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Danielle Faison

Education: BS in Computer Science from James Madison University MS in Internet Engineering from Capitol College MS in Information Assurance from Capitol College Currently pursuing Dsc in Information Assurance from Capitol College

Currently Teaching: Introduction to Information Assurance Concepts Secure Data Communications and Cryptography

Teaching at Capitol since: 2003

Why did you first become a professor? I was working in distance learning and I was approached by the department chair for math and computer science to teach math here. I’ve always liked math, and I was excited about the opportunity to teach a subject that I really like and enjoy.

What is your favorite part of being a professor? Really just engaging the minds of students and challenging them beyond where they think their abilities are. And also learning from them. When the students come here from high school, a lot of their learning was based on acronyms for remembering math concepts. When I was in school we didn’t have a lot of those acronyms, but they’re useful for this generation and it’s fun for me to learn them now.

Why Capitol? What makes it different? Capitol is small and innovative. I always see ourselves as a little MIT. We’re technical and even though we’re small we’re able to do a lot of big things. When new technology comes out, we’re often able to be right on the cutting edge of it, because we’re small and it doesn’t take as many channels to start up a new program. When I originally worked in distance learning, we were on the cutting edge of voice over Internet protocol and as far as the information assurance degree, we were the first to offer a network security degree.

How has your career prior to teaching affected your teaching? How important has your experience been? I think I draw upon all the knowledge I’ve gained throughout the years. That includes everything I’ve studied and all the jobs that I’ve had. Even the extracurricular things I’ve done. I’ve been a choir director for children, adults, senior adults, so I feel that being able to interact with individuals of different age levels is a big help. Having the computer science degree also really improved my math background.

What are some of your proudest academic/professional achievements? I am definitely proud of my first MS degree, because I obtained that after being out of the workforce for a while raising children. That helped me bring my knowledge to what was current with technology.

I’m proud of the time I spent with distance learning. I still think we do have one of the best distance learning platforms around. Our students typically like the synchronous platform.

Now being offered the department chair of information assurance is really exciting, because it’s a new area that is of major concern to the government. The importance of this role as the department chair is to make sure we’re matching the needs of the government and industry so that our students are prepared for meeting the workforce’s needs. Actually, I’m really proud of the Capitol students for competing in the last Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work? What is something your students might not know about you?

Definitely music. In addition to being a choir director, I also lead a group of jazz musicians. You’ll see us from time to time playing at Capitol’s graduation and other Capitol special events. That’s what I typically do now on my down time. Now I’m also writing a whole lot with the doctorate degree program.