Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) 2017 Conference

WiCyS 2017 Conference                         Founder of WiCyS, Dr. Ambareen Siraj

Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) has become a continuing effort to recruit, retain and advance women in cyber-security. The WiCyS conference was launched in 2014 by Dr. Ambareen Siraj (Associate Professor at the Computer Science (CS) Department, Tennessee Tech University) with support from the National Science Foundation grant. Since then, it has brought together women (students/faculty/researchers/professionals) in cyber-security from academia, research and industry for sharing of knowledge/experience, networking and mentoring.

WiCyS 2017 Group Photo

The conference was held on March 31 – April 1, 2017 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, in Tucson, Arizona. The conference had 800 attendees from fields of academia, research, government agencies.

Loretta Marshall, UITS Information Security Administrator, presenting at the conference

This year, Loretta Marshall, the UITS Information Security Administrator, attended the conference and was also one of the speakers in the Lightning Talks series. Her presentation topic was Organizing Cyber Security Awareness Month for a University Campus. The presentation stressed the importance of spreading cyber security awareness among students and how the Office of Information Security at Columbus State University works to achieve this.

Brigadier General Linda R. Medler

The event also attracted several distinguished members in the field of cyber security, such as retired Brigadier General Linda R. Medler, who is currently the director of Cyber for the Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) Advanced Missile Systems (AMS) in Tucson, Arizona. She shared information about her work and professional journey that led to fascinating and rewarding encounters along her career path.


Members of CSU from UITS and the Computer Science Department at the Conference: Loretta Marshall, Rebecca Green, Cherie Corning, Hillary Fleenor, Marium Husainy ,and Dr. Lydia Ray.  Aurelia Smith (not in picture).

Attendees also included several CSU students who were able to meet and learn from professionals in the industry and meet recruiters from several companies that were present at the career fair.

The WiCyS 2017 conference was a great success in bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry. The WiCyS 2018 conference will be held March 24 to 26, 2018 in Chicago and will be hosted by Illinois Institute of Technology.


More information about WiCyS can be found at Women in Cyber Security.

Top 5 Best Student Tech Deals and Discounts

Stores with Student Tech Discounts:

It’s no secret that most college students live off a diet of ramen noodles. Purchasing expensive tech for school seems like a difficult task. For that reason, we have compiled a list of the best deals and discounts available for college students to help you purchase the tech-related products you need for class.


Apple provides Columbus State University with exclusive student deals on all Mac models and iPads. Apple also provides free workshops where you can learn how to use your new Apple products from home.

2.Microsoft Student Store

At the Microsoft Student Store, you can take advantage of savings of 10% or more. All you need to do is select Columbus State University as your school, and then you can start shopping with the discounts already applied. They have Surface products and powerful Windows 10 computers discounted. You can even save on PC accessories like computer monitors, keyboards, bags, and sleeves.

Microsoft also has deals on Microsoft Office software, but don’t forget Columbus State University students have FREE access to Office 365! Just click here to signup and download Office 365 on five of your devices!

3.Best Buy

Best Buy is just a hop, skip, and jump away from CSU Main Campus. Not only do they have discounts on computers, but they also provide discounts on TVs, small appliances, portable hard drives, and flash drives. All you need to do is sign-in or create a “My Best Buy” account and then signup for college student deals. They will send you an email to your CSU email address with coupon codes you can redeem in store or online.

4.Amazon Student

Amazon Prime Student is also a quick way to save on tech with their free 2-day shipping. They also provide exclusive deals to students that includes everything from computers and electronics to snacks and toilet paper.  Amazon offers a FREE six month trial of Prime to students and after the trial is over, you receive 50% off for four years.

5.CSU Bookstore

Don’t forget that your very own CSU Bookstore can meet your technology needs! They even offer device trade-ins where you can trade in your old devices for a gift card to use for school.

Honorable Mentions:

HP: HP Academy lets students save up to 20% on HP products and free shipping on all orders. Dell: Dell University assists students with saving money on computers, TVs, and monitors.

Spotify: Spotify Premium is only $4.99 for students.  


TAG Columbus and WIT Present a Conversation with AFLAC and Synovus’ CIOs Julia Davis and Renee Roth

On Thursday, March 2nd the Technology Association of Georgia and Women in Technology hosted an evening of networking and conversation with the technology leaders of Columbus. Julie Haley, President of Edge and WIT’s 2015 Woman of the Year Award Winner, moderated the evening’s conversation with Columbus’ women in technology. The two panelists were Julia Davis, Senior Vice President; Chief Information Officer of AFLAC and Renee Roth, Chief Information Officer of SYNOVUS.

Students and business professionals in attendance were able to get a perspective of the challenges and issues that women in technology face from the two CIOs. The conversation was a great kickoff to Women’s History Month!

For more information about the Technology Association of Georgia’s Student Chapter, please visit our website: https://columbusstate.collegiatelink.net/organization/TAGStudentChapter.