning – literally. I grew up in Ann Arbor, where my mother was a professor at the University of Michigan. My grandfather was the deputy director of the university hospital, where I was born. The university campus was my playground. The law library was where I studied. If my mom was teaching evening classes, I’d grab a meal at the student union. The educational arena, for me, has always felt like home.

Although much of my adult life has been outside of academia, including a 22-year career as a Marine Corps officer and later a corporate executive, I’ve kept up my connection with education – teaching in enrichment programs or as adjunct faculty. It’s something I keep coming back to.

A few years ago, after a successful stint at a major government contractor, I found myself considering the next phase of my career – where I wanted to be, what I wanted to accomplish. After much self-reflection, I recognized that I’ve had an abiding connection to higher education, one that I’ve wanted to explore more fully.

What are some of your goals and priorities with regard to academic programs at Capitol?

My goal is to help the university grow and flourish. Not just survive, but survive and thrive. The way we do that is by creating new programs and degrees that meet emerging needs in our technology-driven economy, and in so doing bring in new students that might not have looked at us before. In this way we remain true to our STEM foundation, which goes back to Capitol’s origins in 1927, while adding new layers.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) recently recognized you for your leadership in its Games and Simulation Network. Could you tell us more about interest in this area?

As a business professor at Capitol, I’ve brought simulations into the classes I teach. These are designed to give students practical experience with the material we cover in class, so that they’re not just learning passively but actually applying what they’ve learned. Some put you in the role of a CEO. In others, you might be part of a team that runs a small coffee house.  In my role in the ISTE, I’ve been able to share our experiences at Capitol, while also hearing about what other schools have been doing.

There is a great deal of discussion today about the importance of teaching technology, but a crucial part of the discussion is about how technology is taught. The old-school method is to stick a bunch of students in a room and bore them with PowerPoints. But seeing a technology explained on a PowerPoint isn’t the same as learning to use it. Simulations not only offer students a more engaging learning environment, but they provide a way to make the critical leap from concept to practice.

You are Capitol Technology University’s representative at the Fort Meade Alliance (FMA). What is the purpose of the Alliance and how is Capitol involved?

Fort Meade is the headquarters of the NSA and the US Cyber Command, and home to 116 federal agencies and military commands. It’s Maryland’s largest employer. The Fort Meade Alliance is an independent community organization that supports the organizations hosted at Ft. Meade, as well as the personnel stationed there, and helps bring about partnerships among stakeholders, including small and large businesses as well as educational institutions.

For Capitol, FMA membership is one of the ways in which we integrate with our community and nurture connections with businesses and organizations in the area. As a local university with a technology emphasis and a 90-year track record of academic support for our nation’s service men and women, we’re in a position to help provide educational opportunities for military personnel at Ft. Meade.

Outside of professional and academic life, what are some of your activities and interests?

Singing has been one of my activities since a very young age, both as part of choirs, and as a soloist. Currently, I’m a member of two different choirs in the greater DC area, and I also enjoy going to watch performing arts. I’m a strong advocate of the view that the arts and sciences go together and reinforce each other.

I also enjoy traveling and exploring new places – and also exploring places I’ve been to before and seeing what’s new. I go back to Ann Arbor periodically and there’s always a new business open, or something new on the campus. Exploration isn’t always about where you go – it’s about the spirit in which you go there.

 

 


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