A team of graduate students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business has advanced to the final round of the National Cyber Analyst Challenge, sponsored by Lockheed Martin.
The students, from Fox’s Master of Science in IT Auditing and Cyber Security (ITACS) program, will compete against teams from eight other colleges and universities for a $25,000 grand prize. By virtue of having advanced beyond the first round, these teams will receive significant awards ranging from $7,500-$15,000 to support student, faculty, and curriculum development.
Fox’s team includes: Jeta Gjana, Jose Gomez, Kerwing Hy, and Nick Nguyen, from the ITACS program’s security track, and Ibtissam Bazzine, of ITACS’ auditing track.
The first phase of the National Cyber Analyst Challenge consisted of an analysis of a complex real-world case created by Lockheed Martin experts. Participating teams received documents pertaining to a fabricated company and files that were meant to replicate a report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
“In short, we were asked to find the source of a cyber hack, then answer why it happened and explain how to prevent it from happening again,” Hy said.
The team from Fox, which is coached by ITACS professors Ed Ferrara and Wade Mackey, pored over 75 gigabytes of data to find the cause of the hack, before submitting a 10-slide summary report within which it explained its solution for preventing future cyber attacks. All entries were reviewed by a panel of judges and scored on technical quality, accuracy, and presentation.
In the process, Gjana said, she and her teammates were tasked with learning the fundamentals of computer programs to help in their case analysis.
“We weren’t limited in which tools we could use, which actually required a good deal of self-training in tools we had never used before,” Gjana said.
For the National Cyber Analyst Challenge’s second phase, the team will complete two extensive training sessions with Lockheed Martin officials via web-conferencing platform WebEx, in advance of the final round, Nov. 5-6 in Washington, D.C.
“Because the last phase will have time constraints placed upon it, our team will take the approach of each member concentrating on becoming an expert in separate tools,” Hy said. “This way, when we arrive in Washington, we’ll be prepared to tackle any challenge, knowing we have someone on our team who is incredibly proficient at any particular tool.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to represent Temple and Fox in a competition of this level.”
The National Cyber Analyst Challenge, in its first year, is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, in conjunction with the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) at Temple University. IBIT provides cutting-edge knowledge and valuable connections to sustain excellence in information technology. IBIT integrates industry perspectives with academic research expertise to create forums for generating and exchanging best practices.
Sasha Buddle isn’t willing to place any of her life’s plans on the backburner. She’s accomplished plenty in a short span of time.
Having emigrated to the United States following her high-school graduation, Buddle joined the U.S. Army at age 19 . She served a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011, and is now in her senior year as a Human Resource Management major at Temple University’s Fox School of Business – and looking for her next great challenge.
“Whenever I’m not feeling motivated, I just say ‘Be self-made.’ I know only I can do this,” said Buddle, 29.
Buddle spent her formative years in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with her grandparents. As one of eight children with dual citizenship, she split time between her hometown and the United States. She remembers her grandmother’s devotion to fostering academic aptitude, compassion, and discipline as a driving influence. And despite her strict upbringing, Buddle recalled her time on the islands as a quieter life.
“In Jamaica, you go to school and you come home. In the States, you go to school, you work, and you move out on your own. It’s totally different,” Buddle said.
With her eyes on moving forward and pursuing a passion, Buddle joined her mother and sisters in the U.S. in 2004. The initial transition was rocky, with so few friends here, lots of new customs to learn, and much-colder temperatures to which to adapt, Buddle found an opportunity by enlisting in the U.S. Army.
From her first moments in basic training, Buddle knew the Army would be a new and difficult experience. She said she learned to enjoy the physical demands of her enlistment in order to grow as a person. She credits her time in the U.S. Army with helping find her voice.
“It’s custom in the Army to salute and verbally address a passing officer,” Buddle said. “One time, I didn’t say anything, and the officer yelled at me in front of my team. In the end, no matter how shy I am, I know it’s important to speak up.”
In 2011, Buddle served a tour in Afghanistan as an Army Specialist. Responsible for $74 million in supplies and gear, Buddle managed the responsibility with just one other person while adapting to life in a combat zone.
“We were bombed two to three times a week. We lost three people,” Buddle said. “But my unit was a family. I wear a bracelet every day to honor them, serve as my memory of them, and to keep them close.”
Having navigated the inner-workings of supply and human resource management for the Army, after having returned stateside, Buddle set her sights on attending business school. Buddle, who is motivated by her desire to help others, is pursuing a degree in Human Resource Management. The organizational aspect excited her, she said, while the math requirements proved more difficult. Plentiful access to professors has helped her, she said, as a non-traditional student.
In her final year of undergraduate studies at Fox, Buddle has taken advantage of the career and professional development resources available to her and all Fox students. She enrolled in Fox’s Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) course in business etiquette and networking. This fall, she participated in the CSPD Fall Connection, a bi-annual networking event that connects student with leading employers.
“The CSPD gives you the ability to stand out as a individual, not just as a Fox student,” Buddle said. “I wish the class would move from one to three credits because it is so essential for students.”
Buddle is currently working for TruMark Financial Credit Union, and interviewing for opportunities in the financial planning and human resources field. She aspires to work in senior management and possibly open her own boutique fashion store.
As she nears graduation, Buddle remembered first setting foot on Temple’s campus, when she knew she’d found a place that made her feel part of something special.
“My first day I asked myself, ‘Why hadn’t I done this all my life?’” she said.
The Biggest and One of The Best
“The Biggest and One of The Best,” boasts the headline in Risk & Insurance Magazine, where the Fox School’s Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program is highlighted in a lengthy feature story. The profile includes comments from Dean M. Moshe Porat; Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Associate Professor Dr. R.B. Drennan; and a few notable RMI alumni. The article will appear in the publication’s September edition.
In another piece written in the lead-up to Pope Francis’ visit, Jennifer Fitzgerald, from Fox’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management department, discussed with the Bucks County Courier-Times how retailers were planning to capitalize on the Pope’s visit through merchandise sales. (Download screenshots of the article, which has been archived and is available only to subscribers: image 1 and image 2)
A Villanova inventor learns the ways of crowd-funding
With more projects competing for attention and money, crowdfunding isn’t as easy as it once used to be, says Dr. Sunil Wattal, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at Fox, in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article. Wattal is also featured in a piece that accompanied the article, detailing the requirements of a successful crowdfunding campaign.
In his course “Law in American Society,” an animation of folk singer Willie Nelson, designed by Dr. Samuel D. Hodge, strums his guitar as he explains the difference between public and private law.
Professor of Legal Studies at the Fox School of Business, Hodge’s use of such animations demonstrates his place as an innovative educator. Hodge recently was chosen by the Academy for Teachers to serve as its 2016 master teacher and will lead a program on innovation in teaching.
The Academy for Teachers is an annual selective conference in New York City that’s intended for teachers. One master professor, as chosen by the Academy, leads a lesson for a number of selected high school teachers on innovative strategies in teaching. Previous master teachers include Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and historian Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Pulitzer Prize in Music winner David Lang; and renowned social and political activist Gloria Steinem.
This year, Hodge will teach 18 high school teachers Jan. 8, 2016, at the one-day conference.
Hodge has taught a variety of undergraduate- and graduate-level classes in law and medicine at Temple University for more than 40 years. He currently leads a law lecture that consists of 400 to 600 students, which is considered one of the largest courses at Temple. To keep students interested in a class of that size, Hodge has had to get creative.
“You have to throw conventional wisdom out the window,” Hodge said.
Hodge developed multimedia presentations for his courses, consisting of self-created animations.
“Everything moves. Everything I say projects behind me on the board,” Hodge said, “but I actually have a cartoon Professor Sam, and he sings and narrates.”
The animations include a long list of celebrities. His latest is actor Jack Nicholson discussing various areas in law. Hodge has an art and music background. Since 1982, he has owned music-publishing company Eastwick Publishing, and he’s also produced illustrations for various medical books he’s written. So it was fitting, he said, that for his educational animations he’d write the songs, record the audio, and then create an animated character to perform them.
The best way to gain the interest of the “MTV generation,” he said, was through an audio-visual format.
“I call it edutainment,” Hodge said. “It is a combination of education and entertainment. People grew up in a visual format, so people want to be taught in that format.”
From a nominated group of 6,000, the Academy for Teachers selected 18 high school teachers that Hodge will educate. The “master class” can be given in any subject matter. The focus is to showcase unusual or innovative teaching techniques. Hodge will teach anatomy to the group of teachers in his area of expertise: AV format.
On the morning of the program, Hodge will teach the fundamentals of anatomy through song at the Museum of Natural History. He also plans to show the dozen-and-a-half teachers video of a heart being dissected. During the second segment of the day, the group will travel to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he will take them into the lab to see a dissection first hand.
Joe Pangaro, a second-year teaching assistant in Hodge’s “Law and American Society” course and “Legal Environment of Business” courses, said Hodge’s passion for teaching is present daily.
“Every year, when a new set of TAs gets to know him and gets exposed to his workload, there is a period of shock when you are just in awe of how much he accomplishes in a day,” said Pangaro, a third-year law student. “When you find out he does not drink coffee, it seems all the more amazing, but then you spend some time with him and you realize it’s because he truly loves everything he is doing.”
Hodge hopes to impart to the high school educators a degree of fearlessness in their use of technology to demonstrate complex topics.
“This was a total surprise,” he said. “I didn’t apply for it, they just called me out of the blue one day. Then I saw the list of people who have been selected before me and I said, ‘Why am I within that elite group?’ But I am, and it’s exciting.”
Two students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business have been awarded merit scholarships by Aflac based upon their stellar performances during summer internships with the insurance company.
Junior Maria Blaszczyk finished No. 2 in the United States among collegiate interns within Aflac’s program. She has earned a $3,000 scholarship and a trip to Aflac’s corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ga., to meet with Aflac executives and to tour the Aflac campus.
Senior Elliot Astor, who finished No. 1 in the Northeast Region, earned a $2,000 scholarship.
The Elevate 2015 Aflac Intern contest, which is in its second year, awards scholarships to college-age interns who place among the best in sales and acquisitions. Other scholarship requirements include top job performance in marketing, team leadership, and dedication to teamwork, as well as displaying a positive attitude every day of their internships.
This year, Aflac awarded scholarships to eight college students from a pool of 365 students who interned for the company during Summer 2015: the overall top-3 interns throughout the company and the top intern at each of Aflac’s five U.S. regions.
“Maria and Elliot have exemplified what it means to be great interns with a Fortune 500 Company,” said Matthew O’Hanlon, District Coordinator of Aflac’s Philadelphia Region. “They possess tremendous leadership qualities, great work ethic, and strong entrepreneurial skills. I am elated that two students from Temple University finished within the top-eight among all collegiate interns with Aflac from across the country. This demonstrates why the Fox School of Business is such an elite business school, and it is with great pleasure that we honor these students. Congratulations to Maria and Elliot, and continued success.”
Blaszczyk, an International Business major, served as a voluntary benefits consultant within Aflac’s Philadelphia/Bucks County Region, in Trevose, Pa. Independently contracted with Aflac and licenses to sell their products and services in Pennsylvania, she met with business owners to explain the company’s voluntary benefits packages.
“In my internship, I was able to see the daily behind-the-scenes decisions that business owners have to make, all of which are critical to a company’s well-being, and I am honored to have received one of Aflac’s scholarships,” Blaszczyk said. “
Astor, a Marketing major, also worked as an associate within Aflac’s Philadelphia/Bucks County Region office. In that capacity, he helped manage interns and recruit new interns. The internship took Astor on the road, as he met with potential Aflac clients and their employees.
“The Aflac internship places you in a real-life business environment and allows you to obtain universal skills that I can employ wherever my career takes me,” Astor said. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have been awarded a scholarship from a company that is as successful and prominent in its industry as Aflac is.”
For Fox School students, Center for Student Professional Development networking event offers a chance to impress
Dressed in a dark suit, Karan Patel walked through Mitten Hall shaking hands and charming recruiters at the sixth-annual Fall Connection, a networking event organized by the Fox School of Business’ Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD). He hardly resembled the student who had arrived to February’s CSPD Spring Connection in shirtsleeves and offered a limp handshake.
A junior Marketing major and Management Information Systems minor, Patel no longer considers himself that type of person.
“I wasn’t prepared,” Patel said of the springtime event. “I didn’t impress recruiters, but I learned from my mistakes. The CSPD helped me with that.”
Fall Connection is one of the CSPD’s biannual networking events, the second of which is held during the spring semester. This year’s four-hour event nearly filled Temple University’s Mitten Hall to capacity, matching 89 employers with more than 800 students from the Fox School.
For Fox Assistant Dean for Student Development Corinne Snell, Fall Connection is the CSPD’s signature event and serves as a great kick-off for October’s corporate recruiting season.
“It’s a time to make a positive impression and for students to put in face-time with the recruiters,” Snell said. “Recruiters contact us directly because of the professionalism and polish our students portray.”
This year, Patel considered himself one of those students.
Since his first showing at CSPD’s Spring Connection, he’s completed two successful summer internships with Business Route and Fastenal, continued to build his personal photography service, and joined customer service at World Republic Bank in Haddonfield, N.J.
“I go to bed at 1 a.m. and wake up at 6. I’m running 14-hour days because that’s what it takes,” Patel explained.
Patel is competing for the attention of top-tier employers such as Deloitte, Pepsi, Comcast Corporation, Target, PNC, JP Morgan Chase, Crayola, Independence Blue Cross, and others. With his eyes set on forging corporate friendships, Patel turned to the CSPD to transform his professional persona.
“I tried figuring stuff out on my own, but I had to ask questions. I’ve realized how beneficial the CSPD is to landing a job,” Patel said.
Located at the Fox School of Business, CSPD hosts one-hour workshops to help students prepare for its large-scale networking events. The workshops introduce students to the resources the CSPD office has to offer, including advice on professional attire, resume writing, and mock interviews. Giving students what they call the “CSPD Difference,” staff members work with students on developing a professional edge in the weeks leading up to their corporate connection events.
“We always hear from employers that we’re setting the bar,” said Megan Panaccio, CSPD Director of Corporate Relations. “The employers look forward to our event.”
The strength of its corporate partnerships and its dedication to student development drew Patel, a transfer student, to the Fox School. With his roots in Gujarat, India, Patel said he admires the work ethic his mother and father have demonstrated while working as a Dunkin’ Donuts manager and a convenience store owner, respectively. He considers his efforts through CSPD and Fall Connection stepping-stones to a promising future.
“My mom wakes at 5 a.m. to make lunches for the family,” he said. “She has had to work very hard. My future success is a way to pay her back as much as I can.”
Challenge prompts importance of cyber-security
Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, Chair of Fox’s Management Information Systems department and Executive Director of Temple’s Institute for Business and Information Technology, and Laurel Miller, Director of IBIT, spoke with the student newspaper about IBIT’s partnership with Lockheed Martin for the first National Cyber Analyst Challenge.
As workers celebrate Labor Day, unions struggle to survive (subscription only)
As the country recently celebrated Labor Day, the Bucks County Courier-Times reflected on the nation’s drop in unionized labor workers, from 38 percent post-World War II to 11 percent today. Associate Professor of Human Resource Management Dr. John McClendon, who counts union labor among his research specialties, is quoted throughout the story – which appeared on the cover of the paper’s Sunday edition. Download PDF Cover and page 2.
Study suggests Uber reduces DWI deaths
Management Information Systems professor Dr. Sunil Wattal appeared on an evening news broadcast, via Skype, to discuss his latest research (co-authored by Dr. Brad Greenwood) into the potentiality of ride-sharing service UberX contributing to reduced rates of drunken-driving related deaths. Their research also was featured in the Sept. 8 edition of student newspaper, The Temple News.
Co-ops are Ready For Their Close Up
Nearly one in three Americans are members of a cooperatively owned business. Co-op growth in Philadelphia has been exceptional, despite the challenges that await. Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Managing Director of the Fox Management Consulting practice, weighs in.
A sophomore from Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been chosen as a finalist for a national peace prize for her outstanding volunteer service to military veterans.
Entrepreneurship major Alexis Werner is vying for the Peace First Prize, a national award that recognizes youths between the ages of 8 and 22 for their “compassion, courage, and ability to create collaborative change” in their communities. Of the 27 finalists, only five will be chosen as recipients of a $25,000, two-year fellowship that acts as Peace First’s investment in that young person’s future to create change.
The 2015 Peace First Prize winners will be announced in Fall 2015.
Werner’s social justice work began in 2011 with her founding of Seeds of Hope, which provides fresh-grown produce to veterans and their families. Then a student at Shaler Area High School, in Glenshaw, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh, Werner credits her stepfather, Gregory Zottola, as her inspiration. He had returned from active duty in Afghanistan with the United States Army in 2011 suffering with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“He had just married my mom (Nicole), who’s a veteran, too, but she never saw active combat. So it was a different transition,” Werner said. “You see someone in your life struggling to cope and, as a 15-year-old girl, it was difficult dealing with such real-world issues. I felt helpless.”
Following consultation with a guidance counselor, Werner started planting gardens in her community. Contributions from a local grocery store chain fetched fruits and vegetables to be donated to veterans. A friend’s father, who owns a greenhouse, donated soil and land, and taught Werner and other area high school students how to tend to the produce.
In its first year, Seeds of Hope used its “victory gardens” to generate more than 1,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables. Since, Seeds of Hope has gardens in eight states, and Werner plans for her organization to support veterans and their families nationwide.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, between 11 and 20 percent of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom suffer from PTSD, and one in seven veterans is homeless.
The goal of Seeds of Hope is to curb the cycle of mental illness and poverty within the military veteran population. The gardens were the first step, Werner said. She’s also written and published a children’s book, “Beginning Hope,” on the importance of proper nutrition, volunteering, and veteran appreciation. Werner’s documentary, titled “Our Way Home,” will be screened Nov. 12, the day after Veterans Day, in Pittsburgh for more than 1,500 high school and college students, followed by a discussion panel.
“The message is clear: It’s never too late for veterans to get help,” Werner said. “The documentary will be good for people to see, almost acting as a call to action for businesses to hire veterans to help their transition after their service.”“What is inspiring about Alexis is that she has taken a difficult and highly personal situation with her stepfather and his PTSD, and has used that experience to develop a documentary film to help others understand what veterans go through,” said Debbie Campbell, Assistant Dean at the Fox School of Business, and Faculty Advisor to Temple University’s Veteran Association. “She is succeeding in making a real difference through her Seeds of Hope program that was started in high school, and now with this film. She is also excelling academically as a Fox School student, which is amazing considering her class load and everything that she has going on in her life.”
Werner hopes to add the Peace First Prize to an already-decorated resume. In 2014, the Philadelphia’s National Liberty Museum honored her with the Young Hero Award. Werner also has received the 2014 Prudential Financial Spirit of Community Award; the 2013 Princeton Prize in Race Relations; and the 2013 Globechanger Youth Service Award, from New York City’s Robin Hood Foundation. And she recently delivered a talk at the TEDxPittsburgh Youth event.