PhotoJournal: HBO-Sponsored Write/Speak/Code Conference




Seidenberg recently hosted a conference for women in tech with our friends over at Write/Speak/Code. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite shots from conference! Take a look at what Write/Speak/Code is doing to help make our women the best professionals/creatives/go-getters they can be! Also — we’d like to send out a huge thanks to HBO sponsoring the event.

Conference organizer, founder of WSC, and winner of all hair awards ever, Rebecca Miller Webster kicks off the conference with an intro about WriteSpeakCode and the plans for the day.
“I’m an expert at…” attendees practice their 30 second pitch of what they are an expert at.
Pace student Mariana Gomes da Motta Macedo and Caria Souza from Spotify were speaking in Portuguese about technology around the world!
Ladies from HBO Careers represent Pied Piper for Silicon Valley
Attendees created a timeline of their goals for the next month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year
Attendees were able to network with other women in tech from around the city!
All ages were welcome!


Who Run the World? Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS)!

Cynthia Shaw (BS/IT’15, Westchester) is part of Pace’s CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program. As a perk of the scholarship program, Cynthia had the opportunity to attend the Women in Cyber Security Conference (WiCyS) in Atlanta, Georgia recently. Cynthia reflects on her experience at the conference:

Cynthia Shaw

 “WiCyS was incredible — an event that all women in computing should be a part of! We had the privilege of hearing some amazing female leaders in the cybersecurity field speak, including Phyllis Schneck, a director for cybersecurity with the Department of Homeland Security, as well as Jenn Lesser Henley who runs the security team for Facebook. In addition, the conference offered numerous career-boosting opportunities including a resume workshop, a job fair, as well as information about graduate studies. A variety of workshops were also part of the program, including packet sniffing, a look into digital forensics, network packet analysis, and my personal favorite, a capture the flag competition hosted by Facebook. The capture the flag workshop was the very first Facebook workshop run exclusively by women and presented to an all women audience — we made Facebook history that day!

WiCyS is only in its second year, though its attendance has nearly tripled since last year. As an information technology (IT) major, it is not hard to recognize that I am a minority in the field. I am often the only girl in my classes, and having attended a few Computer Society meetings, I can tell you that there are only a couple of girls at those meetings as well.  While I enjoy the challenge of being a minority and standing out, when I heard about a conference that gathered women in my field, I knew it was something I had to be a part of. 

While the days were long and the schedule was packed, I could not have asked for a better experience. The takeaway messages I would like to share with my fellow women colleagues are the following:

 1. Don’t limit yourself. Apply to anything and everything that interests you and don’t be afraid of rejection. For every 20 ‘No’s’ you get, there will be that one ‘Yes’ eventually.

2. Find an area you love and run with it. The saying goes that if you love what you do, you will not work a day in your life. I personally love computer forensics and I couldn’t be more excited to start working once I graduate.

3. Try to learn something new every day. The good thing about IT and cybersecurity is that it is evolving and changing at a rapid pace. Something new is always rolling out, so it is super easy to always be learning and growing.

4. And finally, go out of your way to help other women. The best thing we can do as women in a field where we are outnumbered is to motivate, encourage and empower each other.

 This conference was unique, inspiring, and one of the best experiences I have had in college. My hope is that more women get involved and attend next year so that the numbers continue to grow and we continue to have a major impact in the field of Information Technology and Cybesecurity. Women are awesome and we should be proud of that!”

Seidenberg is proud of its commitment to supporting women by offering a variety of clubs and events for women to participate in. Among these include some of our other pride-and-joys such as BlackGirlsCode, Lean-In Circle, and WriteSpeakCode. Also worth mentioning is Pleasantville’s initiative to launch a “Women in Technology” mentorship program this coming Fall!

A Chat With Virali Jhaveri

Graduate Seidenberg student Virali Jhaveri (IS/’16) is a great indicator of how many opportunities are available for students during their time here and even afterward. As we all know, many of our graduate students come from a variety of experiences and fields — with Virali, we’ve seen a bit of what she’s been up to during her time here, so we wanted to know more about her days before Pace and her plans for afterward. So, we brought her around for a chat:

virali jhaveri

Before you came to earn your Masters at Pace, what kinds of things did you work on, and how has that lead you here?

I have 3 years of experience as a software developer from working on various technical platforms. I completed my undergraduate in Information Technology back in India, and I am also a diploma holder in Computer Technology. Keeping with my passion for IT and making a successful career in this field have always been a dream of mine. I’m eager to gain more exposure about global technology, which is why I chose to be a part of Pace’s Masters program.

We know you’ve been busy, so what kinds of things have you already worked on during your time here?

I received a Graduate Assistantship for both the semesters and the amazing opportunity to work with the Associate Dean Dr. Jonathan Hill. There aren’t words to describe how skillful Dr Hill is! I am also working as an instructor to more than 100 students, teaching various technical tools and coding platforms like Microsoft Excel, HTML 5 and CSS 3. The fun and the challenging part is that the students are from different majors (like actors, dancers,..) with minimum or no IT knowledge. This class is conducted once a week and helps me gain confidence and polishes my problem solving skills. I absolutely love my work as a graduate assistant!

You’ve been involved in all kinds of things like the middle school outreach with Time Warner, Lean-in-Circle, PDP, etc — could you tell us a little about your favorite out of these?

I believe Pace is the place to be — there is an ocean of opportunities that are easily accessible if you intend to learn and grow. I am greedy for technology and never satisfied with the knowledge I gain, so I like to utilize my time in learning new things. This crazy attitude towards learning got me involved in these couple of interesting projects and I proudly choose to be an active part of all of these opportunities. I like all my projects because they are diverse but still connected to technology in some way. Time Warner Cable’s initiative to help connect middle school students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) helps the students to identify their area of interest, with a focus on the importance of technology and the innovative side of Sciences!

Lean-In Circle was an initiative started by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, to support and help the women in technology to grow. At Pace, the Lean-In Circle group meets once a month to discuss the opportunities that will help us identify our goals and work towards the ways to achieve equality in the field. PDP is a product development project — it is the first of its kind based on human-trafficking crime-mapping that has been done at any university in the US! I am glad to be a part of this project that will help me identify and map the ever increasing human-trafficking issues occurring these days. This research demonstrates the concept of Design Thinking, where interdisciplinary students come together, plan, design and learn as a team. It’s a not-for-profit initiative to make this world a better place to live.

We hear you’re applying for the Grace Hopper Scholarship!  What exactly does it takes to be an applicant, and what will you do with it should you win it?

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. There is a 3-day conference held every year that provides a platform to connect, inspire, and guide women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. There are few application requirements, and I will consider myself lucky if I get this opportunity for two main reasons:

A) Networking: I believe networking is an opportunity to showcase your skills and talents to experts in your field. By attending this conference, I could end up working with the CEO of some startup or top companies!

B) Learning experience: It is important for an individual to be updated with the latest, as well as futuristic, aspects of technology — at least if one is passionate about being successful in IT — and this will be the golden platform to learn!

 What got you into the field of IS in the first place?

I am a combination of both left-brained and right-brained, which means I love innovation and the ability to achieve ease. Information systems is a study of analytical, design, and creative thinking. These skills bundled together makes a person fit for solving problems and making effective management decisions. The study of IS is a way to build and polish these useful skills.

What has been your favorite class or professor during your time, and why?

I have 2 favorites that stand out:

Information Systems and Project Management was my favorite subject at Pace in my first semester: At the end of the course I had a firm grasp of my IT project management concepts and the terminologies needed to be a successful IT project/program manager. Without a doub,t Dr. James Gabberty is one of the finest professors here. It was also the first time I ever saw a professor get doughnuts and coffee for the students! It was so cool — who wouldn’t love this?

Responsive Website Designing (IT614): I must say this is a really cool course if you want to explore your creative side. This is an online course with Dr. Narayan Murthy. If you work hard on the class’s notes and the assignments, then trust me, you can see yourself working at Google in the next 2 years. My dream is to work at Google and I am sure I share this dream with almost every Web/Code monkey on earth. In short, this course is interesting and helps you build logical designing skills.

We’re honored to have students like Virali in our program here at Seidenberg and we cannot wait to participate in her bright future in the world of technology!

1st year student, Niamh Fitzsimon returns to Google!

Niamh (pronounced: Neeve) Fitzsimon is freshman computer science and art (studio) double major from San Francisco. She’s Irish, and went to a small all-girls high school where she was forced to program in her freshman year. Niamh’s plan is to go into android mobile app development and work in Europe.

Friends from CSSI and Niamh, in a teacup at Google with an Android bot
Friends from CSSI and Niamh, in a teacup at Google with an Android bot

Q: This will be your second stint at Google. It can’t be just “Irish Luck” What’s your secret?

I am naturally an over planner which causes me to think a lot further into the future than most. Because of this I went on an extensive scholarship search during my senior year of high school and happened upon the Generation Google Scholarship. Applying for the scholarship meant automatically applying for Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute. Although I didn’t get the scholarship, I did get into the program. There I found out about the Engineering Practicum Internship, which I will be part of this summer. Honestly I was just shooting for the stars when I applied the first time, but I decided to put my doubt aside an just go for it. I think my “secret” to pass onto others is to ignore all the voices and apply for things. You have to tell yourself that the worst that is going to happen is nothing, and if you never applied it would be the same without the possibility of success.

Q. Tell us about Summer Camp at Google. How will this time be different? What are you looking forward to?

Last summer’s camp was days filled with classes, mentorship, and getting to know about the industry. It was only three weeks and included learning Python in a day and a half, thinking up and building an entire web application from scratch with a team in a week and a half, and presenting the application. The entire time was in Google’s Cambridge, MA office so I got to explore one of the Google campuses, but most of the day was spent in the same conference room. It was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot (You can find my team’s application at

This summer will be a completely different experience. First of all I will actually be working for Google, which means getting to work on one of their real teams on a real product and getting paid for it. The team I will work on, an internal Android app development team, is more in my specific area of interest. My team will be made up of full time Google employees, plus one other intern. I will be working at the New York campus, which is much larger than Cambridge. Besides the actual work I will have some computer science lessons and mentorship. Although the application I will be working on is internal, I am excited because people in Google will be using it. I am also looking forward to micro-kitchen access, nap-pod access (yes, they look exactly like the ones in the Internship), and meeting more computer scientists from outside of Pace.

Q. So is GOOGLINESS a real thing??

Googliness from what I have witnessed is teamwork. The employees work in teams and the offices have an open format, with each team basically sitting around a table. It is being able to have creativity and finding your own way to be productive. Googliness is wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops to work and having to worry about the Google twenty (the food is really good and free).

Q. You will be studying abroad later this year. Where are you going?

I will be studying abroad in Spring 2016. I am going to John Cabot University in Rome. I went to Rome on a pilgrimage the winter before I came to Pace and fell in love with it. I am looking forward to experiencing the Italian culture (and hopefully improving my Italian) and all the history Rome has to offer. I am excited to take a fresco painting course and an art history course that will have a trip to Pompeii. While there I will not only get to experience Italy, but also travel to different parts of Europe and experience the cultures (and the food) there.

I think every student should do a semester abroad at least once if they can, and if not at least do a summer or travel course. You get to learn more about the place (and the world) than when you go for a vacation. Hopefully you will also learn more about yourself. Even just being on the other side of the country from my home has taught me a lot about myself, I cannot imagine what I will learn while abroad. I like how Pace has events such as the Pace Path Live to expose students to the idea of studying abroad.

Niamh's ode to the Stars and Stripes - photographed and edited by her.
Niamh’s ode to the Stars and Stripes – photographed and edited by her.

Q. We saw you checking out the Ms. Marvel collection at Seidenberg. Big graphic novel fan?

Being a graphic artist myself I love looking at different aspect of design. Since I began art I have looked up to Andy Warhol and Banksy and more recently Fintan Magee (who I discovered through Buzzfeed:, but the more I have gotten into the digital world I have appreciated the look of websites more. The websites with amazing graphics that move as the page does are my favorite. I am hoping to learn more about it in the Design for the Internet class I am taking next year.

Q. Tell us about the path you’ve traversed at Pace. How has it been different from everyone else?

My path at Pace so far has been mostly planning. When you take on two majors it takes a lot of planning ahead to fit all the classes needed in, and adding study abroad on top of that complicates things further. I have tried to keep a balance of CS, Art, and general education each semester. Because the two majors are so different my day is sometimes polarized, like walking into Mathematical Structures for Computer Science last semester covered with paint and my portfolio in hand, but I enjoy the balance it provides. I think my path at Pace hasn’t been very different than everyone else. If I had to point out one difference it would be that my exact plan was formulated early than most. Part of the reason I chose Pace was that I would be allowed to double major in two very different subjects and by the end of the summer I had solidified my decision to double major instead of just minoring in art.

“I will be attending Pace Path Live on April 25th. I am hoping to take away some new ideas to organize my time at Pace. Although I have planned out a lot I know there will be some curveballs and room for improvement in my plan. Overall, I believe it will be a fun and informational day.” – Niamh Fitzsimon, ’19, Pace University

Sharing the Passion for Cybersecurity: The 2015 PCAP Student Cybersecurity Workshop

Almost two-thirds of young Americans, according to the 2014 Raytheon-NCSA Millennial Survey, are unsure about what the “cybersecurity” profession actually is. However, the demand for cybersecurity-related occupations is booming. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs as information security professionals are expected to grow by 53 percent in the next four years.


The Pace Cybersecurity Academic Partnership (PCAP), a program led by Dr. Li-Chiou Chen, Professor and Chair of the IT Department in Westchester, aims to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals through partnerships with area community colleges, utilizing support from the National Science Foundation. This year PCAP welcomes Orange County Community College as a new partner! As of Spring 2015, PCAP is proud to now include seven partner colleges!

PCAP supports numerous activities for both students and faculty from partner colleges, including an annual, student cybersecurity workshop. Twenty-two enthusiastic students from five area colleges attended the PCAP Student Cybersecurity Workshop held on Friday, March 27th at the Pace Graduate Center in White Plains. The full-day event was filled with presentations by Seidenberg faculty on topics ranging from mobile forensics to web security and biometrics. The students were also introduced to various academic and career opportunities, as well as to co-curricular activities that could contribute to expanding their knowledge, skills, abilities, and professional network. Among these activities is the PCAP Student Summer Research Program, which pairs students from partner colleges with faculty and students from Pace to work on mini-research projects in one of the following areas: computer forensics, web security or biometrics.

Many thanks to professors Li-Chiou Chen, Andreea Cotoranu, Darren Hayes, Charles Tappert, as well as Seidenberg students James Ossipov and Anthony Martini for all their contributions to the 2015 PCAP Student Cybersecurity Workshop.

  • If you are interested in exploring cybersecurity as an education/career option, register for cybersecurity-related courses in Fall 2015!  A list of cybersecurity-related courses offered by the Seidenberg School is available here; please note that not all courses listed will be offered in Fall 2015

  • If you are an undergraduate or graduate student interested in studying cybersecurity and working for the local, state or federal government, consider applying for the CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service.

CS, IS, or IT? Dr. Dwyer Explains the Differences

Freshman year of college is a year of discovery and exploration. Your first year is a great time to find what inspires you and what you want to spend the next four years pursuing. It can be tricky to navigate the sea of different majors when choosing just one or two feels like such a huge decision. But not to worry — for those who are interested in the complex world of computing, the chair of Information Technology (IT) at Seidenberg Dr. Cathy Dwyer sits down and answers a few questions freshmen want to know.

Dr Dwyer

What is the difference between Computer Science (CS), Information Systems (IS) and Information technology (IT)?

“There are a few differences between CS and IS and IT. CS focuses more on building software, whereas IT and IS focus more on the use or the application of it. CS is where you focus on building software — you become interested in things like “is this the right algorithm?” “Is this software being as efficient as it can be?” “Am I using the resources of the machine in the best possible way?” In CS you study patterns and techniques to make your software as efficient as possible.

In the IS and IT department, your focus is more on the application of the program. These students think more on how to use the programs and the best way to use them. It is more focused on identifying real world problems that people have and want to use technology for. IS and IT students look at problems in such a way that you can say, “okay, this is the right tool and this is the right way to use it.” That is the difference between the two.”

What is a skill that both IS and IT students should have?

“You actually need two sets of skills. You need to have good IT skills but also good people skills; it’s very important to be able to communicate. When you get a job, it isn’t just working in IT — you’re also sort of a conduit. You need to be able to explain your IT skills to people in a way that those who are not in that department will understand. There are a lot of excellent programmers who can’t explain what they’re doing unless it’s with someone who is also in that field, so this is where good people skills come in.

What is big in IT and IS?

“Right now it is big data, data analytics, text analytics and using a variety of analysis tools to look for relationships between the data that are of interest and documenting or explaining them in a way that’s useful.”

What’s the best way to find an internship?

“The most important thing is to get involved in Co-op and Career Services. I know it can be a pain sometimes to go to workshops, but they are definitely worth it. Seidenberg actually has someone in the office every Wednesday that can help you find an internship. Just from spending time at Seidenberg, you’ll hear about internships and there is also a bulletin board that is always filled with flyers advertising different job opportunities for students. For freshmen and sophomores, it’s really about feeling ready for an internship, and what’s great about career services is that there are interview workshops to help you prepare and the Seidenberg career counselor is available to look at your resume and talk about what to emphasize and maybe even discuss other opportunities to further your experience before you take an internship.”

For freshmen, an internship may be the first job they ever have. Sometimes asking about money can be awkward, what do you think the best way to ask an employer about payment?

“It’s about asking at the right point. Before you actually commit to something, just ask. If they don’t answer you, they most likely are not going to pay you. So it is up to the individual to decide if the job is worth the experience or not.”

Are there any classes you recommend to freshmen?

“If there are any freshmen in the IT or IS department, I should know them. Come and introduce yourself and together we can figure out what you’re really interested in and what courses are best for you. For people who are testing the water, I suggest they take the Web Authoring and Multimedia Class (CIT231) or Service Learning (CIS102W) or Hardware (CIT211) as a way to get their foot in the door. But to really pick a direction, come talk to me or make an appointment to talk to one of our very talent academic advisors Stephanie Elson and Kim Brazaitis to find the right path for you!”

Do you have any advice for freshmen?

“I really encourage students to try to get internships. Come to the computer club — get involved in any student activity. Go to meetups just so you’re exposed to the profession, so you can get a sense of what people in your field are doing and the kind of problems they are working on.”

Dr. Dwyer is currently teaching Introduction to Information Technology (CIT 110) and in the Fall she will be teaching a graduate course on Social and Mobile Technologies (IS 676) and Java Programming (CIT 312) — check them out in Schedule Explorer!

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