Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 9 Feb 2016

 

CAPITOL TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY

Position Description:
Administrative Assistant
Full-time 12-month, Exempt Position


 

POSITION SUMMARY:

Capitol Technology University, a nonprofit university located in Laurel, Maryland seeks an Administrative Assistant to perform secretarial and administrative work of a complex nature for the Director of Human Resources and Administration to include, but not limited to: general office functions, scheduling, database entry, Excel spreadsheet creation, data analysis and formatting of data reports, assisting with various University events, and other duties as assigned.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The following are the primary duties and responsibilities:
•    Composes and prepares routine correspondence for signature.
•    Independently prepares recurring reports for signature.
•    Answers the phone, provides information and receives information concerning matters related to the departments.
•    Maintains a calendar and does the necessary scheduling while assuring that complete information is available for all matters.

•    Assists with human resources records by recording new hires, transfers, terminations, changes in job classifications, merit increases; tracking vacation, sick, and personal time.

•    Maintains student workers’ schedules for the department.
•    Establishes and maintains a variety of files and records.

•    Orders various supplies on an ad-hoc basis.
•    Attend meetings of committees of the college to take notes, transcribe and distribute to committee members in a timely manner.

•    Assist with the planning of graduation.
•    Arranges for meetings and conferences, visits, travel, etc.
•    Maintains files of matters in progress and follow-up to insure that all action items are efficiently completed.
•    Complete purchase orders and payment requests and maintain financial records.
•    Coordinates office functions, as needed, with other departments.
•    Monthly reconciliation of all HR and Administrative budgets.
•    Supports HR and Administration budgets and finance.
•    Skilled in Excel spreadsheet creation and usage.
•    Assist with preparing documents/letters, packets of information, and presentations.

•    Format data from surveys and database queries and distribute to key staff.
•    Performs such other duties as may be assigned.
 

POSITION QUALIFICATIONS:
•    BS/BA in Business Administration preferred.
•    Two or more years of professional experience general office practices and administrative assistant duties/responsibilities.
•    Must have a strong knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and ability to both learn and effectively operate the Jenzabar database.
•    Must have exceptional communication skills.
•    Able to work independently and proactive thinking/planning.
•    Must be able to maintain confidential information.
•    Must have a customer service focus and positive disposition.
•    Must be mission focused.
•    Must be able to adapt, learn new tasks/duties/assignments and be flexible.
 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Requires sitting occasionally for extended periods of time, and repetitive motions for operating computer mouse and keyboard.  Hearing and effectively communicating on the telephone. Ability to lift, pulls, bends, grasp, occasionally lift up to 20 lbs., reach top of four-drawer file cabinet. Visual demands: Computer monitor and reading.

REVIEW PROCESS:
An initial set of three month, six month, and one year goals will be established that directly relate to the work with the respective Director of Human Resources that will be reviewed to and agreed upon. The goals, in addition to this job description outlining the duties and qualifications, will be reviewed within three months, six months and then yearly.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 5 Feb 2016

Over winter break I had a chance to finally catch up on a few of my backlogged piles of magazines I subscribe to but never seem to get read.

One of them is The Atlantic. Last August's edition (yes, I was that far behind) contains an interesting piace by Joe Fassler, who asserts that reading literary fiction can make you a more empathetic person.

The essay, "How Literature Inspires Empathy," is part of an ongoing series, "By Heart," in which noted authors discuss their favorite literary works. Fassler referenced Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany and his desire to write “living” novels that connect with readers, after his own experience reading and deeply connecting with Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The House of the Dead.

Fassler writes:

Literature gives us a broad spectrum of human possibilities. It teaches us how to feel other people's suffering. When you read a good novel, you forget about the nationality of the character. You forget about his or her religion. You forget about his skin color or her skin color. You only understand the human. You understand that this is a human being, the same way we are. And so reading great novels absolutely can remake us as much better human beings.

This isn’t the first time a connection has been drawn between reading fiction and empathy. A quick Google search shows that, in 2013, Scientific American published an article entitled “Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy,“ by Jullianne Chiaet.

Chaet argues that “the types of books we read may affect how we relate to others." She notes a study in which researchers at New York City’s New School “found evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling."

Results provided researchers with an interesting conclusion: not all fiction is alike in its ability to foster empathy. There is a key difference mainstream genre fiction and literary fiction. In the former, characters are rarely presented in depth; the most important thing is their role in the plot. In the latter, the writer often attempts to convey the character's inner life along with external actions. As Chaet notes, literary fiction “prompts the reader to imagine the characters’ introspective dialogues."

Are you a regular reader of fiction? What is your take on the topic? Do you believe that reading literature can makie you more empathetic? What kinds of fiction do you prefer?

And don’t forget that here at the library, we offer a monthly book club which reads a mix of genre and literary fiction. We also have a fiction collection that is available for borrowers. We offer a mix of new, popular and classic titles, including works by Dostoyevsky. Amazon.com offers a list of the most popular and widely read authors of classic literature and fiction, and we have several titles by these authors on our shelves.

Stop by to browse or ask one of the library aides with help finding a title that interests you, and feel free to contact us with any suggested reading titles: library@captechu.edu.

The articles referenced in this blog post can be read online for free. Details below:

Chiaet, J. (2013, October 4). Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy. Retrieved January 13, 2016, from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/novel-finding-reading-literary-fiction-improves-empathy/.

Fassler, J. (2015, August 1). How Literature Inspires Empathy. Retrieved January 14, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/08/by-heart-joe-fassler-egygtian-alaa-al-aswany-dostoyevsky/401549

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 3 Feb 2016

Faculty, students and the general public are invited as doctoral student Robert Henry Flowers defends his dissertation on Thursday (February 4) at 7:30 PM.The event will be held on campus in the Puente Library Conference Room and can also be accessed remotely via Capitol's distance learning platform.

Mr. Flowers' dissertation is titled Impact of CISCO and Linux Firewall Protections on Data Exfitration via IPV4 Network Steganography. Dr. Warren Lerner is the faculty advisor. Abstract below:

Osama bin Laden’s alleged use of steganographic techniques to plan the September 11, 2001 attacks and the use of file-based steganography by Russian spies in 2010 were relatively primitive as compared to the newest network steganography variants. State-of-the-art protocol, timing channel, and parity based network steganography methods are nearly undetectable. Further, scholars posited the latest security appliances and software provide insufficient protections against data exfiltration using network steganography. The experiments conducted within this study revealed the assertions made by network steganography scholars were correct. Those results confirmed the security appliance and software studied were unable to detect, prevent, or demonstrate a statistically significant difference in outbound covert channels with an alpha of 0.05. The Cohen’s D effect sizes for the Cisco ASA-5505 (-.025391) and the Linux IPTABLES firewall (-.024281) were far below the low range for effect size. Pearson’s correlation coefficients (0.013 and 0.012 respectively) indicated the absence of a negative correlation between the independent variable (firewall defensive posture) and the dependent variable (steganographic bits successfully exfiltrated).

For the remote session, follow this link: https://capitol.adobeconnect.com/_a1141159107/defense/

 

 

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 29 Jan 2016

By Sarah Alspaw, Assistant Director of Career Services and Graduate Student Support

As a Capitol Technology University student, your skills and academic credentials give you an edge in today's technology-focused job market. To make the most of your potential, though, you'll want to seek out opportunities to connect with employers.

Capitol's Career Fair is just such an opportunity. It will be held on February 12th in the McGowan Building from 10 AM to 1 PM, and is a requirement for all students in order to be eligible for our Job Guarantee.

This event is not limited to students only; all members of the community are also invited to attend. Just make sure to dress in business professional attire and bring an extra copy of your resume.

Want to know more about now to prepare for the Career Fair? Click here for a newsletter published recently by the Career Services department. It includes tips for success along with other information designed to help prepare you for the job hunt.

i am also offering workshops and hosting open office hours for résumé reviews to help you get ready.

Prepare for the Fair workshop:

1/29 3-4pm http://capitol.adobeconnect.com/p4cf/
2/9 noon-1:30 in room C 266

Open office hours for résumé reviews:

2/4 11am-1pm in Student Life Suite
2/10 10am-11am in Student Life Suite

Bring a printed copy or your resume with you. See this webinar for an overview of resume writing: http://capitol.adobeconnect.com/p8na4h6y6lj/

Spring 2016 Job Search Club dates:

Looking for a job or internship? Job Search club meets weekly and will give you a chance to work with me and with your peers to actively seek internships or full time positions. You are also welcome to bring your resume for review during this session.

January 29th 10am-noon
February 5th 10am-noon
Location: L102 the library classroom

There will be an information session provided by 780th Military Intelligence Brigade following the Career Fair from 1:30-2:30pm in M101 (the Technology Lyceum in McGowan) on February 12, 2016, directly following the Career Fair. If you would like additional information about this workshop, please follow this link.

Want to see which employers will be attending the Career Fair? Follow this link, and then click on “participants."

Also, we have a cool new feature this year.  There is an app called 'Careers by Symplicity' that will allow you to see upcoming events and jobs on our online job board. For instructions on how to download the app, follow this link.

Unfortunately, I am no longer available to meet one-on-one with students before the Career Fair, because I am finalizing the logistics for the event. However, I strongly encourage you to attend one of the open office hour resume reviews. Please email careers@captechu.edu for information on alternative opportunities if you are unable to attend those open office hours.

I look forward to seeing you at the Career Fair.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 20 Jan 2016

With computer models in agreement on the potential for a major snow event impacting the DC area starting Friday, students at Capitol Technology University are being urged to keep a close eye on weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Students should "monitor the weather and know when the storm is expected to start, and be aware that there’s high potential for prolonged power outages in the area," dean of student life and retention Melinda Bunnell-Rhyne told Capitology.

As of Wednesday (January 20), all of the major forecasting models -- including the GFS, the European model and the Canadian model -- were predicting double-digit totals over the weekend, the Washington Post reported on its weather blog, Capitol Weather Gang.

"The agreement among forecast models for a severe winter storm in this case is remarkable and a hallmark of some of our most memorable snow events," Post weather bloggers Jason Samenow and Wes Junker wrote. How the storm plays out depends on the track it follows, with deviations possibly leading to reduced precipitation or a changeover to rain. Heavy snow, however, is considered the most probable scenario, with flakes starting to fall Friday morning or afternoon.

With this in mind, residential students at Capitol may want to consider going home for the weekend -- and leaving as early as Thursday night, Bunnell-Rhyne said.

"We’ve recommended that residential students consider going home during the weather event. They should consider leaving on Thursday night and make sure that they are safely at their destination before the snow hits," she said.

However, the university does have equipment and procedures in place for those who choose to stay at Capitol.

"In the event of a power outage we have generators on campus. Students will be evacuated to buildings that have heat," Bunnell-Rhyne said.

In a letter sent out Tuesday, the Office of Student Life advised students staying in the area to make an emergency kit that includes warm clothing and blankets, non-perishable food that does not require being heated up, and three gallons of water. Shuttle times could become erratic once the storm hits, so shopping should be completed prior to Friday.

The on-campus guest policy will be suspended as of 10:30 pm on Thursday (January 21) for the duration of the storm.

It is unknown at this time whether Monday classes on campus will be affected. Updates will be posted on the Capitol website, Facebook and Twitter.

Graduate classes, which are held online, will proceed as scheduled.

For more information, contact residencelife@CapTechU.edu. Additional suggestions for storm preparation can be found at http://www.nws.noaa.gov and http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

 

 

 

 

 

Alumni Profile: Adam Meyer

When the existing ways of doing things aren’t yielding the desired results, find a better way. With current cyber defenses continuing to be outpaced by threats, cybersecurity professionals are seeking out new paradigms that will help them better fulfill their mandate.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 15 Jan 2016

A decade and a half ago, a small college in Laurel, MD launched one of the nation’s first programs in cybersecurity. That college is now Capitol Technology University, and cyber continues to be one of its flagship disciplines, attracting students at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels.

As the program gets ready to mark its 15th anniversary this October, we asked chairperson Bill Butler for his thoughts on how the field – and Capitol’s program – is evolving.

What key developments are shaping cyber at Capitol?

There are three main trends that impact our program. One is cloud computing. We’re creating new courses tailored to this area, including one on virtualized infrastructure. A second big trend is the Internet of Things (IoT). Everybody’s talking about the IoT now and asking how it will affect us from a cybersecurity perspective. And the answer right now is that we don’t know. What we do know is that everything from your FitBit to your refrigerator is becoming a thing on the Internet, capturing data and reporting it to a database. What we, as educators, have to do is figure out how to understand these devices and their vulnerabilities, and understand how to protect them. They are very limited in their ability to protect themselves and the data that they capture. It’s a challenge and we are addressing that in our curriculum.

The third trend is the growth of Wireless 4G wireless networks. These are the wireless networks that your cell phone relies upon for connectivity. Until recently, manufacturers, app developers and consumers paid relatively little attention to security issues. That’s changing. Smart phones are, in effect, computers that fit in the palm of your hand. Like any other computer, they can be hacked. Malicious adversaries know this. There are devices out there that can capture your cell phone number and location, or compromise your cell phone in innumerable ways. Here, too, we are revamping parts of our curriculum to address this rapidly emerging threat.

This is a special year for the cybersecurity program. Will there be any activities to mark the occasion?

This is the fifteenth year of cybersecurity program here at Capitol. We were one of the first in the nation to recognize cybersecurity as a discipline, with a separate degree from computer science. In commemoration of the anniversary – which takes place in October -- we plan to bring back the founders of the program and recognize them for being so forward-thinking. Prior to October, we’ll have other events and activities as well. Cybersecurity has been the most successful degree program at Capitol over the past 20 years; our goal is to continue growing it and evolving it in response to the threats that are out there.

Fifteen years ago, we offered one of the only cybersecurity programs in the nation. Since then, the field has burgeoned and prospective students now have many options to choose from. How do we maintain our edge?

We’re different from our competitors. Our program is extremely practical and hands-on. Students who attend other programs may come out with a wealth of knowledge about cybersecurity, yet freeze up when confronted with real-world scenarios. Graduates of Capitol’s programs are ready to enter the real-world environment from day one because they’ve been trained for that from Day One.

This is a field where being able to do the job in crunch situations counts more than theoretical knowledge or the name-brand recognition of the school you went to. Employers in the field, whether public or private sector, are familiar with the caliber of Capitol graduates and that makes for a competitive edge for our students during the hiring process. Our strongest recruitment tool continues to be word of mouth. Alumni do amazing things at their work places and naturally everyone wants to know where they went to school.

At the master’s and doctoral levels, we offer online learning – again, with a difference. Our online platforms are live and synchronous. The class doesn’t consist simply of recorded lectures, slides and discussion threads, as is the case with some other schools. Our online classes are held in real time, the professor is there with you, live, and students have the opportunity to interact and ask questions. Our virtual labs, meanwhile, are distinguished by their practical and hands-on nature. Our programs are designed to be game changers, both for newcomers seeking entry to the field as well as experienced cybersecurity professionals looking to expand their career horizons.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 13 Jan 2016

Are you a high school, community college, or Capitol student with an interest in cybersecurity? Would you like to test your skills in a fast-paced game environment? If so, one of Capitol’s upcoming Cyber Saturdays could be a great way to spend part of your weekend. The events reinforce the fundamentals of cybersecurity but are also designed to be fun.

The next Cyber Saturday is on Saturday January 23rd from 10 am to 4 pm at the McGowan Academic Center (M201) on Capitol’s campus; pizza and door prizes will be provided. The featured games will be Treasure Hunt and Oddball. In Treasure Hunt, participants work together in small groups to discover system vulnerabilities with a “treasure map” provided as a guide. In Oddball, teams strive to hold on to the “ball” – a file located on a target system. Specific details of both games are subject to change. Students attending the events will also have an opportunity to visit Capitol’s groundbreaking Cyber Lab, where students track worldwide cybersecurity threats and gain real-time, hands-on experience.

Cyber Saturday activities (January 23rd, February 20th, and April 16th) exercise a number of skills that students must master in order to become effective network security professionals. Coordination, quick thinking, good time management, and the ability to work as part of a team are all needed in order to make it through the multiple rounds of each game. Most importantly, the games provide plenty of opportunities to test offensive cybersecurity skills. Capitol Technology University is an ideal location to host events like these because of our dedicated Cyber Lab and faculty who take the time to make learning fun and engaging.

Cyber Saturday events are part of a broad effort to help build the next generation of cyber-defenders and security professionals, a key need in today’s digital economy. Capitol students who attend will also receive an invitation to compete on the Cyber Battle Team for upcoming competitions such as MACCDC and other major competitions.

Are you ready to join the action, or do you know someone who might be? Contact Meghan Young at Admissions: mayoung@captechu.edu or 301-369-2555.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 7 Jan 2016

A dedication ceremony for Capitol Technology University's newest lab will be held this month, formally launching operations at this innovative resource.

The Identity, Credentialing and Access Management (ICAM) Laboratory is a place where students can build their skills and make the most of the rapidly developing convergence between physical and cyber security. It provides students with opportunities for  to receive hands-on training in line with the Federal Identity Credentialling and Access Management construct as well as private industry standards.

As a result, they'll be well-positioned for employment opportunities across a spectrum of fields, including acquistion management, information assurance and physical security.

Overlap among these fields is increasing and professionals are finding they need to acquire new expertise to remain competitive. Currently, few schools offer resources and programs that can help, for instance, a physical security specialist make the transition to cyber.

Capitol is one school that does have the programs and resources, and the ICAM Lab is an example.

The dedication ceremony will take place on March 11 from 11 am to 1 pm at the McGowan Center (second floor) on campus. Featured speakers include Capitol president Michael T. Wood, Vice President for Academic Affaiirs Vic Maconachy, Academic Dean Helen G. Barker, and student interns from Flowers High School.

The lab is backed by a wide range of coroporate sponsors, including Aralia, Axis Communications,Condor Tech Services,  the DRM Institute, Open Security Exchange, Paxton, Quantum Secure, 3M, SIA, Viscount Systems and Waverly Labs.

"Access controls are the very heart and soul of any security program," said Maconachy. "By introducing the ICAM lab into the Capitol Technology University academic environments, students will have a unique, hands-on opportunity to evaluate and improve state-of-the-techniques in this ever-emerging field."

"It's quite a breakthrough and an honor to be working with these companies," he said of the lab sponsors.

Capitol senior and Department of Defense intern Olivia Briscoe is the lab manager. Its director is Ron Martin, a Capitol professor and owner of the business strategy consulting firm Consullition. Martin serves on the advisory boards of Wavery Labs and as executive director of the Open Security Exchange. In his role as a committee member at ASIS, the physical security industry's trade association, Martin has been working to get the word out about Capitol's programs.

“Capitol is one of the best-kept secrets in the Beltway region," Martin said. "There’s a whole industry out there, with personnel hungry to learn more about cybersecurity, and Capitol has the expertise and the resources to meet that need.”

All Capitol alumni are invited to attend the March 11 dedication ceremony and tour the ICAM Lab. For more information, contact Robert Herschbach, director of communications, at rherschbach@captechu.edu.

NOTE: An earlier version of this blog post listed the event date as Jan. 22. The event has been rescheduled for March 11.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 6 Jan 2016

The task of securing networks and systems has become increasingly complex – so much so that it may require taking humans out of the loop in favor of automated systems, Dr. Ehab Al-Shaer, director of the Cyber Defense and Network Assurability (CyberDNA) Center at the University of North Carolina Charlottte, said in a CAE Tech Talks presentation hosted by Capitol Technology University on December 10.

With attack surfaces increasing and adversaries becoming ever more sophisticated, cybersecurity professionals are having trouble fulfilling their mandate, Al-Shaer said, making a strong case for cyber-automation as the way forward.

 “There is disappointment within the cybersecurity community about how much progress we have made compared to how much progress we promised 10 years ago,” he said. “We had an agenda to achieve a number of goals, to make the cyber arena much more safe. However, we can see that none of these grand challenges has been sufficiently addressed.”

“The main reason is not that we didn’t do a good job or that we didn’t focus on the right problems, but because cyber is a dynamic environment and keeps changing, we face increasing complexity every day in the systems that we create,” Al-Shaer said. “We have cyber integrating with physical systems, including health care and automotive systems. Many of them are highly critical infrastructure systems. We have the Internet of Things, with all your devices and peripherals connected together in a way that offers better services but also a larger attack space. What we spoke about ten years ago is not what we have today.”

Human error is implicated in most system vulnerabilities, Al-Shaer said, pointing to firewall configuration as an example. A December 2008 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that “inappropriate or incorrect security configurations were responsible for 80% of Air Force vulnerabilities.”

He then proceeded to demonstrate how proper configuration can be ensured through policies, rules and Boolean formulas combined with tools that can verify compliance. ConfigChecker, dubbed “network access control verification in a box,” is an example of such a tool.

Al-Shaer’s presentation was one of two featured in the December 10 Tech Talks event, part of a regular series hosted by Capitol Technology University, a DHS and NSA-designated Center of Academic Excellence since 2003.

Also featured was Josh Stroschein, a professor in  the Dakota State University cybersecurity cyber ops program who is completing his doctorate in cybersecurity. A specialist in reverse engineering and malware analysis, Schoschein provided an overview of return-oriented programming, a hacking technique that enables malicious actors to bypass security defenses and execute code.

“If we can overwrite certain addresses memory places in that stack, then we can take over control and execution of that program,” he noted, pointing to buffer overflow vulnerabilities as an example. After reviewing common methods of threat mitigation, such as stack cookies, data execution prevention, and address space layer randomization, he proceeded to show how a skillful hacker can use ROP to bypass these protections, call Windows API functions, and get their shell code to run.

Both talks were hosted in real time over the internet using the Capitol Live platform, and then archived on the Capitol Technology University portal. Visit this page to view or download the talks, along with other events in the CAE series.

Pictured: 1) Dr. Ehab Al-Shaer; 2) Josh Stroschein

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