Brandywine, SAP cybersecurity conference addresses workforce skills development

Sukh Kaur speaks at a Penn State Brandywine cybersecurity conference
Image via Bill Tyson, Penn State Brandywine
Sukh Kaur, customer success partner at SAP, was one of several Brandywine alumni who spoke at the cybersecurity conference.

More than 170 attendees participated in Penn State Brandywine’s inaugural cybersecurity conference, Sept. 9 in collaboration with SAP, a global software firm.

The conference, which had an academic focus on cybersecurity workforce skills development, was part of a partnership between Penn State Brandywine and SAP to develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Brandywine faculty members Nannette D’Imperio, lecturer in information sciences and technology, and Andy Landmesser, assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology, were the conference organizers.

The daylong event was held at Brandywine and included both in-person and virtual attendance.

Brandywine students who attended the event appreciated both the educational sessions and the networking opportunities.

“The speakers and their topics were very relevant to today’s issues within cyber. … I also appreciated the fact some speakers chose to highlight the need for women in cybersecurity,” said Penn State Brandywine student Marge Reybolds, a cybersecurity analytics and operations major whose summer work was presented at the conference.

Penn State Brandywine student Akaylah Swinge, studying the same major, appreciated the opportunities for networking.

 “We got to hear from several cybersecurity professionals about a variety of topics, as well as talk and interact with them, which was fantastic.

 “I was also able to present some undergraduate research for SAP that I did with a few other students. Attending the conference allowed me to make several connections that can potentially help me in my future endeavors.”

The opening keynote speaker was Celeste Chamberlain, governance risk and compliance officer for SAP. She discussed the importance of diversity in cybersecurity, breaking into the field after college, policy and law issues, artificial intelligence, and the future of cybersecurity.

Topics covered at breakout sessions included enterprise risk management, trends in cybersecurity education, and QR code hacking.

Session speakers included cybersecurity professionals from ADP, Breakaway Technologies, CDI, Gigamon, Lockheed Martin, and Stephenson Technologies Corp., as well as faculty from Penn State’s Abington, Brandywine, Berks and Greater Allegheny campuses.

Several Brandywine alumni were among the speakers, including: Sukh Kaur, customer success partner at SAP, who graduated with a degree in information sciences and technology; Shawn Manderson, vice president of enterprise risk management at ADP, who graduated with a degree in information sciences and technology; and Himani Vommi, software and cybersecurity engineer at Lockheed Martin, who graduated with a degree in cybersecurity analytics and operations.

Vommi is currently pursuing a master’s degree in information science at Penn State Great Valley.

About Penn State Brandywine

Penn State Brandywine is a 1,200-student residential campus. Computer science, cybersecurity analytics and operations, and information technology are among the 15 bachelor’s degrees offered at Brandywine. The campus also offers the first two years of most of Penn State’s more than 275 majors.

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