Posted by raherschbach on 1 Dec 2014

I like to think of myself as the Haymitch to your Katniss, the Mickey to your Rocky Balboa, the Tardis to your Time Lord, the Alfred to your Batman, the Splinter to your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  My job is to give you the tools to get into fighting shape.

Utilizing our state of the art combination of workshops, events, and individual appointments, the Career Services training program focuses on developing students and alumni as professionals, providing tools and resources designed to improve your marketability and increase your chances of securing a position.

We develop a four year training plan and program designed to prepare our students for the job market upon graduation.  Career Day and the Career Fair are the one-two punch to increase your skills, knowledge, and increase your connections to potential employers. We cultivate relationships with employers and post available positions on the Capitol Online Job Board to increase your stamina and options. Finally, as you prepare for battle, we coach you on interview skills and salary negotiations to close the deal and get the best possible outcome, leaving you the last one standing in the ring, with a signed employment contract in hand.

I will point out that, as your trainer, I do not fight for you; meaning we do not place students in positions.  We connect students to opportunities, advertising them equally and allow all students access to all postings.  We also focus on developing the student, providing the tools and resources to locate, analyze, and apply for positions, thereby creating successful job seekers at graduation and for the remainder of their professional life.  We don’t just want to win the battle; we want to win the war. We want you to be able to do it on your own, even though we will stay by your side, with free services to all alumni.

Available training tools:

Students - Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, I am available for one-on-one appointments in-person, by phone, or over google hangout or skype.  Also on-campus workshops and (coming soon) google hangout sessions will be available this academic school year. I strongly encourage students to start applying at least 3-6 months before graduating, and more if they hope to secure a job that requires a security clearance. 

Alumni - Our services are free to you as well.  You are eligible for any of the services offered to our undergraduate students.

Employers - Interested in recruiting our students and alumni to fill your available positions? If you currently have no positions available, would you be interested in promoting your brand on campus?  If so, please email me for additional information.

If you have any questions or you are interested in being trained by the Office of Career Services, please email

Sarah Alspaw
Assistant Director of Career Services and Graduate Student Support
240-965-2494 •


Posted by raherschbach on 25 Nov 2014

Last month was Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the focus was on protecting our systems and the valuable data stored in them.  Cyber criminals did not take the month off; rather, they continued to perpetrate spectacular data breaches, striking government agencies, corporations, cities and private citizens with alarming regularity.

Just this month Network World reported two occurrences of the use of ransomware by cyber criminals. The mayor of Detroit admitted that the city's database was held ransom, with the perpretators demanding 2,000 bitcoins or $800,000.00. The city administration had to make a tough choice. They determined that the city could do without the information contained in the database and decided not to give into extortion. But what if that data had been needed? What options would they have had then?

In Tennessee, a sheriff's office did pay to get back autopsy reports, witness statements and crime scene photographs when hit with a form of ransomware called CryptoWall. In this case, the data was deemed too important to lose. As a result, the cyber criminals got the monetary benefit they hoped for.

The well-known shopping days called Black Friday and Cyber Monday are rapidly approaching. Many companies make as much as one quarter of their annual revenue during the last three months of the year, according to Symantec. Cyber criminals have leverage during these critical shopping days and these businesses are quite concerned. Companies have spent millions to defend themselves and rapidly recover from such attacks.

Private citizens can also take steps to avoid falling victim to such an attack. Make sure your anti-virus software (AV) software is up to date, use only strong passwords and vary them across websites, make sure you are using your browser in secure mode only, and back up your data regularly and store in a safe place (for example on a cloud drive). If you fall victim to ransomware attacks and other cybercrimes such as identity theft you should immediately contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 is co-sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). 

FBI Page for holiday scams warnings page:

Remember your personal data or computer should be considered your personal critical infrastructure and should be guarded accordingly. Next month I will write about the so called “Snowden Effect” and how it has affected how the government operates and our personal security.


Posted by raherschbach on 24 Nov 2014

As a former teacher in the Maryland public schools, I helped to administer the annual IQ tests to hundreds of children in my 14-year-career.  “Administered” is somewhat of a misnomer, because I simply monitored the 120 or so 4th graders each year as they filled in the little circles on their answer sheets and “avoided making marks on the test booklets."  The tests were then sent out for scoring and back came a form reporting each child’s IQ.

But when  I looked over the scores each year, I sometimes questioned the results.  Children were not excused because they were not feeling well, or there was a problem at home that was upsetting them that day.  Students who were not native English speakers or who had learning disabilities were lumped in with the rest.  Group IQ tests, starting with the military in WWII, have a long and illustrious history of sorting folks efficiently and inexpensively for various reasons.  These IQ tests were no different, and the results followed the students through their school careers.  Among other uses, the magic number was consulted for placement in various programs, rather like the “Sorting Hat” in the Harry Potter books. 

My psychology students here at Capitol have been learning about IQ from a new perspective.  Many of them recall coloring in those little circles without knowing why, and, in most cases, never finding out what the results were.  The psychology textbook discusses IQ as if it were, indeed, a stable attribute, a “given.”  IQ is presented as a single number that supposedly defines how “smart” a person is, which can have significant impact on an individual’s education and career path. 

However, there is an intriguing paragraph in the text,  hinting at a different view of IQ-- the Theory of Multiple Intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner beginning in the 1970s..  I always devote a whole class to Gardner’s theory because I believe it gives us a more complete picture of who we are.  While traditional IQ tests focus heavily on language, math, and some spatial abilities, Gardner includes those plus a broad array of aptitudes.  His full list of 8 intelligences includes: linguistic, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal (people skills) and the ability to understand the world of nature.

 Applying Gardner’s theory, we could agree that Mozart is an outstanding example of musical intelligence. Writing a symphony at age 8 that is still played by major orchestras 200 years later certainly counts.  FDR’s and Winston Churchill’s way with words puts them at the top of the linguistic intelligence scale. For an understanding of the natural world, Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel stand out.

So during our class, students like to chime in and add their own examples.  One student suggested that the Beatles should be added to the musical intelligence list.  Has their music stood the test of time?  Well, that depends.  They don’t come close to Mozart’s 200 years, but 50 years isn’t too shabby.  The 2014-15 Baltimore Symphony season includes a program devoted to Beatles music, alongside the classics.   How about Stephen King and Tom Clancy as candidates for linguistic intelligence?  Or Dr. Ben Carson and Michael Jordan for bodily-kinesthetic intelligence?

“What about the ‘robber barons’ of the Industrial Revolution?  Where would they fit in this theory?” one student asked.  Indeed, where would we put Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, or Bill Gates?   Certainly, they excel at logical-mathematical abilities, and quite likely in interpersonal intelligence, too.  They were masters at getting people excited about their vision and strategic plans. 

A frequent question is whether anyone can stand out in all these areas.  Well,  Leonardo Da Vinci is often cited as a Renaissance man.  He was known as an architect, engineer, painter, sculptor, mathematician, musician, inventor, anatomist, and writer.  Does anyone have any modern candidates for someone who embodies outstanding ability of all or most these intelligences?


Posted by raherschbach on 21 Nov 2014

Spring semester dates for Capitol’s popular Cyber Saturday program have been announced. Events will be held on January 24, February 28 and April 14.

Intended for community college students, Cyber Saturdays introduce participants to one of the highest-demand career fields available today. They do so by means of exciting, game-type activities that engage participants with something they like doing, while also imparting valuable training.

“These events increase awareness and then they get students interested in the profession—and that’s the objective,” says Professor William Butler, Chair of the Information Assurance department at Capitol.

The Cyber Saturday program was launched in 2013 with the help of a grant from the Department of Defense’s Information Assurance Scholarship Program. Previous Cyber Saturday events have included games such as Cyber Laser Tag, Cyber Treasure Hunt, Oddball and Balance Beam. To find out more, contact Meghan Young, Director of Admissions Operations, at


Posted by raherschbach on 19 Nov 2014

If you walked the halls and campus of Capitol Technology University during the month of October you might have scratched your head in wonderment. The signs and chatter were all about eating books -- yes, eating books!  October was the 4th annual Edible Book Contest held by the Puente Library.  Click here to see a slideshow of the entries.

What is an edible book and how is it a contest?  Sounds mildly disgusting to try and eat a book…is it like a hot dog eating contest where the person consuming the most pages wins a prize, like another book that they can eat?  No, not even close. 

The International Edible Book Festival is an annual event usually held on or around April 1 (seems fitting that the event takes place on April Fool’s day where eating one's words is very appropriate) of each year. This worldwide event, in which "edible books" are created, displayed, and eaten, was first launched in 2000. In the beginning most edible book events took place in culinary schools, where budding chefs baked their favorite book as a class assignment.  Later the concept branched out to bookstores, art houses and libraries. Four years ago the Puente Library grabbed the idea and moved it to October; we have been “eating books” ever since. 

Still scratching your head? Why in the world would a computer university have a cooking contest, you ask? Two reasons: first, because we can, and, more importantly, because of the creativity and campus cameraderie the program generates. You might not expect computer technology students to be challenging art students in creative endeavors, but ours are, unbelievably so. We have had students submit everything from an orange with a clock face on it (ala Clockwork Orange) to an elaborate Dr. Seuss cake (a la Dr. Seuss books) to the Death Star (a la Star War books and this year’s winner). The only requirement for entry is that each entry is from a book – the title, cover, favorite character.  Of course it must be edible. After judging and awarding prizes for first, second and third, the best part of the contest takes place; we eat the entries.  And if there is one thing college students do extremely well, it is eat.  There are never any leftovers from this contest! 

Besides the creativity that is on exhibit with the contest, it also brings together students, faculty and staff, from the president to the new freshman, to admire and enjoy food together. Never to be lost is the exposure of the library and its services, staff and friendly environment. The library conducts a program each month to encourage students to use the library and have fun! 

All of the Puente Library programs are student created, managed and administered. The Edible Book Contest has become our most popular program and each year has grown with both entries and audience. We have been very lucky to have had a very creative student program leader over the last two years who has taken the edible book idea to new heights and levels of participation.  We hope to add the winner’s entries to the menu of the campus’s deli after next year’s contest as well as moving the contest to April to be in line with the International Edible Book Festival. It's all for the sake of creativity as this contest brings out the imagination of each student entry even when they didn’t think they had an artistic “book” in them. 

Eat a book once a year. You just might just like it!

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