Wednesday, September 02, 2015

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

Eric Ficke

Eric Ficke

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(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.

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

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Events
Sept. 7, All Day

Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
All Campuses

Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown 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


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