Student Life

Coleman University offers a traditional campus experience and encourages the formation of clubs and participation in student-oriented organizations. We hold seminars, workshops, and other events to help prepare students for academic success. Keep an eye out for an occasional BBQ or radio station appearance.

We’re involved in many off-campus events, supporting local arts, armed services, and charitable organizations.

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Hispanic Influence in Science and Technology

As part of our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month we want to acknowledge those who have influenced and changed the world of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) for the better. Did you know that four Nobel prizes have been awarded to Hispanic scientists? There are many more scientific and technological advancements attributed to Hispanic pioneers and many more future achievements to come. Here are just a few of the important names in science and technology that you should know:

Ellen Ochoa: Born in California, Ochoa became a research engineer at NASA in 1988 for the Ames Research Center. In 1990 she was selected to be an astronaut and moved to the Johnson Space Center, where she would become the first Hispanic woman to go to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993. She would travel to space four times over the course of her career and log almost 1,000 hours in orbit overall. She also happens to be an alumna of San Diego State University having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physics! Through her work with NASA and the space program Ochoa has been awarded three patents for her inventions, and has been the author for several technical papers. A recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, two of the highest honors at NASA, Ellen Ochoa has many incredible achievements on her resume.

 

Bernardo Alberto Houssey: Born in Buenos Aires Argentina, Bernardo Houssey is responsible for a major breakthrough in the research on, and treatment of, diabetes. An exceptionally smart young man, he entered the School of Pharmacy of the University of Buenos Aires at the age of 14 in 1904. It wasn’t long before he had graduated and moved on to earn his graduate degree in the Department of Physiology where he would begin to study hypophysis. He earned his M.D. by 1911 and would go on to become Professor of Physiology. He also worked for the National Department of Hygiene in charge of the Laboratory of Experimental Physiology and Pathology. He made a lifelong study of hypophysis and his most important discovery concerns the role of the anterior lobe of the hypophysis in carbohydrate metabolism and the onset of diabetes. He was awarded honorary degrees from twenty-five universities and the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1947.

 

Jaime Escalante: You may have already heard about the influential and passionate mathematics teacher Jaime Escalante, as his life efforts were honored on the big screen in the movie Stand and Deliver in 1988. A math teacher at Garfield, an East Los Angeles high school, in the 1908’s, Escalante was tasked with teaching calculus and advanced math in an area of Los Angeles that was labeled as a notorious barrio of only poor and minority groups. However, Escalante saw great potential in his students and created a tough campaign to bring advanced calculus to his school and help students prepare for the advanced placement exams. When outside groups only saw troublemakers, Escalante saw students who came to campus an hour early, stayed hours after school, and willingly worked together on Saturdays as well as in summer school. Unfortunately when 18 of his students took the advanced placement exams in 1982 and passed, they were accused of cheating. Escalante was adamant that this accusation was based in racist bias and eventually the students were allowed to retake the exam and passed a second time, proving that their hard work had paid off in the end. Towards the end of his career he had inspired over 600 students to not only become involved in advanced placement math, but in many other subjects as well. His teaching methods were not always conventional, but his legacy as a teacher will remain as an important moment in Hispanic history.

Hispanic Heritage Month is meant to celebrate the achievements that have come from the expansive Hispanic culture. The world of science and technology will never be the same because of these innovators and passionate learners. Join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at Coleman University!

 

If you are interested in starting on the path to a successful career in technology, call us for information about our degree programs. Classes start every ten weeks (Graduate classes start every five weeks), and we offer flexible scheduling! Call (858) 499-0202 to speak to an Admissions representative Monday through Thursday from 8:00am-6:00pm, and Fridays from 8:00am-3:00pm.

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The History of Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15th to October 15th, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. The impact of Hispanic settlers, inventors, actors, scientists, authors, etc. in our country reaches farther than you may know, and we want to give them the credit that they deserve. This acknowledgment started in 1968 as a week-long event, at the proclamation of President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was eventually expanded to a 30-day period through legislation implemented by President Roland Reagan. This time of year is a celebration of the history and accomplishments of the Hispanic community, and there are many to celebrate!

Hispanic culture is not just focused on Spanish history and cultural impact. Hispanic Heritage Month includes the indigenous peoples and cultures of North and South America (such as the Arawaks, Aztecs, Incas, and Maya, as well as some African cultures). The roots of Hispanic culture reach far across the globe. The start of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th, was chosen because it marks the date of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Other countries such as Belize, Chile, and Mexico celebrate their own independence days during this period. According to the recent government census, around 17% of the population in the United States is of Hispanic or Latino origin (that means 57.5 million people!). Think of all of the cultures that that number includes!

Our home state of California has a long Hispanic heritage that goes back centuries and can still be seen and felt throughout our state. When North America was being settled by the Spanish in the 1500s, Juan Cabrillo made landfall in what would become San Diego harbor in 1542. At the time, almost all of the west coast of North America was a part of Mexico, but was yet largely unexplored, except for the catholic missions that had been built as religious settlements. Today many of those missions have become museums chronicling this history for visitors who want to experience life as a Spanish settler. There are plenty of opportunities to experience Hispanic history in San Diego during heritage month and plenty of things to learn about Hispanic culture in North America. Why not attend the San Diego County Latino Association – Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on October 23rd, or the 2017 Unity Conference presented by the Latino School Boards Association on October 5th? You can also visit the official website for Hispanic Heritage Month to see all of the events being held across the United States in honor of this event. Locally we have events being held in Old Town San Diego and downtown such as food tastings, film festivals, and special lectures. You do not have to be of Hispanic origin to enjoy Hispanic Heritage Month and participate in all of the fun events. Learning about another culture through participation is a great way to better understand Hispanic history and learn something new about your friends and neighbors.

Coleman University values the legacy of Hispanic influence and we will be taking this month to celebrate on campus as well as here on our blog. We will be celebrating the Hispanic scientists, inventors, teachers, leaders, and artists that are a part of United States and global history. Join us as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

 

If you are interested in starting on the path to a successful career in technology, call us for information about our degree programs. Classes start every ten weeks (Graduate classes start every five weeks), and we offer flexible scheduling! Call (858) 499-0202 to speak to an Admissions representative Monday through Thursday from 8:00am-6:00pm, and Fridays from 8:00am-3:00pm

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The Top Earning Professionals in Cybersecurity Have This One Thing In Common

You’ve decided to invest your future in becoming a Cybersecurity professional, on the frontline of defense against hackers and malicious malware. You have seen the results of the WannaCry Attack that took millions of dollars and countless private files until it was stopped by a single line of code. Your dedication to higher education has already put you on track to becoming one of the cyber experts who can help stop these attacks faster and with less damage. So what are the next steps that you can take to place your resume at the top of the pile? In Cybersecurity that next step is often becoming certified, but there is one certification that can make all of the difference on your resume: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

The CISSP is a cumulative certification that encompasses all that you will have learned about Cybersecurity. It is a test of not just your knowledge of basic Cybersecurity practices, but also your holistic understanding of what it takes to be a trusted and knowledgeable professional in the field. With the CISSP certification, professionals are also given a membership to (ISC)², which is a prestigious international nonprofit membership association for Information Security professionals.  In order to get this certification you must meet at least one of three requirements. You must either have five years of cumulative, paid, full-time work experience or a four-year college degree (or regional equivalent), or an approved credential from their list of waivers.

At Coleman, we want to make sure that our students graduate with all of the tools, resources, and connections that they need to move into their chosen career field. Students who want to get a head start on obtaining this certification are eligible to attend the CISSP classes that are being taught here on campus. Starting September 5th, faculty member Lydia Zeman will be leading CISSP Training on our campus every Tuesday evening from 4:30-5:45pm for free in room 225 (for current Coleman students only).

At this time there are no morning sessions, however we ask that students who are interested in attending morning sessions email Ms. Zeman (lzeman@coleman.edu). With enough interest and confirmed attendees, there may be an option for morning sessions at a later date this year.

 

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Reach For Your Full Potential With One Workshop!

As we discussed in a previous blog, (Click here to read about Constantly Learning) effective leaders and employees are those who seek opportunities to learn whenever/whenever they can. Whether the learning centers around their career field, or helps them outside of their workplace, it is important to look for ways to improve. For our students that means attending clubs, student-focused events, networking conferences, and professional development workshops. If you follow our social media, you will have noticed that we have been working overtime to bring events and opportunities to our students that meet these criteria. For our External Relations team it is vital to the Coleman mission to bring organizations and speakers to our campus that can present new ideas and connections to students.

This year we are proud to invite one of our own alumni to be a part of the Coleman mission to support additional learning outside of the classroom. Since his honorable discharge from the Navy, his graduation from Coleman University, and now his blossoming career as a motivational and inspiring speaker, Cornelius Simon has dedicated his life to helping others achieve their own self-development. Through his Success Essentials workshop, he has created a focused set of engaging and interactive discussions that are designed to help participants become more driven and successful.

Taking the initiative to participate in learning opportunities such as this professional development workshop can be the key to starting your own journey in self-development. With workshops such as Increasing your Confidence, Effective Communication in the Marketplace, and Conflict Resolution, participants will have a better resource of tools and skills to use in their personal life and career field. From September 6th through October 11th, the Success Essentials workshops will be held in Lovelace Theater from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Bring a notebook, your questions, and your desire to learn!

 

“This is going to be a hands-on workshop filled great insight, practical strategies and tips for advancing your career and in-workshop activities to start developing your professional skills immediately.” –Cornelius Simon

 

Coleman University students are eligible to attend this event with a discount, using code COL17 at the registration check out. For more information on this seminar, and the speaker please visit the Success Essentials Website.

 

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Transferable Skills–Bob Sweigart

Transferable skills are those that utilize any of these examples of marketable skills for a resume. Think about what work or volunteer experiences have shaped you and think about how that experience transfers to a resume.

Many times I am asked by a student or graduate if it is important to include professional experience that is not related to their field of study on their resume. My advice is don’t be afraid to include positions that aren’t directly related to your field of study, especially if you have limited work experience.  You can use this experience to demonstrate what we call “transferable skills” that can really upgrade your resume.

Some examples of transferable skills would include, meeting deadlines, ability to delegate and plan, results oriented, customer service oriented, supervision of others, increasing sales or efficiency, instructing others, good time management, solving problems, managing money/budgets, managing people, meeting the public, organizing people, organizing/managing projects, team player, written and oral communications and working independently. So where does that type of knowledge and experience actually come from? These skills can be honed and developed in many ways including after school programs you have participated in, childcare work, volunteer work, school projects, and even as a result of hobbies that you enjoy. One of the best ways to understand the organization of these skills is to put them into categories similar to those published by Princeton University. Think back on all of the past responsibilities that you have had, even things you did for your relatives, and how those responsibilities could be perceived in a formal work environment.

Look at the job description, responsibilities and required experience and think about what you may have done or learned that could be applied. If a job is looking for someone who has managerial experience and you have never been a manager, but you have supervised a group of volunteers or worked as a lead on an important college project, that might be a way for you show that you have the experience they are looking for.

However, if you feel that your transferable skills are not as good as you want them to be, my advice is do NOT overstate the skills that you do have. If an interviewer asks you details pertaining to a skill that you have listed and you don’t have any answers, your interview will soon be over. If you list that you have managerial experience when in reality you worked alone, that won’t go over well. Take the time to work on your speaking skills and be your own promoter instead!

“Take the time to work on your speaking skills and be your own promoter instead!”

It is often important that you can identify and give examples of the transferable skills that you have developed — this will go a long way to persuading prospective employers that you are right for the job. Don’t be afraid to apply for a job if you do not have the exact experience they are asking for because you could still be the exact candidate that they are looking for.

For more career oriented advice, visit the Career Services staff at Coleman University. All of our current students and alumni are eligible to receive Career Services assistance and we have many resources to help our community find long lasting careers. Call 1 858 499 0202 today!

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ENVI Makes a Splash at Prestigious Robosub Competition

We often speak of ENVI and their indoor drone testing facility located on the Coleman Campus as a major hub of development for autonomous flying. However there is more “under the hood” at ENVI than that. This year marks the second in a row that the team of volunteers, students, and mentors at ENVI has competed in the 2017 International RoboSub Competition which showcases the best in RoboSub development from across the globe. From July 24th-30th colleges and universities from as far away as China, India, and Russia also competed for the honor of showcasing the best in RoboSub technology.

Every year this competition is hosted at the SSC Pacific TRANSDEC Pool in San Diego, and the pool is supervised by the U.S. Navy Seals who dive to retrieve the subs and move them to their starting positions. The course must be traversed by the RoboSub through various obstacles and challenges within 30 minutes, and contestants have the ability to start over as many times as needed. The big catch is that the time does not start over when a team decides to go back to the starting line. The sub must be retrieved by a Navy Seal diver and brought back to the start in order to try the course again. Luckily teams get to rotate time in the pool before the competition begins in order to make changes and begin to strategize their way through the course. Despite a slightly rough start, over the course of the week long competition against 43 other teams, the team at ENVI was able to qualify in the final round on Saturday and put their name on the leaderboard.

The top three schools this year were Cornell University (USA/First Place), Far Eastern Federal University/Institute for Marine Technology (Russia/Second Place), and the National University of Singapore (Singapore/Third Place). Each of the top teams received a cash prize and international recognition in the world of autonomous underwater vehicles. However prizes were not just awarded to the best contestants. Other teams had the chance to win monetary prizes for “Best Static Entry”, “Best PR”, “Best New Entry”, “Best Presentation”, and “Sportsmanship”.

For two years in a row the ENVI team was able to qualify with their robosub and next year should be just as exciting. In the world of robosub development there are many possibilities for improvement and innovation, and we at Coleman are looking forward to seeing what ENVI has in store for their next competition. For more information on the Robonation competition visit their website at http://www.robonation.org/competition/robosub.

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Effective Leaders are Constant Learners: Bob Sweigart

Effective leaders are not afraid to learn something new and keep their minds active through professional development and training. It is important for any professional to be willing to learn whenever they can to improve their work culture.

 As a student or graduate of a technology focused University, it is crucial for you to show not only a mastery of your craft, but also that you have the hard skills needed to be a successful employee and peer. When you review a job description, you are going to assume the company wants you to do A, B and C and have X, Y and Z skills. While it is essential to have these hard skills at your disposal, you need to show the ability to learn new skills. Being the best choice for a position is more than what you have achieved on paper; it is also what you are willing to do as a professional to continue to be the best.

The first step in becoming a successful professional is being able to read between the lines to see past what your employer is asking of you, and understand what you can do that isn’t asked for, but could potentially be of value to the company. As an example, during a college internship, a student was tasked to complete a project and realized that there was software that could be used to assist with the effort. The hurdle was that the proposed software required that the student learn a programming language she was not familiar with. Since the student knew the program would greatly improve the chances of completing the project successfully, she took it upon herself to learn the new programming language. It was not just showing the initiative to try a new way of doing things that made this student employee an example.Being excited to learn something new that would not only benefit the employee, but also the company, is an example of what a great employee should be.

Demonstrating you are constantly learning is crucial in the field of technology because as we all know technology is constantly updating and changing itself. In an article published by Inc., the five best practices for learning while on the job include understanding how things work in your office, talking issues out with others who have more experience, and simply throwing yourself entirely into something new that you have yet to encounter (Inc., 2014). The Harvard Business Review writes that leaders are better when they are also learners. In order to be effective as a leader, the avenues of creativity and innovation have to be open and that means bringing in new perspectives and protocols (Harvard Business Review, 2015). Learning does not stop once you exit a classroom; to be a high performing employee and a powerful leader you should look for opportunities to learn in every challenge that comes your way.

Thank you to Bob Sweigart, our Director of Career Services for his contribution to the Coleman blog. For more Career oriented advice, resume building assistance, help signing up for e-Hired, and interview prep, visit the Career Services staff at Coleman University or email careerservices@coleman.edu for more information.

 

 

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Coleman and Ssubi give back to San Diego

Our President, Norbert Kubilus, stands next to the donated computers from Sharp Healthcare that Coleman will be helping to refurbish. Ssubi is located behind the Graduate Studies building. 

Coleman University’s mission statement is “To deliver relevant education that prepares individuals for technology-focused careers, while providing an environment where they may develop to their full potential”. That mission statement is not just focused on our learning environments. Our emphasis on developing to a full potential also applies to the various opportunities that Coleman is bringing to our students that take place outside of the classroom and within our community. Since 2016 we have provided a portion of a warehouse for the non-profit Ssubi to operate out of, as well as encouraged our students to work with them to collect and ship donations around the world. This organization has taken on the enormous task of processing gently used medical equipment from local hospitals and clinics and distributing to areas in Africa that have no access to basic and essential medical materials. The founder, Laura Luxemburg, has worked tirelessly throughout Southern California to encourage the leaders in the Healthcare industry to be more conscious of their potential impact through conservation and to donate their equipment to communities who need it. It is her goal to bring jobs to our city in an environment that promotes conservation. Through efforts in connection with Sharp Healthcare and the San Diego Veterans Association, Laura has been successful in reaching the first part of her overall goal for Ssubi: the potential millions of tons of medical waste that can be reused are being saved from landfills. Sustainability is important for helping to make San Diego a Green city and Coleman University wants to be a part of that movement.

In conjunction with their effort called Greening for Good, Ssubi is also offering gently used computer equipment to low income families in San Diego. Our University has provided Ssubi with a center on our campus to clean, store, and refurbish 50 computers that were donated by Sharp Healthcare. Using the Cybersecurity Club room which serves as a lab on our campus, student volunteers are installing new software and returning the equipment to their factory settings. Once each computer has been cleaned, they will be donated to local shelters and families who may not have access to computer equipment. Computer and internet literacy are vital skills that will help every child become more successful in their academic careers. Coleman is dedicated to promoting this literacy effort and we are doing our part by donating equipment to help maintain an equal educational playing field for young learners and their parents. We hope to continue to work closely with Ssubi again in the future, and we look forward to seeing all of the delighted faces of the families who will be receiving these donations.

For more information on the on-going efforts of Ssubi please visit their website: http://www.ssubi.org/ or check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ssubiishope/

 

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Phishing Isn’t a Sport

Six tips from Coleman University on how to keep your email safe from phishing scams.

Cybersecurity is a hot button topic lately. With the rumors of Russian infiltration into the United States Presidential election, and the exposure of private emails and photos onto sites such as WikiLeaks, the privacy that we covet online is becoming increasingly endangered. With the recent phishing scam going through Google Docs, it is imperative to remember the necessary steps to take online in order to ensure that you are not a target of a scam. First, let’s review what online scamming/phishing looks like, and the ways to spot one.

The most likely scam that you will encounter is a phishing email that can be sent to your accounts. Phishing is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a scam by which an e-mail user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly.” An email may look legitimate with logos and graphics, but that does not mean that it should be taken at face value. For example, banks have taken a stance against phishing by only allowing account actions to be completed through their own websites or at a physical bank location. Your private bank will never ask you for passwords, social security numbers, account numbers, routing numbers, or any other private information via email (Telegraph.co.uk). Be on the lookout for emails that inform you of account changes or updates; if you did not authorize changes, immediately report this issue. The best course of action to protect yourself if you feel that you have been targeted by a scam is to document as much as you can with photos, emails, and phone calls. If an email comes into your inbox that seems suspicious call the company that supposedly sent it and ask about the email. Taking the initiative to validate the email before responding is one of the best ways to protect yourself from online threats. So what happened in regards to the Google Docs scam that went viral last week?

Gmail users were sent a notification from a known contact to click on a shared Google Doc. In order to access the document, the users had to authorize a transfer of contact information to the sender. Since the sender was perceived to be a friend or family member, there was little hesitation to allow this authorization. Routing the doc through an unauthorized Google Docs app prompted the Gmail user to allow the application to take control of their email information as a “management” tool (BGR.com). As a result, any personal information attached to contacts was downloaded and stored. Google reported shortly after this spamming went viral that over one million accounts were potentially compromised and the unauthorized application was shut down, as well as the email accounts that were the source of the scam. Information from email accounts linked to sites such as iTunes, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook were the most vulnerable to this scam. Any users who had encountered this phishing email were asked to change their emails and passwords immediately. An interesting thing to note is that a majority of these emails were addressed to “hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com” (Forbes.com).

One of the first things that you should look for when it comes to identifying phishing emails is the sender’s name, the name that they have addressed the email to, and the language they have used. If there are typos, or if the language is not clear, that should be your first indication that the email in question is not valid. Most often the email address of the sender will look like an official domain, but there could be minor differences such as a period between words, or a domain extension from another country such as “.ru” or “br”, which can be hard to miss. If links are provided in the body of the email, hover your cursor over them and the destination for the link should pop up. If an IP address comes up instead of the domain name, then the link could be fraudulent. Another item to look for is the tone of the message. If you receive an email that has a threat such as closure of an account, that tone is your best indication that the message is fraudulent. A good source of examples for phishing is the Microsoft website, which also lists the information for phishing phone calls and how to report phishing activity.

Taking that extra moment to evaluate an email is your best line of defense in keeping your private information safe. Make sure to update your email passwords and delete unwanted or fraudulent emails as soon as possible. If you are interested in how online security works, and want to learn more about protecting online identities think about the possibility of a career in Cybersecurity. This field is growing fast and will be a lucrative degree option long into the future. Call Coleman today to schedule an appointment and speak with an admissions counselor at (858) 499-0202 Monday through Friday.

 

 

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Faculty Spotlight: Thomas Byrne (Cybersecurity Program)

Part of what makes Coleman University so unique to San Diego is the incredible faculty that we have on our campus. Technology and its development are not pastimes for our faculty; their careers and passions are built around it. We sat down with one of our Cybersecurity instructors, Mr. Thomas Byrne, to talk about his passion for technology and teaching. Hopefully we can show you something new and exciting about your instructors!

Mr. Byrne (far right) stands with his First Robotics Team at the Central Valley Regional in March of 2016. This photo was taken after the team had secured a spot in a semi-final for the second time that month!

1.So, Mr. Byrne, what drew you to technology and network security?

I grew up with technology and thinking back here are some of my memories: I was literally amazed at my first RED Led watch in the mid 1970’s as well as PONG, which I had hooked up to my TV. I thought to myself “this is the future, these digital readouts.”  Then one day in 1982 my father, who worked at McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach as a Branch Chief Engineer, brought home a Compupro 8/16. It ran CP/M off of 8-inch floppies. One of my favorite games to play on the computer was “Colossal Cave Adventure,” which was a text based adventure game that made you visualize the world you were exploring. I spent a lot of time exploring that cave and one day I got stuck in the cave and actually phoned the author for a game hint in the help file. That was cool, knowing that I could phone the creator of the game. The hint was “Did you get the axe? Did you throw the axe at the Minotaur?” Ooops! I also read a lot when I was a kid, and I eventually came across tech magazines in the electronics store. I read an article and found out that you could punch a hole on the back of that huge floppy to make it double sided; it was so exciting to learn that I could double my storage!  I learned to program in Assembly, which meant manipulating the CPU stack, and I watched my dad write code to track expenses and even predict when airplanes were flying overhead as they landed in LAX. I also received my HAM radio license back when you had to learn Morse code and was communicating with people in Japan and Germany… so that’s how I sort of got hooked on technology, it was my fun time. As for network security, I like to be secure and wanted to learn how to maintain my systems against threats. I saw all the virus activity and did not want to lose my data, so I researched how to stay safe online and really liked understanding how the hackers think and what motivates them. I also learned how vulnerable this technology is, and I wanted to do something about it.

2.How long have you been teaching at Coleman? What inspired you to become a teacher?

I was hired as an Instructor in August of 2010. Before that I was a corporate trainer for Luxottica. I always was someone who could learn and then explain almost any topic and gain insights on it. I really like helping people understand difficult concepts in cybersecurity. This is a huge positive, as a lot of the material can be difficult until you understand it. I try to make it easy to understand, so that my students can remember the material down the road and make use of that knowledge. I try my best to cut through the noise to the essence of what’s really important to know.

3.Do you have a piece of advice or information that you want all of your students to know before they graduate?

There is a job for you, as the world certainly needs trained cybersecurity professionals. It will not be handed to you though. One piece of advice I have is to be very flexible in your careers and gravitate to the areas that interest you. Learn everything you can about security and technology; we live in amazing times and the whole world is going through a digital transformation right now. The world needs your help, so study hard and keep up with all the changes in technology and security. The Internet is a great human resource, so use it; learn how to find good sources of information and never stop learning. It’s very important to learn to interact with others in a positive way and become a good communicator. Be a positive person. Technology is hard for many so help them understand it.

4.Where do you go for the most accurate and up-to-date information on what is happening in technology?

I take advantage of my commute time and listen to podcasts. I’ve got my podcast apps, and I can tie into any podcast out there. I listen to Google, Apple, Microsoft, Security Podcasts, etc. It really comes down to about five companies that are at the head of technology development. It is all interesting to watch and hear, like a big game to see who will come out with the next trend.

5.What are some basic tactics that you would recommend to the public, who may not be fully aware of online cyber risks?

First of all, don’t believe in total privacy online. If you’re on the Internet regularly, you are not doing it privately. If you’re using the Internet you’re going to be in some database somewhere. In regard to keeping your own computers and other devices secure, try not to click on links that you don’t recognize, use two-factor authentication whenever possible, have a password manager for your personal emails and other log-ins, keep up with the news, and don’t go to websites that you can’t verify. Most importantly, don’t allow any action on your devices that you do not personally approve. So if an email comes up with a link that you do not know, reverse it, call the company directly and ask if they contacted you. You need to initiate the connection instead of assuming a provided link is good.

6.What are you involved in outside of the classroom that involves technology development?

Well, I am a mentor for First Robotics. My son wanted to start a robotics club at his high school with two friends, after seeing that other schools around the city, such as Hi Tech High had them. They started a robotics team for Mission Hills High School in San Marcos. I met with them and let them know that I wanted to help out, so I met all the parents of the other students and we worked together to start a robotics team. It’s a lot of work! You have to form the team, and it costs about $4000 to compete in these competitions, so that takes a lot of fundraising. You’re given parameters like the weight of the robots, which has to be 120 pounds, and the cost, which has to be less than $4000, and so on. So you need to get sponsors. We got started in the robotics competitions in San Diego four years ago, and our first project was a defensive robot which was required to have the ability for aerial assist. In that first competition we placed 23rd out of 60 teams, which was pretty high for a rookie team, considering that some of the other teams had been doing this for at least ten years. From there we ended up going to St. Louis to compete, because we won Rookie All Star; we were up against teams from across the nation, but there are also about 30 countries that do this every year as well. Right now there are about 6,000 teams globally that are a part of this competition. We were up against the best and that motivated us to come back even better the next time. So in the following years we have been semi-finalists in both the national and international competitions. This year we were semi-final and quarter-finalists. There are a lot of scholarships attached to this, so students can get money from Boeing and other companies who are looking for engineers to sponsor. Our team is so successful because we have so many mentors who specialize in every aspect of building and implementing.

7.What is an up and coming technology or technology trend that you are really excited about?

Well people like to say that my head is in the clouds, because I am so invested in cloud computing! This is the next paradigm shift in major technology. A cloud service run by major corporations like Google and Microsoft provides the advantage of a powerful storage facility, with massive processing power, and servers that can shift their computing power to adapt to any situation. In regards to hacking, people are going to start seeing the value of the cloud, because it offers more security at less expense, and it is consistently updated. The ability to share and store information will connect the world and give everyone access to technology.

 

We want to thank Mr. Byrne for taking the time to tell us about himself and his passion for technology. Keeping students motivated and engaged is a full-time job and there is a lot more beneath the surface here than you might think. Join us again next month for another spotlight on our incredible faculty at Coleman University! If you would like to know more about First Robotics and the team that Mr. Byrne is mentoring follow the links below.

https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc

https://www.facebook.com/team5137/

 

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