Ivy Tech Students Place Second in National Cybersecurity Competition

VALPARAISO – Two students from Ivy Tech Community College’s Valparaiso campus, Raymond Cales and Eileen Peden, achieved second place at the 2020 U.S. Cyber Challenge National Cyber Bowl earlier this month.

Raymond Cales
Eileen Peden

The event, hosted by the Center for Internet Security, was one of the many events nationwide marking National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which takes place every October, is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure all Americans have the resources they need to be safe and secure online.

“Through Professor Rami Salahieh’s undivided attention and dedication to his students, our Cybersecurity program in Valparaiso has become one of the best in the country,” Aco Sikoski, chancellor of Ivy Tech Valparaiso, said. “We are very grateful for his efforts that so clearly impact his students, who work hard throughout the year to participate in competitions like these.”

The Ivy Tech students were recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Chief Information Officer, Karen Evans, at the AFFIRM/USCC 7th Annual Cybersecurity Summit Oct. 9.

Cales and Peden competed under the team name “Ctrl+alt+31337,” which is code for Control Alt Elite. Together they competed for 30 hours nonstop in capture the flag missions within various categories such as network analysis, cryptography, and reverse engineering. Two other Ivy Tech students also competed on a separate team.

“It felt great to be considered the best of the best,” Peden said. “The skills that you gained along the way definitely help you in future competitions and it improves your skill set.”

Cales and Peden were also recognized at a virtual Ivy Tech gathering on Oct. 16 where they were presented with certificates of achievement by Chancellor Sikoski and Professor Salahieh. Dr. Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech, also attended virtually to congratulate the students on their achievement.

“I’d just like to say thank you,” Cales said. “This is an incredible honor, and I’m thrilled to be able to bring something like this back to Ivy Tech.”

The students have been competing to participate in this Cyber Bowl event for more than a year. “In fall 2019 and spring 2020, you had to participate in the USCC challenge, where at least 10,000 others from all over the U.S. also competed to be in the Top 100,” Peden said. Those in the top 100 who were successful were invited to attend the cyber boot camp to train for the Cyber Bowl and participate in a job fair.

“Once Ivy Tech’s cyber security students graduate, they are able to enter into jobs like cybersecurity technicians, analysts or investigators in top national security industries such as Deloitte,” said Rami Salahieh, chair of Ivy Tech’s cybersecurity program. “Our students’ resumes also are received at the Department of Homeland Security for opportunities to apply for cybersecurity jobs there.” 

Cales expressed how he hopes to one day work in the aerospace industry. “NASA is kind of the big goal for me,” said Cales.

Peden, who is the chair of Women in Cybersecurity Valpo Chapter at Ivy Tech, plans to graduate next summer with degrees in Cybersecurity and Networking. “My hope is to pursue a career dealing with cyber warfare, cyberterrorism or to help prevent kids from disappearing due to child trafficking,” Peden said. “Women seem to be intimidated by a predominantly male career field. My advice to those women with an interest is to pursue it. Cybersecurity needs viewpoints and ideas not only from men but from women also. You are never too old to start another career despite what some may tell you.”

To learn more about Ivy Tech’s Cybersecurity program, visit ivytech.edu/cyber-security. More classes begin at Ivy Tech this January and will be offered face-to-face and virtually.

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Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Ivy Tech Community College Names Vice President of Recruitment and Enrollment Management

Indianapolis, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College has named Jo Nahod-Carlin as vice president of Recruitment and Enrollment Management, effective October 19, 2020. Nahod-Carlin most recently held the vice president of Customer Experience position at Managed Health Services (MHS)/Centene Corporation.

Nahod-Carlin has had a 10-year tenure with MHS speaking to and recruiting many of the same Hoosiers as Ivy Tech. In her most recent role, she drove membership growth to the managed care entity that has been proudly serving the state of Indiana for 25 years through the Hoosier Healthwise and Hoosier Care Connect Medicaid programs; and the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) Medicaid alternative program. She is a problem solver and has experience directing cross-departmental process improvement initiatives, and provided strategic direction for various departments and teams.

“There are more than one million jobs that need to be filled in Indiana over the next 10 years and I’m delighted to join the team at Ivy Tech working to support this critical goal,” said Nahod-Carlin. “I look forward to applying my experience to recruit and enroll Hoosiers from every demographic into high wage career or transfer pathways.”

Nahod-Carlin held other positions at MHS that included marketing roles. She has also held positions with Live-360 and Live Nation.

“The approach to recruitment and enrollment in higher education is changing and we are adapting accordingly,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “Ivy Tech is here to serve all Hoosiers, from traditional students to adults, those unemployed, those looking for a career change, or those planning to transfer to a four-year institution. The breadth of recruitment and enrollment needs to serve anyone looking for higher education to improve their life. We are excited that Jo is going to join the College with a fresh perspective to customer service and that student journey.”

Nahod-Carlin earned her Bachelor of Science from Ball State University in Journalism and minored in Political Science and Interpersonal Relations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Public Health Association (IPHA), Project Home Indy, and the American Lung Association.



About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. 

Accreditation of the Business Programs at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Reaffirmed by ACBSP

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) www.acbsp.org Associate Degree Board of Commissioners has reaffirmed accreditation of the business programs at Ivy Tech Community College, with more than 40 locations across Indiana, www.ivytech.edu.

Celebrating 32 years of excellence in global business program accreditation, ACBSP was the first organization to offer specialized business accreditation for all degree levels, from associate to baccalaureate to doctoral degree programs, and the first to offer Certificate Accreditation. ACBSP accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes for the Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, and Business Operations, Applications, and Technology at Ivy Tech Community College meet the rigorous educational standards established by ACBSP.

Based on the Baldridge Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, ACBSP accreditation evaluates aspects of leadership, strategic planning, relationships with stakeholders, quality of academic programs, faculty credentials, and educational support to determine whether or not the business programs offers a rigorous educational experience and demonstrate continuous quality improvement.

The business programs at Ivy Tech Community College were first accredited by ACBSP in 1994, making Ivy Tech one of the first to achieve ACBSP accreditation. The College is required to go through the reaffirmation process every 10 years to maintain ACBSP accreditation. “Ivy Tech Community College has shown its commitment to teaching excellence and to the process of quality improvement by participating in the accreditation process,” said ACBSP Chief Accreditation Officer Dr. Steve Parscale.

“This reaffirmation of accreditation is evidence that Ivy Tech is committed to maintaining the highest quality business education for their students for the next 10 years, just as they have done since 1994,” said Parscale.

“Ivy Tech is very proud of the ACBSP Accreditation that validates the quality and rigor of our School of Business programs,” said Aaron Baute, vice president of Business, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Ivy Tech Community College. “We value our great relationship with ACBSP which includes support of Kappa Beta Delta student groups and their role in the professional development of our faculty.”

About Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.

About ACBSP
ACBSP, www.acbsp.org, is a leading specialized accreditation body for business education. ACBSP’s mission is to promote continuous improvement and recognize teaching excellence in the accreditation of business education programs throughout the world. Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in 2001 and again in 2011, ACBSP was the first to offer specialized business accreditation at all degree levels. ACBSP currently accredits business programs at nearly 1,200 campuses in 60 countries.
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