After an extremely intense Chapter of the Year competition, we’re proud to announce that we’ve awarded our annual honor to our Southern California chapter! The variety of activities and events they put together, plus their innovative outreach efforts, have raised the bar for all our chapters and their members. Some highlights:
Student chapter promotion
While the California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) Pomona’s student Forensic and Security Technology (FAST) group had been in existence since 2008, it formalized its HTCIA charter in 2010. SoCal chapter president Chris Curran says, however, that it’s not just about having the charter – it’s also about supporting the students in their career paths.
“We invite our students to attend our regular chapter meetings, which several of them have done,” says Curran. “It’s a great opportunity for them to get a feel for what the field is all about, and also to make contacts with potential employers as well as future colleagues.”
The SoCal chapter also gives students access to its job board, which Curran says has a twofold purpose: 1) graduating seniors can apply if they want, but 2) all the students can see the qualifications they’ll need to apply.
And students are encouraged to help represent HTCIA at conferences. A number of Pomona students volunteered at our conference in Atlanta last year, and will be in Indian Wells again this year. In addition, students helped association members staff a booth at both the ISACA Spring Conference and the AccessData User Conference.
This year, the Cal Poly Pomona students showed their appreciation and spirit by designing custom graduation sashes that they wore with their caps and gowns. These sashes are available to any other student charter with graduating members.
Joint training sessions with other associations
The SoCal chapter has taken steps over the past year to build and strengthen relationships with members in other organizations, including the local chapters for the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Those relationships led to joint training sessions and networking opportunities.
“It’s important for our members to share information, get new contacts and even encourage cross-pollination between the associations,” says Curran. “High tech crime involves so many aspects of technology that you may encounter some uncommon issue where a contact with background in information security or auditing becomes useful.”
Training and education for children and parents
“We gave three presentations on Internet safety – two at elementary schools and one at a middle school,” says Curran. “The schools made sure to invite the parents along with children at all grade levels. The idea was for them to increase their understanding of the good and bad on the Internet, and increase their communication as a result.”
In addition, longtime HTCIA members Donn Hoffman and David Nardoni presented at the Cyber Challenge Camp, as part of a panel on ethics.
Congratulations to our Southern California chapter, and many thanks to our members there for the hours of hard work put into these efforts. We’re looking forward to presenting the 2011 Chapter of the Year plaques in just two weeks. We hope you’ll join us!