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CybHER Conversations to begin June 3

May 27, 2020

CybHER-Conversations-Introduction.jpgIt’s hard to be what you can’t see, so to show young girls what it means to be a cyber security professional, Dakota State University’s CybHER has created a new program of virtual meetings called CybHER Conversations.

These free, weekly meetings will be held on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. CT, beginning June 3. The format will be most effective for girls in 5th grade and up, but all K-12 students are welcome, as well as teachers and parents. Girls can register for these Zoom meetings at https://www.cybher.org/cybher-conversations/. The programs begin this summer but will continue throughout the upcoming school year.

Each week a cybersecurity guest will be featured, someone who is a regional, national, or international professional. These individuals will talk about what is possible with a career in a cyber field, and what their path has been. They may also discuss issues with technical topics such as digital forensics, threat hunting, cyber policies and leadership, the Dark web, cybercrime, privacy, coding, software development, network security, vulnerabilities, deep fakes and misinformation, smart cities, and IoT security.

The first guest will be Diane Janosek, commandant of the National Security Association’s (NSA) National Cryptologic School. Future guests in June will include Ellen Arens, program manager for Autonomous Machines at Raven Industries, and Vicki Schumacher, iHeart Radio’s vice president of Program and Project Management.

“CybHER Conversations will allow us to give students direct access to professionals and engage with them in asking questions and expanding their understanding of all cybersecurity,” said Katie Shuck, a master’s degree student in cyber defense and CybHER instructor & outreach executive director.

“This fits perfectly into the goals of CybHER.” - Katie Shuck

Since 2013, the CybHER program at Dakota State has worked to empower, motivate, and educate young women in cyber. In 2019 alone, the group impacted over 5,000 girls through 24 outreach events. The coronavirus pandemic has created an opportunity for CybHER to rethink their event strategy, and find new ways to engage girls in cybersecurity. The Wednesday meetings will also expand the outreach area so that the program can reach more schools and students, Shuck added.

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