Cyber camp arms students with crime-fighting tools

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, cyber-crime is now the fastest rising crime in America.

As a result of the growing cyber threat, there is a also a greater demand for professionals who work to prevent cyber-crime.

During the first week of August, 100 of these budding professionals attended Cyber Camp at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (JSRCC), where they participated in a range of classes covering cyber security topics, in addition to job fairs and discussions with professionals in the field.

The local camp was the largest of five week-long Cyber Camps across the country with the purpose of training future professionals in cyber security.

To be invited to the week-long Cyber Camp, college students had to participate in tests known as Cyber Quests held in April. The test is hosted by the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a program with a mission of “identifying and recruiting the next generation of cyber security professionals.” The students with the highest scores were invited to camps in states across the nation during the months of July and August.

Kristopher Cox, security information Officer at JSRCC, began laying the groundwork a year ago for Virginia to host a Cyber Camp.

“I was at a SANS [security training] conference last year and a colleague of mine asked if I wanted to be a mentor at one of the Cyber Camps,” said Cox. “I told him I wanted to start a Virginia camp.

“I really wanted JSRCC to be a part of this,” said Cox. “I knew how vested Virginia is in cyber-crime prevention and I knew it would bring a lot to the community. JSRCC wants to bring cyber-crime awareness to everyone.”

Rudy Pamintuan, a volunteer with the U.S. Cyber Challenge, works to create ways to bring students to the challenge.

“This opportunity will help them grow and find new career paths. Companies come to this camp during job fairs to hire people out of the U.S. Cyber Challenge. It is giving people a safe place to do what they do best, which is virtually attack things,” said Pamintuan.

The camp not only provides employment opportunities from some of the industry’s leading employers, but also provides an intensive curriculum with expert teachers in the field of cyber security.

Carrie Schaper, a graduate student at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, is a first-time camper at a Cyber Camp. “This camp compresses week-long courses in a day,” said Schaper. “We are developing an expertise through the intense curriculum and the knowledgeable teachers who work in the field.”

On Tuesday of the week-long camp, the students participated in an executive roundtable discussion and question-and-answer session with speakers that included Virginia Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey and several CEO’s of companies that offer cyber security, such as Ernest McDuffie of the National Institute for Cyber Security Education (NICE), David Tobey of the National Board of Information Security Examiners (NBISE), and Charlie Croom, VP of Cyber Solutions for Lockheed Martin.

The discussion was centered around the profession of cyber security, highlighting topics such as how to be trained, how to find jobs, and how to work with academia to develop curricula and standards for cyber-crime prevention education.

“This camp has given everyone here an opportunity for free, because SANS training is very expensive,” Schaper said. “We are receiving hands-on, practical knowledge by experts in the field which is hard to come by. This camp is giving us experience above and beyond what most people get.”

Doug Logan is a former camper and challenge winner from New York who participated this year as a teacher’s assistant at the Missouri camp during the week of July 25, and also at Virginia’s camp at JSRCC in August.

“I learned so much from first being a camper and being involved in the Cyber Camp,” said Logan. “It helped jump-start the amount of knowledge I learned. It is consolidated and detailed, and it is a great opportunity to be exposed to different types of security and give you a base knowledge in different areas.”

On Friday, the final day of the camp, attendees participated in a virtual “capture-the-flag” competition in which the team of five winning students received $1,000 scholarships.

“Many students don’t know that they have this opportunity,” said Cox. “The camp opens these students up to employers and also networking with others to gain valuable scholarships.

“Cyber-crime is rising so quickly,” added Cox. “If we are prepared, we have the power to catch people that are damaging others through cyber-crimes.

“By training these young people, we are being proactive and preventing these sorts of things from happening.”
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Fresh Air Fund seeks host families


The Fresh Air Fund, a program through which nearly 4,000 children from low-income New York City communities spend a summer with host families in communities along the East Coast and in southern Canada, is seeking hosts for the coming summer.

According to the organization, there is no such thing as a “typical” host family. First-time Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from seven to 12 years old. Children who are reinvited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18 and can enjoy extended trips. > Read more.

Godwin student wins in statewide STEM essay contest

Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women announced recently that Morgan Logsdon of Mills E. Godwin High School was one of five statewide winners of the sixth-annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for young women enrolled in their junior or senior year of high school.

The Council on Women established the contest to award scholarships to high school junior and senior young women who plan to pursue STEM careers at institutions of higher education. > Read more.

Varina meeting May 2 to address opioid crisis in Henrico


Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson will hold a Community Conversations meeting Tuesday, May 2 to discuss the opioid epidemic in Henrico County.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Road. Nelson will be joined by County Manager John A. Vithoulkas and members of the Henrico Heroin Task Force for a discussion of heroin and opioid abuse and ways to prevent it. > Read more.

Baker ES to remain closed until fall


Baker Elementary School students will complete the 2016-17 school year at other locations and will return to a restored building in fall 2017, school leaders have decided.

The decision was made in order to provide ample time for repairs to be completed at the fire-damaged school and to avoid additional interruptions to instructional time. > Read more.

Henrico Police arrest 2 Georgia men in connection with January murder


Henrico Police have arrested and charged two Georgia men with first-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 18 murder of 36-year-old Lamont Cornelius Baldwin in the 1200 block of Dominion Townes Terrace.

Antonio Tyrone Johnson (above, left) and Santonio Rodrigus Brown (above, right), both 24 and both of Atlanta, were charged. Johnson also was charged with use of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a felon. > Read more.

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The Klemperer Trio will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music, at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts. The Klemperer Trio, formed in 1980, consists of Erika Klemperer, violin; Ronald Crutcher, violoncello; and Gordon Back, piano. They are a chamber ensemble with a repertoire spanning musical styles from classical to contemporary. Admission is free but tickets are required. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/KlempererTrio. Full text

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