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Profiles
Profiles
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Dean of STEM Kathleen Sweeney (left to right) with U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, Assistant
Dean of STEM Donald Brady, and MCC President James Mabry. Kennedy and U.S. Rep. Niki
Tsongas praised Middlesex STEM education and workforce development programs during a
campus visit in January.
I
nformation technology is constantly
nformation technology is constantly
changing and MCC's IT Program is
changing and MCC's IT Program is
changing, too. Starting this fall, a new
changing, too. Starting this fall, a new
changing, too. Starting this fall, a new
Information Technology - Cybersecurity Transfer
Information Technology - Cybersecurity Transfer
Information Technology - Cybersecurity Transfer
degree program will be launched.
degree program will be launched.
"In order to keep up with the current market,
"In order to keep up with the current market,
"In order to keep up with the current market,
we need to constantly revise our curriculum,"
we need to constantly revise our curriculum,"
we need to constantly revise our curriculum,"
said Syeda Ferdous Ara Begum, Associate
said Syeda Ferdous Ara Begum, Associate
Professor of STEM.
Professor of STEM.
"The world is now more connected than ever. We
"The world is now more connected than ever. We
"The world is now more connected than ever. We
use the Internet for banking, shopping and so much
use the Internet for banking, shopping and so much
use the Internet for banking, shopping and so much
more. But those conveniences bring about security
more. But those conveniences bring about security
more. But those conveniences bring about security
risks and concerns," she said. "Individuals with a
risks and concerns," she said. "Individuals with a
risks and concerns," she said. "Individuals with a
cybersecurity background are now high in demand."
cybersecurity background are now high in demand."
cybersecurity background are now high in demand."
"Our new program is one of the few community
"Our new program is one of the few community
"Our new program is one of the few community
college IT programs to focus on cybersecurity,"
college IT programs to focus on cybersecurity,"
college IT programs to focus on cybersecurity,"
said Donald Brady, Assistant Dean of STEM.
said Donald Brady, Assistant Dean of STEM.
said Donald Brady, Assistant Dean of STEM.
"No business can survive without having some
"No business can survive without having some
"No business can survive without having some
kind of IT infrastructure," he said. "They all need
kind of IT infrastructure," he said. "They all need
kind of IT infrastructure," he said. "They all need
computer networks to support the work they do
computer networks to support the work they do
computer networks to support the work they do
and that network needs to be protected."
and that network needs to be protected."
The FBI predicts cybersecurity will eventually
The FBI predicts cybersecurity will eventually
The FBI predicts cybersecurity will eventually
become the number one threat against the United
become the number one threat against the United
become the number one threat against the United
States, Brady added.
States, Brady added.
MCC's cybersecurity Program is designed to
MCC's cybersecurity Program is designed to
MCC's cybersecurity Program is designed to
prepare students for transfer to a bachelor's
prepare students for transfer to a bachelor's
prepare students for transfer to a bachelor's
degree program or for employment in a variety of
degree program or for employment in a variety of
degree program or for employment in a variety of
Unique New Degree Program
Focuses on Cybersecurity
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
FACULTY
Focus
Why is STEM important? STEM plays a role in every aspect of our lives, including the Internet, our computers and smart phones even the weather
and food! In this technology-based world, it is essential for us to have a grasp of the principles of STEM so we can contribute to and engage with society.
What do you like best about teaching? Sharing my knowledge with others, inspiring students to reach their full potential and also learning and
growing myself.
Favorite classroom moment? After class one day, a group of students was discussing how a difficult topic had become very easy for them.
They discussed the concepts and topics we had focused on in class, and were extremely happy as they left. That was a very gratifying moment
and sums up why I teach.
Syeda Ferdous Ara Begum
Associate Professor of STEM
entry-level information-security analyst positions.
entry-level information-security analyst positions.
"We made huge changes to the curriculum,"
"We made huge changes to the curriculum,"
said Begum. "To develop frameworks, we used
said Begum. "To develop frameworks, we used
guidelines established by the National Security
guidelines established by the National Security
Agency (NSA), U.S. Department of Homeland
Agency (NSA), U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, and Centers of Academic Excellence in
Security, and Centers of Academic Excellence in
Information Assurance/Cyber Defense."
Information Assurance/Cyber Defense."
The new curriculum was also created with
The new curriculum was also created with
guidance from MCC's Information Technology
guidance from MCC's Information Technology
Advisory Board, which includes cybersecurity
Advisory Board, which includes cybersecurity
professionals from organizations such as Mitre
professionals from organizations such as Mitre
Corp. and MIT Lincoln Labs, said Brady.
Corp. and MIT Lincoln Labs, said Brady.
Program development was funded by a grant
Program development was funded by a grant
from BATEC (Broadening Advanced Technological
from BATEC (Broadening Advanced Technological
Education Connections), a national center of excel
Education Connections), a national center of excel--
lence for computing and information technologies,
lence for computing and information technologies,
sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
"This is an all new, state-of-the-art curriculum,"
"This is an all new, state-of-the-art curriculum,"
Brady stressed. "We created six brand new courses
Brady stressed. "We created six brand new courses
from scratch, and we took four existing courses
from scratch, and we took four existing courses
and updated them."
and updated them."
Students who graduate from MCC's innovative IT
Students who graduate from MCC's innovative IT
Cybersecurity Program should be well positioned
Cybersecurity Program should be well positioned
for the future, Begum said. "These changes will
for the future, Begum said. "These changes will
help our students learn the latest IT cybersecurity
help our students learn the latest IT cybersecurity
topics, including writing secure scripting using
topics, including writing secure scripting using
Python, and implementing secure networking,
Python, and implementing secure networking,
virtualization and cloud computing.
virtualization and cloud computing.
"After completion of this degree, students
"After completion of this degree, students
will be able to find jobs and also transfer to
will be able to find jobs and also transfer to
four-year degree programs with the most
four-year degree programs with the most
current knowledge," she said.
current knowledge," she said.
"Our advisory board and our workforce data tell
"Our advisory board and our workforce data tell
us these are the skills regional employers are
us these are the skills regional employers are
looking for," agreed Brady. "Four-year colleges and
looking for," agreed Brady. "Four-year colleges and
universities are starting to develop bachelor-degree
universities are starting to develop bachelor-degree
programs in information security and cybersecurity,
programs in information security and cybersecurity,
and there are now graduate programs in the field.
and there are now graduate programs in the field.
"We're one of the first community colleges to
"We're one of the first community colleges to
offer an intense program in cybersecurity and our
offer an intense program in cybersecurity and our
graduates will be very well prepared."
graduates will be very well prepared."
--
Kathy Register
Kathy Register
STEM Professor Syeda Begum foresees a strong job
market for her IT Cybersecurity program students.