The Computer & Digital Forensics major was a perfect fit for Jonathan.When I first heard what Digital Forensics was, I realized that it was what I'd always wanted to do. I just didn't know it was an actual profession. As far as I knew, it was what detectives did. When it came time for the college application process, Champlain College has a good reputation in the industry, and it was sort of a no-brainer.
He loves the enthusiasm his professors bring to the classroom.The thing I love about the professors at Champlain is that not only are they at the top of their field, but they're also usually as passionate as the students themselves. My favorite professor is Jonathan Rajewski, because in class you can see that he loves what he's teaching. He makes sure it aligns with what's going on currently in the world of digital forensics and cybercrime so that we're ready for anything once we graduate.
He has been working at the Leahy Center for Digital Investigations since his first year.I'm a Security Operations Center Analyst at the Leahy Center for Digital Investigations (LCDI). I love that it's an actual world-class laboratory that allows students to do ground-breaking research starting their first year there. At the LCDI, I've been able to use a lot of what I've learned in the classroom. The difference is that if I do something wrong in class, I can just start over. If I'm in the LCDI and I mess something up, I have to start the whole project over because the evidence has been tampered with. There's real consequences.
And is involved in several clubs on campus.The Digital Forensics Association and the Cybersecurity Club both have the same aim: to teach students what they don't learn in class. For example, one night we had a lock-picking event. It's not something you'd learn in class, but it's still a useful skill to know. I'm also in the Equestrian Club, and that's an awesome stress reliever. We ride horses and go on trail rides; it's really laid back.
Jonathan's summer internship was sad to see him go...I was a security engineer at a small company called Boingo Wireless, which distributes Wi-Fi to major venues like airports and military bases. There were only two security engineers while I was working there: the director and me. He confronted me within the first week because I hadn't been asking questions during the meetings, but he was surprised when I told him I actually understood everything they were talking about. I ended up doing a lot more than I thought I would be, like handling their instant response and setting up security policies. At the end of my internship, they said they were having a hard time trying to replace me.
Jonathan, Digital Forensics majorInglewood, CADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
Mary enjoys the real-word projects in her Digital Forensics classes...
My Digital Forensics classes have a lot of real-world examples. In class, we've simulated investigating a kidnapped child, a drug dealer and a terrorist organization. It's really helpful for our professors to make such realistic situations for us since those are the kind of things that we could be dealing with in the field.
Core develops her skills and knowledge in new ways...
I really enjoyed Core. I think that in the IT industry specifically a lot of people skills can be lost if not practiced. Core really helps people in tech-focused majors learn to communicate, how to work in a team environment and it enhances our writing skills, all of which are really crucial.
The Senator Patrick Leahy Center for Digital Investigation (LCDI) has given her professional opportunities...
At the LCDI, I was in charge of two teams over the course of a year-and-a-half. We were working on different devices doing digital regeneration and analysis on them. During the research process, I even directly applied the information I learned in my classes like Mobile Device Forensics. The work has been presented at a major digital forensics conference, Fuse 2016, and it's been really groundbreaking in the industry. I know that employers will be impressed with what I've learned and done here at Champlain.
At Champlain, Mary found a strong community...
Champlain has such a close-knit community. You meet some of your best friends here, and you make real connections. At Champlain, you will be part of a community that will support you no matter what your dreams or goals are.
Mary knows she is prepared for life after college...
Because Champlain is so career-focused, I have a really good idea of what life is going to be like after college. There's not a doubt in my mind that I'll be prepared, if not over-prepared for what's to come.
Mary, Computer & Digital Forensics majorColumbia, South CarolinaDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
Nancy knew the Computer & Digital Forensics program was too good for her to pass up. I applied to 14 schools with a wide range of majors, but when I read about the Computer & Digital Forensics program, it sounded amazing. I came to Admitted Students Day, and the second I stepped on campus, the decision was made. Even though I did not have a background in computers, the Upside-Down Curriculum threws me right in. You learn from books, but you also get to learn hands-on, which made a really big difference for me. Right now, I'm doing stuff I never thought I would be doing in a million years. You have this chance to learn what you're passionate about here, and it really makes a difference. Champlain gets that.
She enjoys her classes so much, Nancy didn't even realize everything she'd learned until she took a minute to reflect. My first year, I took a class called Cybercrime. Our final project was to use EnCase to go through emails and interview a suspect to see where his identity was stolen. I think a lot of college students have this moment, where they sit in class and think, "What have I learned? I know nothing!" which is stressful, especially during finals week. But I could actually see the results in front of me, and I realized, "Oh my god, I'm actually learning." When you're passionate about something, you don't even know you're learning because you're just sitting there, enjoying every minute of it.
The Women in ITS Club has empowered her to become a role model for other women in cybersecurity. I'm a member of the Women in ITS Club, the Digital Forensics Association and the Cyber Security Club. I'm also a Peer Coach with the Career Collaborative. I realized that in a field where there are only 11% women, I may not have that many female role models, so I had to become one. Thanks to Women in ITS, I got to go to the Women in Cybersecurity Conference in Tucson, Arizona. There were probably around 3,000 women and I networked and had so much fun.
Core helped Nancy discover new passions. I have loved all of my Core classes so far. I took an Ethics & the Environment course in my sophomore year which focused specifically on water. At first I thought, "How am I going to sit here and learn about water for three months? This is going to be ridiculous." But it was amazing. My professor was so passionate about what she was teaching, and I think all Champlain professors are. Their passion resonates, and it gets to the students. For our final project, my group studied invasive species in Lake Champlain, and our poster ended up being presented to all these people.
You don't know the significance of what you're doing until it's done. That's kind of what Champlain does, it gives us depth to these concepts I never even thought about before.
Nancy, Computer & Digital Forensics majorMohegan Lake, NYDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
It was a good sign to Megh that Champlain Digital Forensics professor Jonathan Rajewski fielded multiple phone calls from him with questions about the program—before Megh even applied. And that a transfer admissions staff member helped him find a job on campus—before he started. That made Megh's choice seem all the more solid when he transferred to Champlain from a community college in his hometown of Philadelphia.
He was already convinced about Champlain on one front. "It has the nation's best Computer & Digital Forensics program with the best professionals in the field teaching us," he says. "The small classroom size allows a better faculty-student interaction. And it's great to study with professionals who use the tools and software in real life."
In addition to attentive faculty and staff, the Summer Bridge Program helped Megh's transition to Champlain. "It was the best way to transition into Champlain. It gives a taste of what it's like," he says.Megh, Computer & Digital Forensics Philadelphia, PADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCESWhere is Megh now? Megh is Head of Innovation at UE LifeSciences in Philadelphia, PA.
Studying abroad made me feel more independent, and I learned a lot about myself as a person. I was able to visit new countries, see places that I learned about my entire life, meet new people and make new friends. But I also gained a lot of great experience that will help me in my field.
In Digital Forensics, you have to be able to communicate effectively with your client, and sometimes they can be from a different country. Most Digital Forensics employers look for people who can communicate well and effectively. Studying abroad definitely helped my communication skills immensely, and it shows employers that I'm independent, open to new situations, and can adapt to my surroundings.
The experience also made me realize how much I love traveling. This made me consider being a digital forensic consultant. Digital forensic consultants have to travel to client sites all over the country, and sometimes to other countries. Maybe one day, I can even work as a consultant abroad.
After graduation, Christine was hired as a digital forensic associate at Stroz Friedberg, LLC in New York.
Christine, Computer & Digital Forensics Braintree, MADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
I came into college without a computer background. I truly have had the opportunity to expand on my experiences as a student and an individual. Already, I've learned so much in my second year of college through my classes, and I've gained experience through working in the LCDI and by attending the Computer and Enterprise Investigations Conference in Las Vegas through my program.
I'm dedicated to helping people, particularly children, and in my second semester, I helped make a mobile application to assist investigators in the human trafficking sector and this semester, I'm working on a similar project at the LCDI. Everything I've learned in class I've applied to my work in the LCDI, where I've also gained new skills that I'll use in the field when I graduate.
Last summer, I interned with the Burlington Police Department where I got to see all of the inner-workings of law enforcement. I worked on projects from mobile cases to office tasks and ride-alongs with the officers. Through inquiring with the Burlington Police Department about an internship, when they didn't even have an internship program, I learned that I had initiative. If you asked me two years ago, I would never have seen myself in that situation.
I want to encourage other women to follow in my footsteps in my field or other male-dominated fields because I've learned so much about myself, and I've definitely become more confident.
Kayla, Computer & Digital Forensics & Criminal Justice Double MajorNorth Creek, NJDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
I have a love for criminal justice and computers. When looking for possible career paths, I found digital forensics and I knew that that's what I wanted to pursue.
I have enjoyed my time in Champlain's Computer & Digital Forensics program from the start. You dive right into relevant classes with the Upside-Down Curriculum. We get a lot of hands-on experience using forensic tools that are used by professional digital forensic analysts, and all my professors bring their experience into the classroom.
While the classes at Champlain are great, I've used my skills the most in my work-study job at the LCDI. Learning is one thing, but putting what you learn into practice and attributing it to real life work is a necessity. In the LCDI, I'm able to apply what I've learned to help with case work that we get from State of Vermont investigators, local law enforcement, lawyers and digital forensic examiners. I'm using cutting-edge programs and technologies on a regular basis which allows me to familiarize myself with the tools being used by examiners in the field.
The experience I've received at the LCDI is the best part of Champlain College. I am confident that I will be able to go straight into the field right out of college and perform well at any job I get thanks to the LCDI and the classes at Champlain.
Scott, Computer & Digital Forensics MajorHinesburg, VTDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES