Five University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) students recently had the opportunity of a lifetime - a chance to meet with academic, business and government leaders to discuss current issues, and career opportunities, in the field of cybersecurity.
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 4 P.M. these five students, all members of the Walter Scott, Jr. Scholarship Program, will share what they've learned with campus. The public event will take place at Maverick Landing, located at 67th and Pine Streets, and discuss topics including the growing threat of cyber-attacks by other countries, the public perception of government and business working together to combat cyber threats, what the next generation of cyber defense technology looks like and much more.
Each presentation will reflect on individual students' experience at the 2018 Aspen Cyber Summit in San Francisco, California, which took place on Thursday, Nov. 8, and Friday, Nov. 9. The event included a series of panels, individual meetings with cybersecurity leaders. The next day, students were given tours of Apple Inc. and Stanford University's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school).
UNO and the University of California at Berkeley were the only two universities to have students invited to attend the summit.
"We want to provide our students a transformational education and that includes transformational experiences like attending the Aspen Summit," says Harnoor Singh, interim director of student development for the Walter Scott, Jr. Scholarship Program. "As the next generation of industry leaders and thought leaders, the ability to not only learn from current experts' experiences but make those personal connections is priceless."
Jacob Hansen, a sophomore from Bennington, met with several individuals, including Rob Joyce, senior advisor to the director for cybersecurity at the NSA; Paul Abbate, associate deputy director of the FBI; Marene Allison, global cyber information security officer for Johnson & Johnson; and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of House committees on the judiciary and Homeland Security.
Joyce, Abbate and Allison encouraged Hansen to apply for summer internships with their organizations.
"Classes can only teach you so much, and for the most part they focus solely on the technical side of things. So, the ability for us to collaborate on and learn about what is actually happening in the industry was priceless."
Morgan Gallagher, sophomore from Bellevue, discussed the impact of China's Belt & Road Initiative on intellectual property theft with Elsa Kania, adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
"This was a great opportunity to see how tech development is influenced not just by intertwining relationships within industry, but also by government regulation coming out of Congress. It was also valuable to see how the leaders of these sectors had to communicate and compromise with one another and how much that has an effect on America's technological future."
Cade Wolcott, a junior from Omaha, discussed public anxieties towards the U.S. government's relationships with private industry, with Abbate from the FBI and was encouraged to apply for a summer internship with them.
"The most unique aspect of this trip was the ability to approach these experts and leaders and have a personal discussion with them right after they were done discussing extremely pressing issues on stage. The opportunity to share my ideas directly to experts in my aspiring field was an experience I will never forget."
Luke Zwenger, a senior from Bellevue, met with Sean Joyce, former deputy director of the FBI and the current cybersecurity and privacy lead at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Zwenger was able to provide Joyce with his resume and was asked to apply for a position with PwC.
"While politics and government policy are not subjects which I foresee myself working in professionally, I was nonetheless glad to hear an update on what issues are currently considered pressing from the people who deal with them on a daily basis."
Also in attendance at the summit was Makayla Sedlacek, a freshman from Omaha.
Those interested in attending the Aspen Cyber Summit recap event are asked to RSVP by emailing Singh at email@example.com.
Watch the Proceedings of the 2018 Aspen Cyber Summit
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.
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