The Washington Center Experience – From a Student’s Perspective

Have you heard of the newest club on campus…. the Top Secret Colonials?  Their mission is to promote education in cyber security. This group does a variety of fundraisers to raise money for the National Security Seminar in Washington, D.C.

How would you like to spend two weeks in D.C. with your fellow classmates and others from colleges across the country learning about our National Security in Information Systems?

Dr. Paullet and 20 of your classmates did just that. In May, these students took the 6 hour trip to D.C. They got to experience a trip of a life time and learned about our country’s National Security. Upon arrival they checked into their dorm-like apartments, became experts on utilizing the metro, and became friends with other students across the country.

They were privy to a variety of national security information that they otherwise would never have learned. They had to swear to not publicize the information received on social media. They toured the FBI building and got to ask federal agents a variety of cyber security and information systems questions. They visited the ICANN building where they had another question and answer session with those at the top. They were able to learn and ask point blank questions of the presenter, Dr. Fair, in reference to the FATA region and the utilization of drones in military missions. How about a chance to tour the Chinese embassy and ask questions right after the cyber attacks on major Pittsburgh companies?  Yes, they had a chance to do that, too!

A trip to the FISA court gave them the opportunity to speak to FISA Judge Reggie Walton, who, by the way, is from Pittsburgh, PA. They asked questions about recent cases and then were able to tour the judge’s chambers. The list of speakers each day was extraordinary. There were dignitaries, professors, lawyers from the U.S. Marshall’s Office, the Department of Justice, Guantanamo Bay, the Treasury Department and a non-profit organization for educating children in Pakistan. Each speaker talked about how cyber law(s) and information systems security is of the utmost importance in each of the specific federal sectors that they work in.

It wasn’t all work; there was time to explore downtown D.C. and see the city that seems to never sleep, and enjoy great restaurants and shop for awesome souvenirs. They were able to tour a number of our nation’s national monuments, where they had time to explore and take many pictures.

If you have ever thought about a job with the federal government, the students were able to speak and learn about the career paths of those that have served in our Armed Forces and have gone on to other federal and contract positions for our government.

The next National Security Seminar is just around the corner in May. The topics for next year are: Week 1- Inside the Defense and Intelligence Community and Week 2 – Negotiating Global Challenges.

So for an extraordinary adventure that you will never forget …… don’t delay, contact Dr. Paullet if you are interested in the National Security Seminars and earning college credits.

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