Jacqueline came into her field without a background in computer technology.The professors in the computer field will help as long as you ask. It was difficult for me because it felt like everyone had already made a computer when they were babies, and I did not. But as long as you ask your peers and your professors for help, it's fine. You have to find that support system within your major.
Core opened her mind to new possibilities.Core opens your eyes and your mind to the different aspects of the world. You kind of understand what other people's views are because of their background, because every background is different. The Core classes can be pretty intense, but you become a better writer and a better student. You engage in the class.
To Jacqueline, the small classes at Champlain are key.I came from a small high school, so I knew the importance of being able to make those relationships with the professors. I like small classes because the professors get to know you. Especially because I'm that annoying person who asks a lot of questions, they know that I need a little more help. My professor works in the field, so he has personal tidbits to give us. Like, you probably shouldn't have a flip phone if you work in this industry because it makes you look less tech-y. There's that security of knowing that the professors are currently working in the field they teach, and it's not just from the textbook.
She's found a family away from home at Champlain.I was very homesick my first year, so I decided to become more involved on campus.Everyone was very welcoming and supportive, especially because we do have the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Women's & Gender Center. Basically, all the clubs that I'm a part of act as a support system for those diverse groups and teach others about being [a part of those cultures] in that club.
Alianza Latinx teaches students what it's like to be Latina/o, about the food and the culture. The Women In ITS Club is more about learning what we need to go into the field as women in information technology, because there's such a small number of us, and we want to take those opportunities that Champlain gives us. Shades of Me is another community of friends who know what it's like to be a smaller population on campus. We teach each other about our backgrounds and cultures. All these clubs are like a family.
Jacqueline is also a Financial Peer Coach...I am involved with the InSight program [Champlain's career and personal finance education], and we run the MoneyTalks and the financial milestones that students have to complete in order to graduate. We have one-on-one credit review sessions with students, in which we pull up their credit score, and show them how to improve it. We also have workshops where we teach about credit and credit cards, as well as other financial topics. For example, right now I'm working on a project about cost of living. We're tailoring the topics to what everybody wants.
And was pleasantly surprised by Burlington...Champlain was the only East Coast school I applied to, and people kept asking me, "Where are you going? Where is Vermont?" I get the vibe that Burlington is basically Oregon but on the East Coast. It's a very welcoming community, everyone is accepted to the max. Hawai'i has a very open community, so I was worried that going to another state was going to be a big culture shock, but coming to Burlington was a soft landing.
All in all, she appreciates the support she's found at Champlain...You don't have to know what you want to do. People here want you to succeed, whether that means taking different minors or switching majors. If you talk to your Advisor, they'll help you, and if they don't know the answer, then they'll point you to someone who does. It's OK to be unsure like I was. You'll find your group of friends here. You'll find the support system you want. You'll find everything.
Jacqueline, Data Analytics majorKane'ohe, HIDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
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 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
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 Amabassador.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
Alice came in as a transfer student.Before I came to Champlain, I got my Associate degree in Engineering at a community college in Virginia. I was a little worried that none of my credits would transfer and that I would have to retake everything, but Champlain worked with me to transfer almost all of my credits.
She appreciates the Upside-Down Curriculum.The Upside-Down Curriculum allows me to take courses in my major from the very first year. I'm able to experience a lot more about what is in my field, so I knew from the beginning that programming and computer science are what I wanted to do. Instead of writing papers all the time, I'm writing programs and algorithms, which are a lot of fun.
Her professors surprised her.One of the really surprising things I found at Champlain was that the professors don't focus a lot on independent study and research-they focus on building the curriculum and teaching their students as effectively as possible. My professors are willing to work with me and teach me how to go above and beyond. My favorite professor is Warren Sides, I had him for Discrete Mathematics. He just puts wonderful flare into the classroom; it's something absolutely magical.
Alice chose Champlain for its welcoming community.Burlington seemed like a very accepting community, and it felt like a place I would want to live and experience life. When I first came to Champlain, I was really scared. Then I realized that everybody was really supportive and accepting, and I found a lot of great communities that helped me become more confident and happy with who I am.
Now she works for Champlain's Marketing department.I'm the Web Application Developer in the Marketing department, so I build new and exciting innovative content for the college's websites. Working in Marketing has certainly taught me that I am not a one-woman team and that I need to be able to work with people-not just reach out to them but rely on them as well. We have a wonderful creative team of artists and writers, people who can really bring a project together, and that's what it's going to be like working in the real world.
And is on the Dance Team.My favorite spot on campus is the dance studio. It's just a fun and active place, and I love all the mirrors everywhere. I'm part of the Champlain College Dance Team, so every week we go and dance and practice for performances. Sometimes we do hip-hop, sometimes we do lyrical, contemporary, ballet; it really depends on what performance we're doing and what we want to do.
In the future, Alice wants to work with smart technology.My end goal is to mismatch my engineering degree and my computer science degree to make smart tech. While I had a framework of what I wanted to do when I came to Champlain, now that I've been here and I've worked with other groups of people, I think I've become more and more prepared to actually do that. I've actually been able to work with smart tech a bit in my Emerging Technology class. I built a home automation system in my apartment so I connected a variety of micro-controllers to different aspects of my apartment, built a server, and built an app for my smartphone. I can remotely control my lights, my TV and my essential oil diffuser, so it smells like sunflowers when I get home.
Alice, Computer Science & InnovationKeysville, VADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES