Hackathons and a Seidenberg Sweep

Many of our students in Seidenberg enjoy participating in Hackathons, either for learning, the fun of competition, or a range of prizes. Just recently, Seidenberg students Sal Torcivia, Daniel Rings, and Zahid Mahir participated in ‘Hack Upon a Cause,’ a hackathon powered by XO Group, Inc., to develop apps for charities. The three, on two separate teams, placed first in their two different categories.

Sal Torcivia, pictured right, is a junior Computer Science major and ‘Hack Upon a Cause’ was his second hackathon. He mentioned that this was his first time working with strangers, whom he paired up with at the event. Not knowing the people on his team beforehand was an obstacle at first, as they all took time figuring out how they worked best together, but in the end Sal says he enjoyed getting to know other developers.

The hackathons are most often competitive and can last overnight if not longer. ‘Hack Upon a Cause’ was a 24 hour event geared towards creating apps, programs, or websites for four different charities; each charity had multiple teams and would produce separate winners. Sal’s team worked on the website for ‘Wish Upon a Wedding,’ an organization that helps provide weddings or vow renewals for the terminally ill. Sal paired his skills as an experienced WordPress developer with the skills of his other team mates to create a code ad hoc for the charity.

From the other team, Daniel Rings, a senior Computer Science major, spoke of the success he shared with his team mate, Zahid Mahir. The two worked on an app for ‘DayOne,’ an organization that works towards ending abuse in relationships. Daniel worked on the front end and Zahid on back end; the two came as a prepared team, ready to divvy up their work in respect to their fortes. ‘Hack Upon a Cause’ was Daniel’s sixth hackathon. He heard about it through Professor Scharff, who introduced him to the world of hackathon-ing in the first place. Daniel mentions the biggest benefit of competing in hackathons: learning a lot in a concentrated amount of time. All participants leave with new knowledge and a sharper skill set in whatever is what they worked in.

Many of the hackathons around NYC can be found by searching ‘hackathon’ on Eventbrite, or checking in with AlleyNYC.  These hackathons are mostly free and occasionally have an entrance fee, but placing well in a competitive hackathon would be worth a small entry fee.

Digital Marketing Expert Matthew Knell Offers Course at Pace University

Matthew Knell, vice president of social media and communication strategy at About.com and overall digital marketing mogul (and Pace University ‘00 alumnus!), will be leading a two-day course on tools and techniques used in integrated digital marketing at Pace’s Midtown location.

Knell is a respected digital marketer with a long background in social media strategy, web technology, and the design and development of various digital products. Alongside About.com, Knell has worked with JetBlue Airways, MTV Networks, and AOL.

Knell’s last visit to Pace

After the success of Knell’s visit last fall, we’re delighted to welcome him back for what promises to be an essential workshop for digital and social media marketers looking to update their skills and bring their marketing techniques into the future.

Digital marketing has changed greatly – and rapidly – over the years. From counting keywords to creating content with a more organic approach, it’s a field that is constantly fluctuating – and one that can be hard to keep up with.

The two-day course, which takes place on February 22 and March 1, 2014, will focus on current digital marketing techniques. Social media and the needs of the customer take on a big role in this workshop, as well as all of the assets that come together to create powerful, integrated digital marketing. Topics covered include new media marketing techniques, data-driven decision making for digital marketing, including analytics and SEO, and using digital media outlets for brand building.

The course is free to Pace University students and can be waived for faculty members wishing to attend. More details can be found on Pace’s continuing education page. Anybody interested in attending the course should contact Wilfredo Pena at wpena@pace.edu.

Seidenberg Students Fend Off Attackers in Cyber Defense Competition

For some Seidenberg students, the spring semester could not have come fast enough. Not long before the first day of class, a team of six cybersecurity enthusiasts competed in the virtual qualifier for the regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC).

The team worked hard in preparation for the event, putting time in throughout the fall semester and winter break. When the competition finally came around, the Seidenberg team had some super tricks up their cybersecurity-expert sleeves. However, after nine hours of battle, their numbers were no match against the big bad Red team.

Since most team members vowed to return next year, the Seidenberg team is committed to becoming more proficient in Windows and Linux system hardening, and recruiting new members is also a priority. That means an opportunity for fellow Seidenberg students looking to hone their cybersecurity skills!

Students are welcome to join the Pace CCDC team in Pleasantville in fall 2014, where they will be able to learn, have fun, and make new friends.

This year’s cyber warriors team included:  Cynthia Shaw (BS/IT), Marc Kowtko (BS/IT), Patrick Prescott (BS/IS), Colis Duncan (BS/IT), Nick Terrasi (BS/IT) and Marko Jurac (BS/IS). Watch them in action in this video!

Those interested in joining the team should get in touch with Professor Andreea Cotoranu at acotoranu@pace.edu.


The FIRST [For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology] Tech Challenge (FTC) Championship is happening this weekend, on Sunday February 16th, as we briefly mentioned in a recent post. With the date fast approaching, we’re eager to tell you more about the event.

FIRST Tech Challenge allows high school students to work hand-in-hand with technical professionals to develop a solution to the annual challenge. Students design and construct robotic devices which can be autonomously programmed or operator-controlled to perform various tasks. ”  – FIRST web page

FTC is an annual tournament for students of ages 12-18, lasting from September, when the year’s project topic is revealed, until April, when the world championships are held. This year’s topic, titled “BLOCK PARTY!,” is a square-fielded game that will peg two-teamed ‘Alliances’ against each other in a match of obstacles and time limits with a points system to determine a winner. For this weekend’s challenge, 34 teams (down from the original 84  in the qualifying rounds across New York) will compete, and only 5 will move on to the next level in early April.

In preparation for the championships, more than 100 members of Pace’s community have helped make these games possible, namely Dr. Richard Kline, who is head mogul of the Hudson Valley chapter. The Seidenberg community has been involved with FIRST  for more than a decade, not only for the Tech Challenge, but Lego Leagues as well.

For more information about the tournament this weekend, or upcoming championships, visit Pace’s FTC page.

The Vision of Spring ’14: The View from Week 1

The first week of Spring semester 2014 has now come and gone, and we all have a better picture of what to expect in the upcoming months of the semester. Around Seidenberg HQ, there is a buzz from students who eagerly anticipate an exciting semester ahead of them.

For example, senior Seidenberg student Valerie Cayo has mentioned her enthusiasm towards her honors thesis, which she is working on alongside of Professor Dwyer, Seidenberg’s Information Technology department chair. Her thesis revolves around game design, and Cayo states she’s just getting started and looks forward to where the project will take her, come May.

(L to R) Derek Li, Josué Vicioso, Valerie Cayo, and Aldous Castello hang out at Seidenberg HQ to work and relax between classes.

Another senior, Aldous Castelo talked about his goals for the semester: finishing stronger than ever, which he thinks is possible with a great first week. He specifically mentioned his goals of working hard in his most challenging, yet most interesting, class, Software Engineering with Prof. Scharff. Derek Li, a senior as well, also spoke of his intent to work hard this semester. He points out that he enjoys the rigor of his classes and the brain work required for each. Li also looks forward to his independent study with Prof Benjamin, who will work with Derek to learn more about artificial intelligence. Adding to the hard working student body, second semester freshman Artem Karapetyan is already putting effort into finding an internship by signing up for the career center‘s workshops that will whip him into shape for interviews and opportunities.

Check out FTC’s Facebook!

We also took a moment to talk to Dr. Kline about what he’s looking forward to. Kline eagerly brought up his involvement in the Hudson Valley First Tech Challenge, “an accessible, challenging robotics competition for students of high school age,” (FTC). The Hudson Valley Regional Championship will be held on fast-approaching February 16th, the winners of which will advance through levels, leading to the World Championship to be held in St. Louis, Missouri come April.


A Message Seidenberg’s Career Services Correspondent: Svetlana Kotlyarenko

“Welcome back! I hope the first week of Spring Semester went smoothly.

By way of introduction, my name is Svetlana Kotlyarenko and I will be your new Career Counselor. If you’re interested in securing an internship, job, need your resume reviewed, would like to prepare for an interview, or just chat about your career, I am your go-to person.  For your convenience, I will hold office hours every Wednesday from 1:30 – 4:30 PM right here at 163 Williams Street, and will be available all other days right across the street at 41 Park Row, 14th floor.

If you haven’t started to give internships a thought, I encourage you to do so. In addition to strong academic performance, employers want candidates to have hands-on experience in their field of study upon graduation. In other words, if you want to land a great job out of college or attend graduate school, completing an internship or two during your academic career is crucial.
With that said, Career Service has lots of great opportunities in the tech industry. I will send internships your way bi-weekly. Please keep an eye out for that email!

There are 4 easy steps you will have to take to complete to participate in the internship program. They are as follows:

1: Complete Online Webinar
Learn the basics of Career Services, eRecruiting, and what’s expected of you. This is the first step in the internship process and is MANDATORY for participation in Career Services Internship Program.

2: Attend an Interview Workshop
Develop the skills to get the job! Discuss difficult questions asked by employers and learn about the different interview formats. To sign up visit our website homepage for the schedule. This is MANDATORY for participation in Career Services Internship Program.

3: Schedule an Appointment with a Career Counselor
Schedule an appointment with a career counselor. Be sure to bring in a resume draft.

  • During your first meeting with your career counselor you will be asked to sign a student agreement.
  • After revising drafts, the next step is to get your resume officially approved by your career counselor.

4: Using eRecruiting
Once your profile is completed on eRecruiting, you are eligible to connect to jobs, employers, on-campus interviews, and events throughout Pace University’s worldwide network of campuses and employers.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions (skotlyarenko@pace.edu).

I look forward to meeting all of you in the coming weeks.”


Note: Svetlana’s office hours will be as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Friday – 1-2PM or by appointment at 41 Park Row, 14th FL
Wednesday 1:30 -4:30 by appointment at 163 Williams Street
Thursday – 11 AM – 1PM; 3:30PM – 5PM by appointment at Goldstein, Office 311

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