Monday, October 05, 2015


Meet a Roadrunner: Top Scholar Eric Ficke puts UTSA top cybersecurity ranking to test

Eric Ficke

Eric Ficke

Share this Story

(April 23, 2014) -- Meet Eric Ficke. One of the university's Top Scholars, he chose UTSA over Stanford or Johns Hopkins to study cybersecurity.

Considering that UTSA's cybersecurity program was recently named the best in the country, he's pretty happy with his decision.

"I'm proud of UTSA and I'm definitely glad that I chose to go here," he said.

Ficke, a computer science major, is the first freshman to intern at the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), which provides exercises, training and tools to state and community entities to strengthen the nation's cybersecurity preparedness.

One of the programs the center is most known for is the annual Raytheon National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, which brings together the top teams from universities across the country to apply their skills in defending against cyberattacks.

In the same vein, the CIAS also supports the Air Force Association's annual CyberPatriot competition, the premier national cyber security competition for high school students.

In fact, one could say UTSA played an early role in Ficke's interest in cybersecurity. As a student at San Antonio Christian High School, he participated in the CyberPatriot competitions.

Only a month into the internship, Ficke is already developing the curriculum for a course the CIAS will offer this summer in conjunction with St. Philip's College that will teach high school teachers the basics of cybersecurity -- how to attack and defend systems.

"When Eric leaves this internship program, he will have more experience than someone who has been on the job for a year," said Ray Sims, assistant director of the Infrastructure Assurance program at CIAS. "The CIAS complements what UTSA students are learning in their cybersecurity academic programs with application-based experience."

This harmony between academic and applied research supported by many dedicated individuals is the reason UTSA is able to provide the type of top ranked experience to top-tier students like Ficke.


Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at, so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.



Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Where Ink Does Not Show: A Celebration of the New State Poet Laureate

A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 9, 8 a.m.

College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

Other Calendars
» UTSA Events | » Academic | » Institute of Texan Cultures

Submit an Event

Meet a Roadrunner

UTSA student tackles the psychology of breast cancer

Kristen Rosen is developing technology to help breast cancer patients’ quality of life

Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

Read More »

UTSA's Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

Connect with UTSA News


Related Links

Back to Top

2015 © The University of Texas at San Antonio  |  Produced by University Communications and Marketing