Posted by raherschbach on 20 Nov 2015

The days after Thanksgiving are a frenzy of sales and promotions, but they are also a time for giving – and an event established three years ago aims to focus attention on that.

Giving Tuesday is observed worldwide on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, immediately following the shopping events known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Launched in 2012, it harnesses the power of social media to celebrate and support philanthropy and charitable donations.

Now, for the first time, Capitol alumni are being invited to make Giving Tuesday an occasion to give back to their alma mater – by providing support to Capitol cybersecurity students as they prepare for the spring cybersecurity competition season.

The alumni office has launched an appeal timed to coincide with the global event. Funds received through the campaign will go exclusively towards equipping the Cyber Lab and providing resources for the Cyber Battle Team, which participates annually in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC) and is hoping to advance to the nationals.

Capitol is a pioneer in cybersecurity education, and the Cyber Lab is a unique resource for providing real time, hands-on practice in this vital arena. But the field is ever-changing and upgrades are needed in order to ensure the program remains state-of-the art.

The Cyber Battle Team, meanwhile, requires funding in order to travel to meets, and being competitive against other teams depends on having the right simulation software. Resources are needed for that, too.

“When alums donate to this campaign, their money is going directly to support the lab and the team,” said Andrew Exner, assistant director of foundation relations. “The Cyber Battle Team is a collection of students, from freshmen through seniors, who need training and software as well as support from faculty, alumni and other people in the community to gain the expertise they need to compete as effectively as possible.”

“It’s very similar to donating money to support a school sports team. The Cyber Battle Team is our big team here at Capitol. It’s our football, our basketball, our lacrosse. We like to think of these students as our cyberwarriors. Like any sports team, they need coaching, they need uniforms, and they need to be able to travel to meets. Donations received through this campaign will go towards that.”

While alumni support is the focus of the appeal, other members of the Capitol community – including current students and their families, as well as faculty and staff -- are also invited to make donations, Exner noted.

Leah Caputo, assistant director of development, said the campaign is a powerful motivating factor as the team prepares for the spring season. “Knowing they have your support is a tremendous boost to their morale, and you’ll feel good about it too,” Caputo said.

“School spirit at most institutions of higher education centers around the athletics teams,” Caputo said. “Alumni take pride in wearing their spirit wear, and each season they follow their school’s football or basketball team with intense interest. Although Capitol doesn’t field athletes in these long-established sports, our Cyber Battle Team is in every sense a team, participating in a highly competitive arena. And they need your support.”

For more information on how to support the Cyber Lab and Cyber Battle Team, or for general questions about alumni outreach efforts, contact the Alumni Office at


Posted by raherschbach on 18 Nov 2015

Save the date! The Career Fair is on February 12th, 2016 in the McGowan building from 10am-1pm. This event is required for all students hoping to qualify for the job guarantee.

Many students wait until the week before the Career Fair to have their résumé reviewed.  However, I am planning the Career Fair, and I will not be available to set up a 1-on-1 appointment after January 20th. I will have a few workshops in the weeks leading up to the event, but I will not be available for individual appointments.

So what does this mean for you?

I am asking everyone who wants to set up an appointment with me between now and the deadline January 20th, to watch a live or recorded webinar on résumé writing and to attempt to write their résumé on their own first, before we meet 1-on-1.

We will have 3 live webinars discussing how to write a resumes:

Each of these sessions will be recorded, so if you are unable to make it to a live workshop, you can watch the recorded workshop (links can be found here: . 

If you attend a live workshop or a recorded workshop, you can set up a 1-on-1 appointment with Career Services by emailing no later than January 20th.  


Alumni support vital as Cyber Battle Team readies for competition

During the last year, members of Capitol Technology University’s Alumni Association raised close to $9,000 to support the Fusion Lab, which provides resources for interdisciplinary systems engineering projects such as Hermes and TRAPSat.

Alumni Profile: Amie Seisay '10

It was during a round of job interviews that Amie Seisay began to consider the possibility of starting her own company.

She was having a frustrating time with the job search. Nothing seemed to be the right match. Increasingly, she came to feel that she had not clarified her goals. It didn’t make sense just to interview for the sake of interviewing. Maybe, she decided, it was time to ask herself what exactly she wanted to do.


Posted by raherschbach on 13 Nov 2015

By Rick Sample, Library Director

Chili. What fond memories that word brings to mind – cold Sunday, football on the TV and a hot bowl of Mom’s famous chili...what more could a person want or ask for?  

Such memories came roaring back at the Puente Library this past month, with our first annual Chili Cook-off, and what a Cook-off it was!  The Library sponsored the event, partnering with the National Association of Black Engineers (NSBE) to challenge the Capitol Technology University student body in a competition to serve up the best bowl of chili using their unique specialty recipes. 

And accept the challenge is just what our students did, as they entered their chili to be tasted and voted upon all those who attended.  This leads me to congratulate our winners: First place went to Dania Allgood, with her Devil's Spit Chili recipe, second place went to the library’s own Marcus Elyiace, with his Sweet n' Spicy Three-Bean Chili recipe, and third place went to Patrick Allen with his Dark Matter Chili recipe. Also, a special shout out to Melanie A Young, our staff entrant, who unequivocally won the staff recognition award with her Slap Yo Mama No Alarm Chili recipe. 

One of the wonderful old sayings in the library world that I have come to honestly believe in is “provide food and they will come”. I was stunned at the turnout – of students, faculty staff that all came to mingle and eat chili together in the library while voting on their favorite chili recipe!  In what was perhaps the largest turnout at a library program since our Edible Book Contest, all of the campus communities came together for food, conversation and enjoyment in Puente Library. 

I mean, who would have thought – food and laughter in the library? Well, it just goes to show you that libraries can be places not only for research, but also for fun, and for sharing with those around you!  We look forward to seeing you at future library events and at next year’s cook off, get your chili recipes ready.



Posted by raherschbach on 11 Nov 2015

November 11, 2015

Dear Active Duty Personnel and Veterans,

Serving our country represents the ultimate selfless act a citizen can perform. Veterans have been doing this since we became a country. As we pause to recognize those who made the sacrifice to ensure our freedom and way of life, we should honor them by cherishing the fruits of their effort.

I served thirty three years in the United States Army.  I grew up surrounded by family members who served our country in the Army, my grandfather in World War I and father in World War II, so becoming a soldier was in my DNA.

I received my commission through the ROTC program and served in Vietnam, Germany and the Far East.  Although my experiences were different than those of my father and grandfather, we all willingly went in harm’s way to defend the greatest country in the world.

I am delighted to be a part of Capitol Technology University, which recognizes those who have and continue to serve our great country. Capitol Technology University has always been a military friendly school. We are extremely proud of each and every one of you here at Capitol and the many thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen currently deployed in the fight for liberty and justice. 

To those who have and continue to serve our nation, I salute and thank you for your service. Our nation owes you a debit of gratitude.

Earl M. Simms

Brigadier General, USA Army

Capitol Technology University Board of Trustees member 



Posted by raherschbach on 6 Nov 2015

Not many small children would willingly forego birthday parties, but that’s exactly what Eric Sabbah did in exchange for his first computer. That decision launched him on to a career which has included software and programming work in the private sector, as well as academic appointments at multiple colleges and universities. In August 2015, Sabbah joined the faculty of Capitol Technology University as Chair of the computer science program.

Dr. Sabbah spoke with Capitology about his academic work and research interests, his approach to teaching, and his experience so far at Capitol.

How did you become interested in the field of computer science, and what drew you to a career in higher education?

My interest in computers goes back a very long time. I was about five when I first started writing programs. I asked my parents for a computer; this was in the early 1980s. At the time, a computer was very expensive -- you could buy a car for the same price. My parents told me that “if we do this, you can basically never have a birthday party again.” And I actually agreed. Even more amazingly, for a child, the next year I didn’t try to renege on the deal. I accepted it. And that definitely changed my whole life!

In college, I majored in math – but it was basically applied math, with computers as the application. After that, I worked in industry, first for financial companies, and then for the music industry. It was during the time that Napster was being sued, and I was involved in decoding it as well as in the development of DRM technology. For someone in his twenties, it felt a little traitorous.

After working for several years in industry, I realized I wanted more of an intellectual life, and to be in an environment of people who are intellectually curious.  I’d encounter people who’d tell me that they’d never opened a book, and that wasn’t really where I wanted to be. That’s why I decided to go into higher ed.

What are some of you proudest accomplishments in the field of computer science?

My academic specialization was in wireless sensor networks, specifically security and privacy. A lot of the research I’ve been doing has been related to medicine. Wearable devices now offer enormous benefits to people with various health conditions; for example, if you have a chronic illness, instead of having to live your life in a hospital or a nursing home, you could have  built into your clothing or watch monitoring devices, and these would collect data and eventually send the data to doctors or to a long-term storage facility. As should be obvious, this presents a lot of security challenges and privacy concerns. Say, for example, that my heart is being monitored. It's important that my doctor knows about my heart rate, but he shouldn’t know that I went to the movies the other day. Why does the doctor need to know that? I’ve done a lot of work with security and privacy to help bio center networks. That’s also the focus of recent papers that I’ve published.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

You really can feel like you’ve made a difference. Maybe a student is already very well-versed in the subject; you can help them expand on that. Or maybe they’re struggling and you can help them find a way through. The opposite is terrible, when for some reason you’re not getting through. Then you try to help them find other resources, in as many different ways as you can. But when you do get through, when you realize that the light has gone on and they actually do get it – that’s a wonderful feeling.

What should incoming students know about you as a person and as a professor?

I’m fair. if you do what’s expected you should be fine. I try to give a lot of opportunity, but you still have to do put in the effort from your end. That's especially something thet incoming students need to realize; you're adults now, you're not in high school, you have to manage your time and keep up with the work. Tough but fair is the bottom line.

Over the summer, we had a group of Brazilian students who were very motivated -- they asked for extra work! If you're like them, and want extra work, I'm definitely available. If undergrads want to be involved in research or other projects, well, I love doing that. If students want to do any sort of project outside or inside of class, I’m available to help.

What do you like most about Capitol so far? What makes us stand out as an institution of higher learning?

A lot of things. It’s a big change in size. At my previous school, I almost never interacted with anyone who wasn’t in my department. Here, I’m always interacting…even my department is sort of shared with other departments. At the same time, even though Capitol is small and located in a small town, I feel connected to everything. It’s really exciting that we have programs with NASA and the NSA, and our international programs. such as the summer workshop for students from Brazil.

I also appreciate the fact that we have students who are excited and engaged, and an enthusiastic faculty.

Do you have some specific hopes or goals?

We have now a mobile computing and gaming degree. I would like to expand that and hopefully get some of the gaming companies involved. In addition, we're seeing more discussion among cybersecurity and information people about ethical hacking; right now, the focus is still on defensive measures, but there's definitely interest in having attackers as well. That's definitely an area for development. Meanwhile, over the longer term, Capitol could launch a Ph.D. in computer science.

What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?

I like role-playng games, both computer and tabletop, as well as BioWare games. And I'm into all forms of rock music, from the sixties through the present -- classic rock, alternative, heavy metal, you name it. I've been to five Ozzfests!


Posted by raherschbach on 5 Nov 2015

Capitol Technology University has been singled out by The Economist as an example of an engineering-centered school whose graduates go on to earn high salaries. The mention came as the global news magazine released its first ever college rankings, at the end  of October.

Field of study is a key predictor of success, the magazine found -- the second most important factor after SAT scores.  Within STEM fields, computer science and engineering deliver the biggest bang for a student's educational buck.

But while many such schools are hard to get into, "a handful, such as Capitol Technology University outside Washington, DC, accept a majority of applicants while still delivering top-decile salaries," the article said.

The magazine also highlighted the importance of geographical location; if a school is located in a job-rich area and has strong ties to local employers, its graduates can be expected to earn tens of thousands more. Maryland schools in general benefit from proximity to Washington D.C.; Capitol has leveraged that advantage even further through ongoing partnerships with NASA and the National Security Agency as well as private sector giants such as Lockheed Martin.

Concern over the value of higher education has spiked in recent years as the US economy faces an apparent structural problem: growth in job vacancies is higher than the rate of actual new hires.

Employers are unable to find qualified personnel for open positions, while many college graduates do not have the skills that would qualify them for those jobs -- even as institutions of higher education are "churning out more degrees than ever," The Economist said.

The gap has led to calls for more accountabiity in the form of data-driven results that can help students make better choices. In September, the Obama administration launched a College Scorecard website that attempts to provide such data.

Matching expectatons to reality

The Economist's ranking is based on the Scorecard but adds an extra element: through multiple regression analysis, it seeks to estimate the gap between alumni expectations and actual median salaries -- that is, "the gap between how much money [a given college or university's] students subsequently earn, and how much they might have made if they had studied elsewhere."

Among Maryland schools, Capitol is notable both for comparatively high median earnings post-graduation, and for an almost non-existent gap between earnings and expectations. According to The Economist, Capitol graduates earn a median salary of $58,900 -- or $586 higher than the expected figure of $58,314.

By contrast, graduates of many other Maryland institutions either can expect significantly lower median earnings, or face a significantly higher gap between earnings and expectations.

Nationwide, the data challenges some commonly held views, The Economist noted. One is that studying the humanities is a ticket to job woes. In fact, the magazine noted, graduates from schools with high concentrations of English majors do not fare poorly in the economic marketplace. In terms of job prospects after graduation, the worst performers are religious and art schools, which "dominate the bottom rung of the earnings table," it found.

Another is that STEM education -- broadly defined -- is a panacea for hireability problems. In fact, only select STEM fields, notably computer science and engineering, provide a competitve edge, and that edge is significant. 

For the complete Economist rankings, click here.


Posted by raherschbach on 30 Oct 2015

Superhero names often allude to the type of power that hero holds. Spiderman shoots webs and can climb walls and Aquaman utilizes marine life to accomplish his tasks. Having a name that accurately reflects who you are and what you do can have a serious impact on how that brand is seen in the marketplace.

Part of the motivation surrounding our change from Capitol College to Capitol Technology University last year was that by becoming a university we will better represent “who we already are,” as our president, Dr. Michael T. Wood, suggested in 2014. More information about why we changed the institution name can be found here:

From the standpoint of graduating student, the name change is a bonus. The perception of prestige and heightened expectations associated with the designation of "university" works in your favor.

Current students and recent graduates (Fall 2014 or later) should make sure to check that you have changed your résumé and application documentation to reflect the new name change. Remember to change the education section and any work experiences at Capitol.

For Alumni:

When an employer searches for Capitol College on Google, it will re-route to the website. Also, if you request any formal documentation of proof of attendance, such as an official transcript, the company will receive documentation with the Capitol Technology University name and/or letterhead.

I recommend, on your résumé, listing your education the following way:

Obviously, you will need to update the name of the degree and the graduation date to reflect your own credentials.

The most important part of this process is continuity. You want to avoid confusion or the risk of being mistakenly accused of misleading the hiring manager. So, if you make the change in one place, make sure to do so everywhere (in cover letters and on applications). 

As always, I am happy to assist you with the creation or editing of application materials. Please email to set up an appointment.

Golf tournament builds camaraderie, raises funds for scholarships

Capitol Technology University held its annual scholarship golf tournament on Friday (October 23) at the Turf Valley resort in Ellicott City, Maryland. Originally set for October 3, the event was postponed due to inclement weather.

On the rescheduled date, the weather couldn’t have been better. Golfers had the opportunity to take in the peak fall colors amid the rolling hills of central Maryland, while showcasing their skills on the course and sharing good times with colleagues and friends.