It was a busy week at the Brown School of Professional Studies last week with two Executive Master in Cybersecurity (EMCS) cohorts in residence. And it was a bittersweet moment for the EMCS Class of 2019 as it marked their last residential study session at Brown University before returning in May to graduate and assume their rightful place as proud members of the Brown Alumni Network.
This class might have been the second graduating cohort for this new program, but they were a class of firsts in so many ways. They were first to:
- Adopt a nickname, “The Wolfpack.” The class emblazoned it on a jersey which they prominently displayed in the classroom and signed as an homage to their EMCS journey together.
- Lead the entering EMCS class of 2020 through the Van Wickle Gates with two EMCS 2019 members playing the bagpipes.
- Celebrate a team from their cohort winning a first place prize at CSAW ’18, the world’s largest student-led hacking and security competition.
As Program Director Alan Usas shared,
For these and many other reasons, it will be a class I won’t soon forget.
The week was more than fond farewells. Students charged through a dense schedule of classes and heard each colleague deliver their final Critical Challenge Project presentation. These capstone projects are the culmination of a year and half of work with a brain trust of faculty, industry advisors, and, of course, each other’s expertise. These projects displayed a vast knowledge of cyber across policy, IT and human behavior to tackle complicated issues such as vulnerability disclosure, GDPR, AI cyber resilience, cyberwarfare, IoT threats, and much more.
An equally impressive array of relevant and challenging topics were pitched by the Class of 2020 in 2-minute “flash talks” followed by discussion. It is always heartwarming to see how quickly the cohort rises in support of their members offering contacts and other resources to advance the topic being pursued.
One of the dinner presentations also highlighted how Rhode Island was leading the nation in addressing growing challenges to ensure security in our elections. John Marion, Executive Director of the RI Common Cause, described novel approaches being developed in the state with the help of cybersecurity experts that will provide efficient and sound methods to give us all comfort in this vital process of government. Students heard of ways they can contribute in their home states in this important mission.
We commend all of you for your hard work and commitment to cultivating the interdisciplinary knowledge and strategic skillset across IT, policy and human behavior to lead cybersecurity today and into the future.