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One of the goals of the Pennsylvania Community College Consortium (PC4A) project is to ensure that faculty at our community college partners, and others across the state, are prepared to teach the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. 

We're working to accomplish this goal by offering professional faculty development workshops annually for each of our partners, who have been surveyed to determine which topics or focus areas would best fit the needs of their faculty. Workshops are designed around partners’ selections, and below are details of all upcoming events. 

Upcoming Workshops

Northampton Community College Workshop

August 17, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The focus of the NCC Faculty Development Workshop is the PC4A project, network defense, blockchain technology, and the NCAE Cyber Sandbox.  The event will be held virtually via Zoom, and all interested NCC faculty and staff are welcome to attend.  Download the Flyer, Brochure, and Schedule for more information.

Registration Information

To register for the event, please complete the online form. Contact pc4a-stem@iup.edu with any questions.

Guest Presentations

Dr. Waleed Farag - PC4A Overview and Workshop Logistics

Session Summary: This session provides an overview of the PC4A Project and its three major objectives. It will discuss our efforts to promote collaboration among seven institutions of higher education across the Commonwealth of PA in order to advance cybersecurity and STEM education.

Speaker Bio: Waleed Farag is the director of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Cybersecurity and a professor of computer science. He oversees the IUP Cybersecurity program, which has been a designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense since the early 2000s. He has made several contributions in these areas and has published/presented over 70 articles in recognized journals, conferences, and workshops. His work was recognized with the Best Paper Award at the ACM SIGITE’2012. Farag has outstanding records of securing funds to support his research and is currently the PI of several major federally funded grants. His work in many of these funded projects has led to the establishment of unique programs that have contributed to the enhancement of cybersecurity education and research across Pennsylvania and beyond. Furthermore, Farag has served on many technical program committees and as a reviewer for several international journals, conferences, and federal agencies.

Xin-Wen Wu - Network Defense with Zero-Trust Models

Session Summary: As networking technologies including the Internet of Things continue to evolve, securing networked systems remains a challenge. The proliferation of disruptive technologies and irreversible trends, such as “Bring Your Own Device” and “work from home”, have made the digital boundaries of corporate and organizations disappear. With boundaries diminishing, traditional perimeter-based security solutions have become ineffective in meeting increasing demands for access from literally everywhere and for using every device. To respond to these problems, the zero-trust security model was proposed by researchers and endorsed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In this workshop, we will discuss some current issues and challenges and explore some mechanisms of defending networks with the zero-trust model.

Speaker Bio: Xin-wen Wu, PhD, has worked in cybersecurity and various related areas as a researcher and educator over the last two decades. He has published two books, a monograph, and numerous research articles in reputable journals and international conferences. Wu is a faculty member at the University of Mary Washington. He was also affiliated with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, extending his academic experience at several research-focused universities including the University of California at San Diego and the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Balaji PalanisamyIntroduction to Blockchains

Session Summary: This talk will provide an introduction to distributed ledger technologies. We will discuss the fundamentals of a decentralized ledger and the functioning of a Blockchain. We will also introduce the basics of the Ethereum Blockchain and the notion of smart contracts in Ethereum.

Speaker Bio: Balaji Palanisamy is an associate professor in the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include data privacy, privacy-preserving system design, and scalable and resource management for distributed systems, IoT infrastructures, and edge and cloud computing. At the University of Pittsburgh, he carries out research in the Laboratory of Research and Education on Security-Assured Information Systems. He is a recipient of an IBM Faculty Award in 2017 and is a co-recipient of the Best Paper Awards in various conferences, including DBSec 2022, IEEE BigDataCongress 2018, IEEE BigDataCongress 2017, IEEE/ACM CCGrid 2015, and IEEE CLOUD 2012. He is currently an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, IEEE TDSC and IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, and IEEE TSC Journal.

James Rice - Interactive Journey Developing the NCAE Cyber Sandbox and Beyond

Session Summary: Leading up to the NCAE National Competition grant and upon MVCC receiving the award, Rice spearheaded the effort to have an educational environment as a priority alongside the delivery of the competitions themselves. In this workshop session, Rice walks through a brief history of working in this space, leveraging the NCAE Cyber Sandbox in the classroom, and unveils other new collaborative learning platforms coming to the Sandbox and beyond the NCAE grant.

Speaker Bio: Rice has been with MVCC, starting as an adjunct professor in 2011 and becoming a full-time cybersecurity instructor at the beginning of 2017. While teaching as an adjunct for MVCC, Rice worked full-time as a cybersecurity analyst for Quanterion Solutions Inc., a cybersecurity and reliability engineering-focused Department of Defense contractor. During this time, he has focused on delivering dynamic learning content and environments via various forms of media, including scenarios and games. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from SUNY Albany and a master's degree in cybersecurity from Utica University.

Flyer for the NCC Faculty Development WorkshopSchedule for the NCC Faculty Development Workshop

Previous Workshops

Bucks County Community College

  • May 11, 2023
  • Topics included the PC4A Project, Network Defense, and the NCAE Cyber Sandbox

Butler County Community College

  • May 10, 2023
  • Topics included the PC4A Project, Network Defense, and the NCAE Cyber Sandbox

Penn Highlands Community College

  • April 15, 2023
  • Topics included cloud security, cryptography, and the NCAE Cyber Sandbox.

Westmoreland County Community College

  • April 1, 2023
  • Topics included cloud security, cryptography, and blockchain technology.  


The PC4A Project is proudly funded by DoD STEM.

Visit dodstem.us to learn more about the work they are doing to inspire, cultivate, and develop exceptional STEM talent through a continuum of opportunities to enrich our current and future DoD workforce. 

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.