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Penn College IT Students Impress at Security Conference

Pennsylvania College of Technology students left a trail of success at a recent high-profile  “hacker” convention. The Penn College contingent excelled at ShmooCon 2016.

The annual event in Washington, D.C., brings together 1,500 students and professionals from the cybersecurity community to showcase inventive technology, discuss information security issues, network and test their skills.

Approximately 30 current Penn College students, alumni and former students participated at the recent conference.

Penn College faculty, current students, alumni and former students fared well at ShmooCon 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Penn College faculty, current students, alumni and former students fared well at ShmooCon 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Penn College information assurance and cyber security majors Adam T. Check, of Great Falls, Virginia, and Joseph M. Eak, of Bayville, New Jersey, were members of the team that captured first place and the coveted golden wrench in the Hack Fortress competition. Their teammates included Dylan M. Thomas, a 2014 information assurance and cyber security graduate from Mount Joy, and former Penn College student Kyle M. Jarrett, of Danville.

Hack Fortress requires six members of each team to play Team Fortress 2 while four other players solve security puzzles. Points are awarded for kills in the game, flags captured and security puzzles solved.

Information assurance and cyber security majors Jonathan J. Lopatofsky, of Williamsport, and Zachary S. Diehl, of New Berlin, also distinguished themselves. Their team was the first to solve the initial challenge in Shmooganography, a contest requiring various encryption techniques to reveal clues in order to discover the next form of steganography.

Five Penn College participants were among 40 students to receive scholarships to offset the cost of attending the conference. To be considered, students had to supply a letter of recommendation and provide a rationale for their attendance.

Members of the winning team of the Hack Fortress competition at ShmooCon 2016 included (left to right): Joseph M. Eak, of Bayville, New Jersey; Adam T. Check, of Great Falls, Virginia; Dylan M. Thomas, of Mount Joy; and Kyle M. Jarrett, of Danville. Eak and Check are current Penn College information assurance and cyber security majors, Thomas is a 2014 information assurance and cyber security graduate, and Jarrett is a former Penn College student.
Members of the winning team of the Hack Fortress competition at ShmooCon 2016 included (left to right): Joseph M. Eak, of Bayville, New Jersey; Adam T. Check, of Great Falls, Virginia; Dylan M. Thomas, of Mount Joy; and Kyle M. Jarrett, of Danville. Eak and Check are current Penn College information assurance and cyber security majors, Thomas is a 2014 information assurance and cyber security graduate, and Jarrett is a former Penn College student.

Penn College scholarship recipients were Eak; Kyle L. Hoffsmith, of Manheim, majoring in both information assurance and cyber security and information technology sciences – gaming and simulation; and information assurance and cyber security majors Rafael Correa, of Montville, New Jersey; Zachary L. Lundberg, of Warren; and Drew Pacell, of Ottsville.

“Student attendance at ShmooCon has offered opportunities to learn more about security and to meet employers within the industry,” said Daniel W. Yoas, associate professor of computer information technology, who accompanied the students. “Students networked with professionals in the field and discussed internships and employment. Over the years at ShmooCon, underclassmen have received internship offers and seniors have gained job offers.”

For more on information technology majors and other programs offered by the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.