The Journal Gazette
Monday, March 27, 2017 8:02 am

Academic team protects software systems

Ashley Sloboda | The Journal Gazette

The Indiana Tech students Matt Hansen coaches don’t compete on fields or in games with balls.

Rather, they earn their state championship rings navigating scenarios information technology departments might encounter, such as having to battle computer viruses, security holes and other cyber threats while maintaining regular business services, like email and e-commerce.

"We are under immense pressure to get these things done," Hansen said, calling the competitions "real world to an immense extreme."

They are the Cyber Warriors, an academic team that recently won its third straight state championship in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition that included competitors from Purdue and Indiana universities.

Although the team is in its 11th year, has eight state titles, has advanced to regionals nine times and has gotten to nationals twice, it continues to struggle for recognition, said Hansen, team adviser and adjunct professor with Indiana Tech’s School of Computer Science.

Rewarding the team with championship rings last year – a first for the Cyber Warriors – was part of an ongoing attempt to show academic sports exist, he said.

The Cyber Warriors are a lot like their athletic counterparts. They hold tryouts in the fall, they travel for competitions, they have varsity and junior varsity members, and they practice regularly year-round, Hansen said, hedging the team’s time commitment exceeds athletes’.

Because the team members don’t know what awaits them at competitions, they train for everything, Hansen said. He compared their training to preparing for a certain game show.

"How do you study for ‘Jeopardy!’?" he asked.

Team captain Ian Springer, a senior network engineering major, said the team is more than an extracurricular activity; it’s a résumé-booster. For many in IT, he said, security isn’t their focus, so "you really stand out" when you are that one person with those skills.


Aaron Tribbett of Fort Wayne has achieved one of the highest honors a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets can attain: he earned a position on The Citadel’s acclaimed Summerall Guards. It is a silent precision drill platoon that formed more than 85 years ago. He is part of the Class of 2018.

Questa scholars

K21 Health Foundation and the Questa Education Foundation announced funds are available for graduating Kosciusko County high school seniors who will major in health-related fields. Applications for those funds and the Questa Scholars Program are due May 1 at Go to the website or call 260-407-6494 for information.

Saint Francis

The University of Saint Francis is launching a pre-law program that combines a political science core with law-related electives in various disciplines. Enrollment is open for fall classes. Go to for information.

Ivy Tech

The number of certificates and technical certificates awarded by Ivy Tech Community College has increased by 55 percent since 2012, with 11,224 awarded in the 2015-16 academic year. Certificates are designed to be short-term credentials and stackable toward an associate degree. Many certificates alone have immediate value in the workforce.

Grace College

• Grace College in Winona Lake will host a Lancer Day at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Lancer Days let high school students and their families experience campus life firsthand. To register, go to, email or call 866-974-7223.

• Grace College will offer an associate degree of applied science in agribusiness and a bachelor’s of science in agribusiness. Contact Jeffrey Fawcett, School of Business dean, at or 574-372-5100 ext. 6090 for information.


Concordia Lutheran High School will offer a program in biomedical science next year through Project Lead the Way. PLTW Principles of Biomedical Science introduces students to medicine and human body systems, preparing them for careers in medical and health-related fields.


The Indiana Department of Education announced East Allen County Schools, Northwest Allen County Schools and MSD of Steuben County were among 32 districts that received the 2017 Digital Learning Grant. Grants totaled $2,342,664 and ranged from $35,000 to $75,000.

Saint Francis

The University of Saint Francis announced the results of an effort to gather and measure data about the career and education outcomes for recent graduates. Of its 2016 graduating class, 96.2 percent are either employed, enlisted in the military or another form of service, or enrolled in additional education. Nearly 81 percent are working in Indiana, and 66.2 percent are working in northeast Indiana.


Snider High School’s Class of 1968 will hold its 50-year reunion Aug. 4, 2018, at Goeglein Homestead, 7311 Maysville Road. Organizers have created a website,, and a Facebook group, Snider Class of ’68 50th Reunion.


Seven Fort Wayne Community Schools students participated in the Indiana All-State Children’s Honor Choir: Lydia Herald, Kyle Lowder and Claire Sponseller of St. Joseph Central Elementary School and Haley Fulton, Mariah Grim, Preston Hudson and Malina Yisrael of Weisser Park Arts Magnet.


• IPFW announced the recipients of several scholarships for 2017-18. Its Chapman Scholars include Brandon Blumenherst of Homestead High School, Jadon Evans of Adams Central High School, Hannah Hobson of Three Rivers Christian Academy and Brian O’Donnell of South Adams High School. The Doermer Distinguished Scholar is Caroline Landrigan of Homestead High School; the Weitzman Education Scholar is James "Randy" Swim of Leo Junior-Senior High School; and the Weitzman Engineering Scholar is Gilson Moh Jr. of Snider High School.

• Applications for the Floretta A. Clancy Memorial Scholarship are due Friday. The scholarship is for students of African-American heritage who have demonstrated academic promise, community involvement and financial need. Go to for an application.


Registration is open for summer courses at Trine University. Six-week classes will run from May 15 to June 22 and June 26 to Aug. 3, and 12-week classes will run from May 15 to Aug. 3. Go to or contact Andrea Etchen, assistant director of admission, at 260-665-4813 or for information.

Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email

To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.

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