Spring is finally here and Loudoun Campus has been bustling with exciting events and activities.
More than 200 cyber security students and industry professionals attended the second annual CyCon event. Warren Holston, author of Beware the Predator: The American’s Guide to Personal Security drew a large crowd as keynote speaker. Mr. Holston has worked throughout the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, and defense industry for more than 30 years. Breakout sessions on such topics as catfishing, data privacy, the Dark Web (Khanh Dinh), insider threats, cloud security (Michael Torres), artificial intelligence, and career development were facilitated by NOVA faculty, students, and industry experts. Recruiters from Sony and General Dynamics fielded a steady stream of students seeking employment post-graduation. Attendees were also able to interact with representatives from regional and student chapters of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association and the Information Systems Security Association. The event was organized by Babur Kohy, this year’s recipient of the George B. Vaughan Leadership Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty.
The campus switched gears from cyber threats to the arts, sponsoring a Spring Art Party. A collaboration between Loudoun County Parks and Recreation and the Loudoun LASS Division, the event included live music, student art displays, interactive arts, including printmaking and a wishing tree, adult coloring, chalk art, and the opportunity to view live music recording sessions in Loudoun’s state-of-the-art recording studio. Local all-female high school student band Stone Cold rocked hard under the HEC cantilever, followed by the mellow acoustical sounds of artists Emily Caudill and Tommy Kowalski. A performance by the NOVA student acapella group, the Novellas, was lauded as a highlight of the day. Music Recording faculty Sanjay Mishra surprised the group with an opportunity to professionally record in the studio after their performance. NOVA Loudoun faculty Jackie Gage, Dwayne Treadway, Don Depuydt, Jennifer Noone, Kris Winner and Lisa Fitzpatrick facilitated student artwork displays and provided information about NOVA arts programs to curious students.
Loudoun hosted 50 students from Sterling Middle School’s AVID program to foster their interest in higher education and show them what NOVA has to offer. The mission of the AVID program is “to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.” Students were given the opportunity to observe several college classes, including Anatomy & Physiology, Geology, Interior Design, Veterinary Technology, Calculus, Chemistry, Communications, Software Design, and Art Appreciation. NOVA faculty who graciously extended an invitation to our enthusiastic guests included Will Straight, Heidi Wangerin, Kris Winner, Barbaranne Liakos, Tregel Cockburn, Nora Glaser, Karen Barr, Anita Mohan, Martina Green, Josh Pachter, and Nasser Maksoud.
Students also participated in a campus tour and scavenger hunt, which enabled them to see the campus facilities and amenities in a fun and engaging way. NOVA student volunteers, some of them AVID program graduates themselves, acted as tour leaders and answered questions in an afternoon Q&A panel. NOVA counselor Shannon Nieves spoke to the middle schoolers about opportunities to participate in Pathway to the Baccalaureate once they transition to high school. This first Aspire Higher program served as a pilot and will become an annual event in collaboration with AVID teachers at Sterling Middle School and financial support from the Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation. Organizers Barb Canfield (Dean, MSTB Division) and Laura Siko (Director, Enrollment Management) hope to expand the program to students’ parents and AVID students at Park View High School in Sterling, Va. Dr. Canfield said of the program, “We thoroughly enjoyed having the AVID students and their teachers here at NOVA. I was impressed with the thoughtful questions the students asked. They truly took advantage of the experience to learn about what NOVA has to offer. What a great group!”