CIS Professor Aims to Start Cyber Security Club

By Levi Linn

There’s a new professor on campus with fresh ideas for computer information systems (CIS) courses and activities.

Mary Beth Moore and her students are interested in forming a Cyber Security Club. With Moore as the advisor, students would be placed into groups to defend against simulated hackers and cyber attacks in online competitions, with the potential to compete against other colleges around the country.

“The Cyber Security Club would be open to all majors. Anyone who finds the idea of cyber security interesting is encouraged to join,” Moore said.

Moore originally hails from Bethel, Maine. She earned her degree in art history at Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She then taught at several colleges including PSC.

Moore’s love of computers led her to earn her CIS degree at Frostburg State University in 2011.

“My interest in computer science can be traced to my interest in studying foreign languages,” Moore said.

She originally planned to study languages in college, later changing her major to art history. Her background with languages translated naturally to working with computers.

“When I started studying programming, I was fascinated by how we communicate in programming languages by translating our natural language into computer algorithms and use programming languages. My first love is programming.”

With her new degree under her belt, Moore returned to PSC this semester to lead the CIS program. She hopes to see the program grow and offer new computer science courses.

Moore praises her students and hopes to have an impact on their lives. “I really enjoy working with them,” Moore said, adding that she believes that a college experience like PSC is the perfect way to do that.

In the upcoming spring semester, Moore will be teaching a variety of classes for CIS majors; however, interested students of any major can sign up for Moore’s CIS 112 class, Intro to Networks & Security.

Students interested in the Cyber Security Club are encouraged to contact Moore at MMoore29@mail.wvu.edu.

Welcome New English Professor Hudgins to Campus

New English Professor Caitlin Hudgins reads Willa Cather at the Mary F. Shipper Library. Hudgins is a big fan of Western Literature.
Photo by Aaron Smith

For English Professor Caitlin Hudgins, Potomac State College may be her new home, but teaching has been her passion since age five.

“I had lined up all my stuffed animals and was teaching them,” she said with a grin, thinking about when she knew teaching was her dream job.

Her enthusiasm for learning has required much diligence. “I think half the battle was sticking it out and working through it. It took me [eight years] to get my Ph.D.”

Hudgins said that getting her degree necessitated much of her time and energy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “It was worth it,” she nodded and smiled, “Absolutely.”

Hudgins comes to Potomac State after earning her Ph.D. from Temple University and having previously taught at both Temple and Saint Joseph’s University.

A vigorous job search yielded a mere 20 positions at universities that Hudgins considered, and she believes the competitive market is due to colleges relying more on adjunct professors who are signed on semester-to-semester contracts. Hudgins is glad to be a full-time instructor and hopes to find herself on a tenure track in the future.

One of the things she’s been enjoying teaching at PSC so far has been the diverse range of students. “What I’ve noticed most is how big a range of students there are: where they’re from, rural or city, West Virginia or out of state. Their academic preparation. It’s such a huge range of students.”

Her teaching style is centered around making learning invigorating and engaging for all of those students, even those who don’t enjoy English.

“I do encounter a lot of students who are hesitant to embrace writing and reading as something they might want to do. So I try to relate whatever we’re doing to people’s real lives and show how this might be useful whatever career path my students are going on.”

Hudgins hopes that her classroom is a place where students enjoy learning and retain that knowledge. “I try to introduce the material in a way that’s fun, that students can recognize and get excited about. From the get-go, trying to get students engaged is my main goal.”

In the coming Spring Semester, Hudgins will be teaching English 101, 102, and American Literature.

PSC Police Say Goodbye To One Of Their Own

Former Criminal Justice Club President Alicia Loy, Officer Chad Robinette, Parking Officer Tom Burdock, Canine Handler Sgt. Mike Cannon, Officer Jon Hudson, Police Chief Brian Kerling, Former Student Government Association Vice President Jordan Twigg and pose for a photo with Aria in 2015. Photo provided by Brian Kerling

By Levi Linn

After eight years of service to Potomac State College, Police Department K-9 Aria passed away.

Since 2009, Aria had worked with two handlers: Officer Rob Andrews and Sgt. Mike Cannon.

She was a very friendly dog that attracted a lot of positive attention to the department.

In an interview with the Mineral Daily News-Tribune, Cannon said Aria interacted very well with the public and that having a K-9 helped to humanize the police.

In fact, he said they couldn’t walk through campus without someone stopping them.

“She was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve met,” said Kaitie Brown, a second-year PSC student. “A lot of students really adored Aria and felt more protected with her on campus.”

Brown elaborated how having a K-9 on campus made her and other students feel. Brown recalled rushing past Aria and her handler more often than not in the mornings on her way to class and thinking about how approachable and gifted Aria was. Brown would have stopped to greet her each morning had she not feared running late.

University Police Chief Brian Kerling said, “Having Aria was a great benefit to our department, the campus community and the surrounding community. She was a good ice breaker when talking to people.”

Despite Aria’s friendly demeanor, she was a trained K-9 officer who specialized in the detection of a variety of illegal drugs including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy.

Cannon believed Aria’s talents were one of the main reasons the PSC Police had been so successful in sniffing out illegal drug use on campus and in the community.

Aria’s abilities were used over 300 times, leading to more than 240 filed charges. Those charges don’t extend just to the PSC campus though.

 The PSC Police would often volunteer Aria in response to other agencies requesting K-9 assistance, including the Keyser Police Department.

PSC is raising funds to purchase a new K-9 and the subsequent training for the dog and its handler. The benefit to campus security outweighs the substantial cost.

“A K-9 is a very valuable member of a department,” Kerling said.

Those interested in helping to bring a new K-9 to campus are encouraged to contact Director of Development Lucas Taylor through e-mail at lstaylor@mail.wvu.edu or by phone at (304) 788-6995. All donations made are tax deductible.

PSC BASEBALL TEAM WRAPS SEASON UP

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Take me out to the ballgame. Potomac State College baseball team is wrapping up this season with just three more games left.

Out of the 40 games played this season so far, the team has won 26. They have had 23 home runs, 1187 at bats, 266 runs, 359 hits, 80 doubles, seven triples and 221 strikeouts. The team’s batting average is .302. Their on-base percentage is .394 and their slugging percentage is .440.

Tanner Lambert, number 44, said this past season has gone well. “Looking back at where we came from, we have made big strides as a team and are currently playing the best we have all season,” Lambert said.

Lambert believes the team is competitive with Harford Community College. Harford is considered to have one of the top baseball teams in the country and went to the Junior College World Series last year. “Two weekends ago we split our doubleheader with them; proving that we can compete with some of the top teams in the country,” Lambert said. Both PSC and Harford are in Region 20.

The baseball team practices six days out of the week.

OUTSTANDING STUDENT

2017 Outstanding Student Ali Barrett w Orlikoff

Ali Barrett receiving the Outstanding Student Award by President Orlikoff. Photo by PSC Communications

Ali Barrett was named the 2017 Outstanding Student of the Year at the annual Scholars’ Wall and Recognition Day Ceremony.

The nominees for the prestigious E. William Noland Outstanding Student Award were Samuel Aloi, Samantha Hesse, Breanna Nestor, Nickolas Imes, Ali Barrett, Sarah Whiteman and Hannah Dickson.

Barrett, Dickson and Whiteman were chosen by a faculty committee to be honored on the Scholar’s Wall after reviewing their resumes and conducting an interview with each individual.

All three will share in the achievement of having their names engraved on the Duke Anthony Whitmore and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Academic Achievement Wall (Scholars’ Wall).

The wall was planned to honor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Ph.D., who attended PSC and now serves as chair of Harvard’s Department of African American Studies.

Gates planned to become a physician while attending PSC. His teacher, Tony “Duke” Whitmore, changed his life by introducing the world of language and literature to Gates.

Whitmore died before the wall could be complete, so Gates honored him by adding his professor’s name beside his for the wall.

The committee also chooses a former faculty member to be honored. Kenneth F. Haines was honored this year. He dedicated 44 years of service at PSC, teaching foreign languages.

R. Ivan Pinnell, class of 1963, was chosen as the Alumni Honoree. He earned his associate degree in journalism from PSC in 1963. As a student he served as a reporter and was a member editorial board for the “Pasquino”.

GRADUATION

Graduation weekend is quickly approaching for students eager to celebrate their achievement.

A Cinco de Mayo themed dinner will be held for all graduates on May 5th at 5 p.m. in the Davis Conference Center. Graduates may invite up to two guests to accompany them. The dinner ends at 6 p.m. and is followed by graduation practice in the Church-McKee Arts Center.

Approximately 130 students will take part in graduation on May 6 at 11 a.m. in Church McKee, followed by an outside reception.

Potomac State Alumnus Kevin Bennear will speak to the graduates at commencement as well as sing the national anthem. Bennear graduated from Potomac State and then earned his bachelor’s degree in music from West Virginia University and his masters in vocal performance from University of Tennessee.  Bennear has performed with multiple operas including WVU Opera Theatre and Theatre West Virginia. Now Bennear is a Baritone vocalist for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. Since 2000 Bennear has been a regular performer at the White House dinners and has performed for heads of state from around the world.

Veterans and active military graduates will wear red, white and blue cords. A photographer will take photos during graduation for students to purchase.

REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE

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Potomac State College students are getting ahead in their careers by completing internships and engaging in real-world work experience.

Dalton Minnigh, marketing sophomore, is interning through the Allegany County Historical Society. Minnigh writes press releases, creates flyers and plans events held at the Gordon-Roberts House in Cumberland, Maryland.

“This experience has given me so much already by showing me that I have to remain organized, focused, take initiative when necessary and not be afraid to brainstorm new ideas,” Minnigh said.

Candi Fitzwater is a fourth-year business student. To help complete her major, she is a teaching assistant for Mr. Stone to earn credit in an upper division elective. Fitzwater helps grade tests, makes copies, takes notes and goes over homework problems with the class.

“Being a TA has shown me that everyone learns differently and at a different speed; you have to try different methods so everyone can understand,” Fitzwater said.

Kyley Foster, elementary education sophomore, has completed the 60 internship hours to get into Education 200. She also spent three weeks with a fifth grade class and another six months with kindergarten at Keyser Primary School. Foster worked one-on-one with students, helped grade papers, answered questions and taught brief lessons. These internships have helped Foster decide that teaching is the right path for her.

“I definitely think internships are an excellent way to help with a career,” Foster said.

Cody Brazil is a freshman journalism major and hopes to either be an investigative reporter or a public relations representative.

Brazil was able to learn about different strategies and techniques in the classroom, but it wasn’t until he landed a job at Keyser’s newspaper, “The Mineral Daily News-Tribune,” that he realized the importance of applying these skills.

Brazil wanted to appear professional, so he did not check the spelling of names on his first story. When he turned in his article, someone’s name had been misspelled. “Luckily, it happened at a small job I do on the side for the experience. An opportunity that I feel everyone should be able to have. I implore you all to go out and find opportunities to make mistakes,” Brazil said.

Alyssa Murray is also a freshman journalism major and hopes to become a photojournalist. The biggest lesson she learned while working for the Keyser paper was the importance of deadlines.

“If you work really hard on a story, but you turn it in late, it doesn’t matter. Your work won’t be seen because they won’t run it,” Murray said.

Amber Butcher, journalism professor, encourages her students to complete two to four internships before graduating.