Posted by raherschbach on 30 May 2017

With cyber threats increasing both in variety and volume, the need for building up the cybersecurity workforce through education and training has never been greater. Capitol is getting the word out about the university’s cutting edge cybersecurity programs by participating in key industry events, such as this year’s National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, Alabama.

Organizers describe the event, to be held from June 6-8, as “the preeminent event for cyber training, education and workforce development aimed at protecting our nation’s infrastructure from the ever-evolving cyber threat.” It is expected to draw thousands of attendees, including representatives of the healthcare, automotive, and energy as well as the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

“The event features educational training sessions, technical and management presentations, and keynote addresses from world-class speakers in the field of cybersecurity,” director of graduate admissions Xavier Richards said. “It’s an opportunity for Capitol to engage individuals within that arena, and to showcase what we have to offer as an NSA and DHS-designated Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) in cybersecurity education.”

“Capitol was invited to this event specifically because of our CAE designation,” Richards said. “Having that CAE designation is very significant. It’s the gold standard for academic programs in the field.”

“Students look for the CAE designation when they are considering their choice of schools, because they know it will unlock greater opportunities for them. They know the level of education they receive will be more reflective of emerging trends and the current standards, and that they will be taught by the very best,” Richards said.

Capitol Technology University offers bachelor's and master's degrees in Cyber and Information Security as well as a doctorate in cybersecurity. Numerous post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also available, including in Digital Forensics and Incident Handling, Information Assurance Administration, Network Protection, Secure Cloud Computing, Secure Mobile Technology, Secure Software Development and Security Management. The doctoral program in cybersecurity, launched in 2010, was one of the first of its kind in the nation.

The university received its initial CAE designation in 2003, and was re-designated in 2009. In 2014, Capitol received a further re-designation until 2021.


Posted by raherschbach on 25 May 2017

Cybersecurity professionals will gather at the Information Assurance Symposium (IAS) in Baltimore from June 19-21 to exchange knowledge and strategize ways of addressing today's emerging cyber threats. Capitol representatives will be on hand to inform participants about the university's pioneering programs in the field, including master's and doctoral programs that are offered online and tailored to working professionals.

"This is a very exciting event for us to be attending," said Xavier A. Richards, director of graduate recruitment. "It's hosted by the NSA and will have cybersecurity leaders, decision-makers and practictioners in attendance. The NSA has also invited international cybersecurity experts to this event, so participants will be engaging a global perspective."

During the symposium, Richards and her colleagues will help get the word out about the university's undergraduate and graduate programs in cybersecurity and the career-boosting opportunities that come with a Capitol degree. Capitol offers bachelor's and master's degrees in Cyber and Information Security as well as a doctorate in cybersecurity. Numerous post-baccaulaureate certificate programs are also available, including in Digital Forensics and Incident Handling, Information Assurance Administration, Network Protection, Secure Cloud Computing, Secure Mobile Technology, Secure Software Development and Security Management.

“One of the really outstanding things about our programs is the quality of our curriculum," Richards said. "It's practical and industry-oriented, with students gaining exposure both to theory and labs. We enable professionals to advance their skill sets and become thought leaders in their fields, addressing some of the most pressing concerns in the cybersecurity arena."

The master's and doctoral level programs are designed to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals. Like all of Capitol's graduate degrees, these programs are offered online, utilizing a real-time, synchronous learning platform that replicates classroom conditions -- without requiring a commute.

"Our programs are very flexible," Richards said. "Professionals at all career stages can take our classes from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a computer connected to the internet. It's a very unique way to balance school and work and be able to do both at the same time."

Capitol was one of the first institutions of higher education in the country to offer graduate-level degrees in cybersecurity, as well as one of the first to offer cybersecurity degrees online. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated the university as a Center for Academic Excellence (CAE).

“Having that CAE designation is very significant. It’s the gold standard for academic programs in the field,” Richards said.

"Students look for the CAE designation when they are considering their choice of schools, because they know it will unlock greater opportunities for them. They know the level of education they receive will be more reflective of emerging trends and the current standards, and that they will be taught by the very best,” Richards said.

Over 2,500 practitioners and leaders in the field are expected to attend the IAS, held annually by the National Security Agency's Information Assurance Directorate. Through a series of presentations, panel discussions, and training sessions, attendees will gain a thorough overview of emerging developments in this critical field.

The IAS will be held June 19-21 at the Washington Convention Center. More information here.


Posted by raherschbach on 11 May 2017

Capitol Technology University is pleased to announce that Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) scholarships are being funded this year for the Fall 2017-18 school year. This scholarship program is available to students at designated Centers of Excellence in cybersecurity education, including Capitol.

Students chosen for this prestigious opportunity receive full scholarship packages including undergraduate or graduation tuition as well as a stipend ($22,000 undergraduate and $30,000 graduate) for room and board. In exchange, for each year that they receive the scholarship recipients agree to provide one year of paid cybersecurity work for the federal government after graduation.

Full-time students entering their third or fourth years of undergraduate education; students in their first or second year of a master’s degree program; and students pursuing doctoral degrees are eligible to apply. Note current DoD/Federal Civilians, Active Duty Military (Active Guard and Reserves), and students who currently have a service obligation are not eligible.You must apply through the university. The deadline for completed IASP applications is 15 May 2017. Completed applications must be submitted with official transcripts and 2 letters of reference from faculty or employers. Capitol will interview all applicants the week of 22-26 May 2017. Notification of selection will be made to students on 29 May 2017. The selected student list will be forwarded to NSA by the deadline of 31 May 2017. NSA will make the final selections by 1 August 2017.

Completed applications should be received at the following locations by midnight 15 May 2017:

The IASP student application instructions are located here. (Appendix C)

The IASP Application is here. (Appendix D)

Assistance for Students

Resume workshop: assistance:

Review times: 5/11 from 5pm-6pm EST and 5/12 from 4pm-5pm EST. To reach the Career Services department, e-mail or phone 240-965-2494. Make sure to leave a message.

Email Address


Posted by raherschbach on 11 May 2017

Professor, Astronautical Engineering

Project Hermes, a student-led endeavor that investigates command and control of satellites using the TCP-IP protocol, originated with an idea put forward by Capitol professor Rishabh Maharaja while teaching a class at the university. Since then, Maharaja has gone on to serve as principal investigator and mentor for the project, which will be included with the Cactus-1 payload scheduled for launch by NASA in late 2017.

Maharaja holds a master’s degree in Astronautical engineering from Capitol and has served on the faculty since graduation. He is deputy flight operations team lead for the EO-1 mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He spoke with Capitol Chronicle about the genesis of Hermes, its mission, and the ways in which it brings together students from multiple disciplines.

What is Project Hermes? What does it aim to accomplish?

The goal of Project Hermes is to research TCP-IP based satellite buses. It brings together astronautical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science – thus reflecting different facets of Capitol. Students from these different disciplines come together to work on a single goal, namely the design of a TCP-IP based bus architecture. Eventually, we’re hoping to add cybersecurity and business students to the team.

This project also demonstrates the link between the classroom experience and the collaborative learning experience represented by student projects. I originally came up with the concept for Project Hermes while teaching Introduction to Space during 2013, and I then mentored the student team as it turned that concept into a reality.

What makes this project unique?

It provides a proof of concept that allows for the use of commercial, off-the-shelf gear such as Android phones or WiFi modems in commanding and controlling satellites. In 2015 the TCP-IP based bus was successfully demonstrated on a Sound Rocket Flight based out of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. In 2015 Team Hermes was able to established a Wi-Fi network in space for system bus use, pair an Android smartphone in space to an Iridium-based Wi-Fi hotspot device, utilize the Iridium constellation for communication with the payload, use and program various applications available on the Google Play store to function as our Flight Software, and use TCP/IP devices (smartphone and smartwatch) on the ground as our Telemetry & Command System.

The low earth orbit flight on CACTUS-1 will allow team Hermes to demonstrate the use of Iridium constellation for a satellite-satellite link and to use the tracking data provided by Iridium for determining an orbit.

What are some of the specific roles assigned to team members from different fields?

The astronautical engineering students generally look at the satellite as a system; they determine what it needs in order to function. The electrical engineering students are responsible for devising the power scheme – how the satellite is going to be powered, and what it needs to do in order to remain power-positive and functional. They put together the battery and the solar panels – whatever is required in order for the system to work. The computer science students do the programming. They work with the astronautical engineers to determine what the payload needs in order to function, and then they develop flight software that corresponds to those needs.

In the future, we’ll have cybersecurity students whose role will be to protect assets and keep them from being hacked. We’ll also bring business students on board to oversee budgeting, allocation of hours, and other managerial tasks.

What do you see as the main benefits for students from working on a project of this nature?

They have the opportunity to work on a multidisciplinary team. They come to the table offering something that their course curriculum teaches, and then when they work with other course curricula, they learn concepts and skills that are associated with those fields. In this way, their knowledge expands.

Say I’m a business major, for example, and I find myself working with electrical engineering majors. I’ll learn something about where electrical engineering fits into the project, and this in turn can strengthen my business perspective.

What is unique about Capitol in terms of our ability to provide opportunities for interdisciplinary education? What makes us well-poised to offer these opportunities?

We always encourage student growth and exploration. In my Introduction to Space class, for instance, I often have students who are taking it as an elective. They may be electrical engineering, computer engineering, or computer science majors, and they are in the class because they want to learn something about space. Capitol allows them to take courses such as this as electives. The university in general encourages students to “think outside the box” – it’s part of our institutional culture. We’re always glad to see students investigating something that is different and at the same time related to their primary area of focus.

Students are also encouraged to come up with concepts, develop them into projects, and form multidisciplinary teams. Hermes is just one example of such a project. Various other astronautical engineering projects such as CACTUS-1 and TrapSAT also encourage inter-disciplinary collaboration.

You’ve been instrumental in the launch of Capitol’s new Space Flight Operations Training Center (SFOTC), the successor to the Space Operations Institute. How does the SFOTC foster interdisciplinary education?

As a professional flight operator, I can tell you that working with people from different disciplines is very much part of what goes on in the real world. The SFOTC, with its simulator and telemetry software, will encourage this because it will allow students from different disciplines to see how a spacecraft is flown. The SFOTC will be integrated into a variety of courses offered by the astronautical engineering program, and many of these classes will be open to students from other fields.



Posted by raherschbach on 11 May 2017

A proposal to cut energy costs and improve the student experience through improved lighting at Capitol has won the Climate Change competition sponsored by the university’s engineering department. The event was intended to raise awareness among students about the ways in which engineering solutions can be used to remedy environmental problems.

Sophia Laschiavo, Amanda Taylor, and Dean Zinetti received the top prize for their entry, which demonstrated the benefits of switching from incandescent tube lighting to an LED system. 

“The goal is to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and lower the cost of lighting and electricity,” said Zinetti, the team leader. “The easiest way to do that is to change from tube lights to LED lighting.”

“We built a physical display that included both LED lights and incandescent lights, and used a lumen meter to show the difference in luminosity. And then we used kilowatt devices to show the amperage and wattage of each set of lights. That way you can see the difference in power consumption,” he said.

“Both sets of lights use 120 volts at 60 herz, but the wattage consumption is greatly different. For the same wattage, the luminosity is two thirds greater with the LEDs. We also showed examples of other schools making the switch, and how this not only led to cost savings but had health benefits for the students,” Zinetti said.

Competing teams presented their entries during the Jump Start Juniors event at Capitol on May 5, providing the high school students in attendance with a window into the role engineers can play in addressing issues of wide societal impact.

One of the goals was to show young people that they can make a difference by brainstorming ideas and then developing them into practical projects, said Dr. Nayef Abu-Ageel, chair of the electrical engineering program at Capitol.

“We want students to take an active role and point the way forward to other students,” he said. “It’s important for young engineers to know that they can do something about environmental issues, and indeed any number of issues that are of  importance to the community.”

Funding for the Climate Change competition was provided by the National Science Foundation via the Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education Assessment Research (MADECLEAR) program.