Gilliam part of UC’s National Cyber League Team

Published 12:10 pm Thursday, January 5, 2017

WILLIAMSBURG –  Students pursuing a degree in information technology sciences at University of the Cumberlands (UC) are bringing their classroom experience to the playing field by competing as a team in the National Cyber League.
Counted among the members of the National Cyber League team is Seth Gilliam of Stanford.
“The comradery and the challenge is what I enjoy most about being part of the team,” said Zack Smith, a senior from Corbin. “I think that with our success this year so far, and the experience we have gained, we will be extremely competitive in next year’s competition.”
As students engage with material in UC’s new School of Computer and Information Sciences, the formation of the cybersecurity team has provided students the additional opportunity to gain hands-on experience while competing against fellow students across the country.
When the team first came together, the initial goal was to recruit members and to let them get as much experience as possible.
“The students we gathered, however, have well exceeded our initial expectations,” said Justin Hensley, UC’s network director and one of the team’s coaches. “The group has spent multiple hours practicing for competitions and have grown into quite the talent pool themselves.”
Their competitions consist of working with different pieces of technology to find solutions to complicated problems, such as analyzing network traffic logs to determine where malicious virus traffic is located. Although the competitions are individual efforts, the students prepare together as a team, using a “cyber training gym” to develop and hone their skills.
While competing teaches the students hands-on skills, participating in the National Cyber League also opens up a range of career opportunities.
“Several different governmental and corporate organizations are privy to the student and team results and use this information for job recruitment,” Hensley said. “Our vision is for our students to have employers waiting for them upon graduation.”
As technology continues to evolve and grow ever more prominent, having a degree in information technology and field experience is increasingly valuable. In fact, 11 of the top 25 jobs in the U.S. are currently located in technology fields, according to a report published by Glassdoor.
“I have been working with the IT Department [at Cumberlands] since my freshman year but had been debating on what I wanted to do when I graduated,” said Sarah Walden, a senior from Bowling Green, Kentucky. “Working with this team has shown me just how much I love technology and how I would like to continue to work with it when I graduate.”
The team is led by Dr. Donnie Grimes, Dr. Edward Zuger, Ken Sims and Justin Hensley. The team members include Kyler Allen (Corbin, Kentucky); Josh Douglas (Williamsburg, Kentucky); Seth Gilliam (Stanford, Kentucky); Devon Goings (Mableton, Georgia); Brent Logan (Corbin, Kentucky); Micarah Malone (Spring, Texas); Hunter Riley (London, Kentucky); Zack Smith (Corbin, Kentucky); and Sarah Walden (Bowling Green, Kentucky).
The School of Computer and Information Sciences strives to prepare students to be well-versed in modern technology concepts and able to apply critical thinking and problem solving.