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
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 threw 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
Why did Adam choose Champlain? I've been planning on doing computer science since seventh or eighth grade-it's actually my quote in my eighth-grade yearbook that I wanted to be a programmer. It's kind of been with me my entire life. I went to high school not to far from here, so I had plenty of chances to tour Champlain. Every time I came on tour, it was an even more beautiful day, and it just felt super welcoming.
His take on Champlain professors.I love all the professors that I've had here. They have such cool stories, and they're all passionate about what they're teaching. They make me feel super inspired by everything they do in class. Even outside of class, I go and constantly talk with them.
The best part of my classes are... I'm learning things that are relevant. Right now, I'm still learning the basics but those are the fundamentals. In all the classes I've taken at Champlain, they give you a really good basis of what you need, but they don't force you to think in one way. I think that's one of the best things about the classes.
Core has changed his perspective...I'm in some really cool Core classes right now that are more hands-on and less discussion-based. Core classes get me out of my comfort zone, which I think is one of the best ways to grow as an individual.
Adam is a Student Ambassador.I give tours, and I also help out with Admissions projects. It's a super important job because I'm talking with prospective families, and what I say genuinely matters. You can change people's lives. I don't think there's a job cooler than that.
Best thing about Burlington...The concerts. Burlington is between Montreal and Boston, so bands going between those cities see that we're a college town and have concerts here. I've probably been to 10 concerts this year. There's always something to do, and when you go somewhere, you're always going to see someone you know. It feels like you know everyone.
Adam, Computer Science & Innovation majorGeorgia, VTDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES