In its first appearance at the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC), County College of Morris (CCM) has moved on to the regional finals.
The CCM Cyber Centurions, students who are members of the college's Cyber Security Club, placed in the top 10 after the virtual qualifier round, advancing to the regional finals at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Maryland at the end of March.
Not only is this the first time CCM is competing, but the college’s team was the only group from any New Jersey college or university to enter the competition.
“The success of this team is a testament to the quality of our Information Security curriculum, faculty and students,” says Nancy Binowski, chair of the Information Technologies program at CCM. “I congratulate the CCM Cyber Centurions on their significant accomplishment and wish them continued success as they represent County College of Morris and the state of New Jersey in the regional finals in Maryland.”
The winner of the MACCDC will represent the region at the national Cyber Defense Competition in San Antonio, Texas, in April.
The accomplishment is even more meaningful as the team only began practicing in February. In order to prepare in such a short period of time, the students met regularly at the home of Professors Patricia and Joseph Tamburelli, who coach the team. Practices took place late into the night during the week and on weekends. To create a welcoming environment, the Tamburellis cooked the team meals and even increased their home Internet speed to allow students to practice in an ideal environment. The CCM Information Systems department also helped by providing switches and fast cables for the team to use.
“I truly believe that because of this journey, the team has become a family and it greatly improved their chances to succeed,” Binowski says.
The team is made up of students Alexander Zielinski, of Lake Hiawatha; Brian Seligson, of Parsippany; Jared Rudow, of Wayne; Mihir Kansagra, of Rockaway; Sergiy Tsysarchuk, of Wharton; Shaun Carroll, of Landing; Patrick McGrath, of Towaco; Kimberly Monka, of Denville; Ryan Bednar, of Denville; and Rayne Cafaro, of Denville.
“I’m so proud of our team,” Patricia Tamburelli says. “My husband and I believe our students have a great chance of winning the regional finals because the students have learned from their experiences through debriefing sessions and are preparing for their next challenge.”
The MACCDC, presented by the National CyberWatch Center, is now in its 10th year of providing a venue for college and university students to test their cybersecurity knowledge and skills in a competitive environment. The event’s objectives are to provide a mechanism for higher education to evaluate their programs and an educational platform for students to apply the theory and skills they learn in the classroom. For more information, visit http://maccdc.org/about/#sthash.OlRPfJnj.dpuf.
# # #Photo 1: The County College of Morris Cyber Centurions, the college's cyber defense competition team, practice for the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at the home of Professors Patricia and Joseph Tamburelli, who coach the students. The team, in its first appearance, placed in the top 10 and advanced to the regional finals at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Maryland at the end of March.
Photo 2: After an intense three-hour Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC) qualifying round, the County College of Morris Cyber Centurions, the college's cyber defense competition team, regenerate with a celebratory dinner at the home of Professors Patricia and Joseph Tamburelli, who coach the students. To get ready for the MACCDC, the team practiced at their coaches’ home on weekdays, weekends and into the night. The family atmosphere helped contribute to the team advancing to the regional finals.
Credit: Patricia Tamburelli