Seven Days Story Highlights Digital Forensics Successes at Champlain

A major story appeared in Seven Days newspaper about the Digital Forensics programs at Champlain College and Norwich University and how the grads are in high demand across the country.

Here are some excerpts from the story.

Vermont's College Grads in Digital Defense Are in Huge Demand
By Ken Picard/ Seven Days /05.01.13

As a kid, Catherine Stamm was always interested in police work and criminal forensics, until she realized she couldn't stomach "the whole blood thing." But as a high school student in North Babylon, N.Y., she also loved messing around with computers. So she decided to attend Champlain College and pursue a degree in computer and digital forensics, which doesn't involve messy crime scenes.

After Stamm graduates from Champlain this month, she'll start a job with Kivu Consulting, a small, San Francisco-based firm that does digital forensics and computer investigations. Stamm began interviewing for jobs back in November and was courted by several different firms before accepting Kivu's offer in February. The 22-year-old's starting salary: about $60,000 a year, she says....

....Jonathan Rajewski is an assistant professor of digital forensics and director of Champlain College's Leahy Center for Digital Investigation. The students he teaches are now so highly sought after that many are being recruited while still in their junior year, and sometimes even earlier.

"It's pretty crazy," Rajewski says. Earlier this year, three companies visited Champlain to interview his students, including Dell SecureWorks, a security division of the global computing giant. That company hired five of his students "on the spot," he says. Another firm, defense contractor ManTech International, extended an offer to one of his sophomores - contingent upon his graduation, of course.

As Rajewski explains, his program's national profile got a major boost in February whenSC Magazine, an industry trade publication for IT security professionals, named Champlain's digital forensics program the best cybersecurity higher education program in the United States.

The day after Champlain got the award, Rajewski says, he got a call from the former chief scientist at Lockheed Martin, whose son is interested in entering the field: "He asked me, Who are you guys? I'd never even heard of Champlain before.'"

Today, Champlain and Norwich stand toe-to-toe with some of the top cybersecurity institutions in the country. Neither Stephenson nor Rajewski considers their schools competitors, but the programs do have many similarities. Both are small private schools in Vermont that have earned national reputations in the cybersecurity field with help, in part, from Sen. Patrick Leahy and the major financial resources he's secured for them....

... Champlain College also offers its computer and digital forensics students an opportunity to work on actual criminal cases, including investigations for the Vermont State Police and the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Rajewski notes that the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation is also assisting several "local large corporations and governmental entities" with their cybersecurity efforts - though he's not at liberty to identify which ones.

What distinguishes the two programs? Generally speaking, Champlain is more inclined to groom its digital forensics students for jobs in law enforcement and the private sector. Norwich, the nation's oldest private military college, tends to funnel its cyber-grads into careers in the military, defense contracting and the intelligence community. (That said, both Berry and Rioux are pursuing careers in the civilian sector.)

Another thing Champlain and Norwich have in common: Both programs have become highly selective in the students they accept....

Vermont's College Grads in Digital Defense Are in Huge Demand

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit