News about Information Technology

Penn College Students Bat a Thousand in SkillsUSA Competition

SkillsUSA-Pennsylvania

All 25 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team, including more than half moving on to national competition June 19-23 in Louisville, Kentucky, were medalists during the Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held late last month in Hershey.

Fifteen team members advanced to nationals with first-place finishes, seven placed second, and three placed third in their respective categories.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “I’m excited for the students going to the national competition in Louisville. I have every confidence they will put their best performance forward.”

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Radio Appearances by Students, Faculty Member to Promote Cybersecurity Event

Lisa Bock

Lisa Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology, and two students from her Support Center Procedures and Practices class will appear on Backyard Broadcasting radio stations Tuesday morning to promote “Tech Savvy, Tech Safe,” a free public event hosted by the class. Bock and the students – Mitchell T. Hoffman, an applied management major from Northumberland, and Alex J. Hackenberg, an information technology: network specialist concentration major from Middleburg – will appear from 8:10 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. for brief interviews on WILQ (105.1 FM), WZXR (99.3FM) and Oldiez93 (93.3 FM).  “Tech Savvy, Tech Safe” will offer identity protection tips and address individual cybersecurity concerns. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the first-floor presentation room of Penn College’s Student & Administrative Services Center.

Networking, Professional Development Merge at ‘ShmooCon’

Some of the Penn College participants in ShmooCon 2017 fit a group photo into their busy three days.

More than 40 Penn College students and alumni attended this year’s “ShmooCon” national conference in Washington, D.C.: three days of cybersecurity keynoters, as well as discussions of relevant and innovative topics with professionals and students from across the country. The campus contingent – largely representing the Information Security Association student organization – was accompanied by faculty members Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science, and Daniel W. Yoas, associate professor of computer information technology.

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Speaker Recommends ‘Cyberhygiene’ to Foil Hackers’ Dirty Work

The crime scene at our fingertips, whether the instrument or the victim of attack

A mix of students, community members and past Colloquia speakers are on hand for Ebersole's instructive talk.

The speaker shows a "ransomware" pop-up, which extorts money from an Internet user facing encryption of computer files. Although the message purports to be from the FBI, Ebersole promised that authorities wouldn't deal so cavalierly with those accessing child pornography. They "won't be emailing you and asking you to pay the paltry sum of $200."

An Internet crimefighter and part-time accounting instructor at Penn College, speaking Tuesday in Klump Academic Center Auditorium, advocated “cyberhygiene” to protect our billions of connected devices – and our personal information – from being compromised. William E. Ebersole delivered the final lecture in the 2016-17 Technology & Society Colloquia Series, “Cyberattacks: The Weapon of Choice of Criminals, Terrorists and Spies.” Recalling the mid-1980s movie, “War Games,” in which a teenager nearly brings about nuclear catastrophe by accidentally accessing a military supercomputer, he said real-life hackers are much more focused, persistent, deliberate and sophisticated. And after several examples of their nefarious handiwork, including a widespread credit-card breach at Target stores and a three-day interruption of electrical and telephone service in Ukraine, Ebersole provided valuable counteractive tips. That advice included using strong passwords and changing them often, limiting what information is posted online, watching for unauthorized devices connected to home networks, being vigilant about children’s web activity, and keeping current on upgrading software and installing security patches. Ebersole had high praise for the college’s information assurance and cyber security curriculum, which he said is helping to feed the growing need for competent technicians. Whatever their major, though, he emphasized that all students can practice safe computing, and he especially urged them to consider the ramifications on viable job-seekers from the Internet’s long-term memory. “Don’t put something crazy on social media to knock you out of the picture,” he said.

Penn College IT Class to Help Public Fight Cybercrime

Students in the Support Center Procedures and Practices class at Penn College prepare for a public cybersecurity presentation, “Tech Savvy, Tech Smart.” The free event is scheduled for April 19 at 7 p.m. in the presentation room of the college’s Student & Administrative Services Center. The students will offer identity-protection tips and answer cybersecurity questions.

Last year, an all-time high 4.2 billion records were exposed from reported data breaches worldwide, according to Risk Based Security. With cybercrime becoming an increasing threat to both businesses and individuals, information technology students at Pennsylvania College of Technology are determined to act.

Granted, students in the college’s Support Center Procedures and Practices class don’t boast IT superpowers, but they do possess considerable knowledge. They will share that expertise during a free public event, “Tech Savvy, Tech Safe,” scheduled for 7 p.m. April 19 in the presentation room of the college’s Student & Administrative Services Center.

The students will deliver a series of identity protection tips before hosting small breakout sessions for participants to ask their individual cybersecurity questions. Attendees are encouraged to bring their mobile devices to facilitate problem-solving. Light refreshments will be served.

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IT Faculty Member Adds Perspective to Cybersecurity Blog

Lisa Bock

An interview with Lisa Bock, an assistant professor of computer information technology at Penn College, has been published in the blog of a New York-based digital forensics and cybersecurity intelligence firm. LIFARS conducted the Q&A with Bock for its “What’s on Your Network?” feature. She has taught a variety of courses that include networking, security, biometrics, protocol vulnerabilities, Cisco Certified Network Associate Security, and requirements analysis. She is also an author for Lynda.com, a repository of video tutorials taught by industry experts.

Gaming Student Mentors Teen in Potentially Life-Changing Encounter

The lesson is a success!

Pennsylvania College of Technology facilitated “A Little Love” this month for a young technology fan available for adoption. The college’s gaming and simulation lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center hosted WBRE-TV’s monthly segment that showcases children seeking a permanent family. Chris Langlois, WBRE’s morning co-anchor, watched Penn College information technology sciences-gaming and simulation student James C. Temoshenko, of Kane, share his expertise with 13-year-old Mitchell. The Feb. 5 experience served as a confidence booster and career-exploration activity for the teenager, who proved to be a quick study in developing a computer game. (He even created a personalized second level to the game during the 60-minute lesson!) The segment aired throughout the day on Wednesday and is available online.

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Last updated February 14, 2017 | Posted in Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Information Technology, Students | This gallery contains 8 photos. | Tagged as | 2 Comments

College Faculty Help High-Schoolers Crack ‘Code’

In a “Coding Unplugged” session, a student solves a problem by moving disks from one spot to another. Students learned that repeating and combining the movements that solve a simple problem can solve more complex problems.

High school students from as far as Warren County in northwestern Pennsylvania and Chester County in the state’s southeastern corner were among those participating in an “Hour of Code” event at Penn College on Thursday. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries. At Penn College, the students gathered for a “Coding Unplugged” activity with Anita R. Wood, associate professor of computer information technology. Later, they toured campus and practiced coding Ozobots with Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media, and Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology. A project of the nonprofit Code.org, the Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code,” to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Most Hour of Code events are scheduled during Computer Science Education Week. The week coincides with the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, who was born Dec. 9, 1906.

Gaming Students Present Final Projects to CC Audience

Timothy E. Duclos, of State College impresses the Bush Campus Center crowd.

Classmates and others listen intently to student presentations.

Josephina L. Bair, of Mill Hall, details her work with Dress Maker 2016.

Penn's Inn offers intimate space, appropriately enhanced by technology.

Students from the information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major who are completing the capstone course presented their senior projects to fellow students, faculty and the community over multiple days in Penn’s Inn. “The presentations provide students with the opportunity to showcase their work, as well as describe their learning from both designing and implementing the project,” explained Anita R. Wood, associate professor of computer information technology.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

Successful Alumna Shares Vision, Visibility With Club Members

The 2013 alum interacts with IT majors on return to campus.

Visiting grad gets a big-screen welcome.

Penn College’s newly formed Game Development Club recently hosted a visit by Anna Maree Manciet, of Alienware Live, whose Penn College degrees include a 2013 bachelor’s in web design and multimedia. She shared interesting stories and knowledge of the responsibilities and technical aspects of being a producer and on-air personality of a popular Twitch.tv live-stream channel. Among the topics covered were the technical configuration of hardware and software for a live stream, tips and advice on building and managing an audience, and various methods of charity work that she has had the opportunity to do throughout her career. “We were very excited to have her visit. Many of our guests took a lot of interesting information away from the event,” said organization President James C. Temoshenko, of Kane, an information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major. “The club is taking inspiration by planning some live-streaming events of our own in the near future.”
Photos provided

Penn College Students, Faculty Attend ‘Women in Technology’ Event

Female students and faculty from Penn College demonstrated their commitment to technology at the recent College to Careers: Women in Technology Conference in Harrisburg.

More than 25 female students and faculty from Pennsylvania College of Technology demonstrated their commitment to technology by attending a recent statewide event in Harrisburg.

During the College to Careers: Women in Technology Conference, the Penn College contingent experienced a panel discussion with eight women technology leaders and enjoyed networking opportunities.

“It was a very valuable experience for our students,” said Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, who helped organize Penn College’s participation. “The students were able to not only listen to, but also interact with many impressive women in technology. The conference reinforced that gender should never be a barrier to success in technology-focused careers.”

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Penn College IT Faculty Member Featured in Publication

Lisa Bock

A major information technology publication is highlighting the expertise and accomplishments of a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member.

The November/December issue of IBM Systems Magazine–Mainframe edition showcases Lisa Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology, as one of a dozen women role models in the IT field.

Bock is described in the story, written by Shirley S. Savage, as a “security ambassador, who has spent 20 demanding years in IT.”

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College Receives Grant to Boost Cyber Security Workforce

The National Science Foundation has recognized Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to tomorrow’s workforce by awarding the institution a grant intended to bolster the pipeline of information assurance/cyber defense professionals.

The $438,391 CyberCorps grant will facilitate the college’s efforts to excite high school students about rewarding careers in cyber security. The college is developing an after-school program for high schoolers, who will earn college credit for free while being introduced to the academic and professional aspects of the information security field.

“There is a tremendous demand for qualified professionals in the information assurance/cyber defense sector,” said Sandra Gorka, associate professor of computer science and the college’s principal investigator for the grant. “The opportunities are varied, and salaries in the field are well above the national average. This program can be a valuable introduction and steppingstone to fulfilling careers.”

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Trio of Penn College Faculty Present at IT Conference

IT faculty present at conference

Three Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty members shared their expertise at a major information technology gathering.

Lisa R. Bock and Anita R. Wood, assistant professors of computer information technology, and Denise S. Leete, associate professor of web and interactive media, presented at the COMMON 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans.

COMMON is the world’s largest association of IBM and IBM-compatible information technology users. The organization consists of professionals involved with the application of IBM Power Systems and related platforms.

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IT Students Take a Walk on the Wildlife Side

Faculty members Golshan (left) and Yoas staff the grill with perfection ...

... satisfying a pavilion full of hungry hikers.

And what's a cookout without the melted-marshmallow joy of s'mores?

Students take to the foothills, surrounded by the natural beauty of Penn's Woods.

Interested in "whoooooooo" dropped by for an informational presentation is this owl, part of the park's Fall Festival attractions.

More than 30 students representing all of Penn College’s information technology majors hiked and picnicked at Little Pine State Park this past weekend, enjoying a beautiful woodland Sunday that coincided with the site’s annual Fall Festival. “Most students hiked the mountains and were just able to disconnect from their smartphones – literally, because there was no cell service!” said Ryan Monteleone, of Stevens, an information assurance and cyber security major and mentor for the IT Living-Learning Community. The LLC co-sponsored the event, along with a number of student organizations: The Association for Computing Machinery, the Association of Professional Programmers, the Gamers’ Guild and the Information Security Association. Along for the trip were Bahram Golshan and Daniel W. Yoas, associate professors of computer information technology. “Getting out in nature with students from other IT clubs was a significant means to talk through courses, college life and where our careers were going,” said James N. Ahern, of Mechanicsburg, an information assurance and cyber security major. “I also enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the history of information technology with Dr. Yoas.”
Photos provided