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NOVA cybersecurity/IT organization offers professional networking opportunities for students and alumni

Dr. Kenneth Fritzsche
Dr. Kenneth Fritzsche, director of the Identity Technology Division (ITD) in the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM) serves as keynote speaker during the Sept. 29th event.
Evan Colley
AFCEA-NVCC President Evan Colley speaks to members of the organization during the luncheon.

The Northern Virginia Community College Subchapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) offers a plethora of professional development opportunities for NOVA students and alumni with a career interest in cybersecurity and information technology (IT).

The AFCEA-NVCC Student Chapter was organized to provide a forum for the discussion of cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies and methods, STEM education and to facilitate information technology industry placement for college students. AFCEA-NVCC provides seminars, internship assistance and industry networking opportunities for its members. On Sept. 29, the AFCEA-NVCC Chapter held their first luncheon with guest speaker Dr. Kenneth Fritzsche. As an information technology expert, Fritzsche serves as director of the Identity Technology Division (ITD) in the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), within the National Protection and Programs Directorate. The event created a platform for attendees to discuss topics related to the future of cybersecurity within the workforce.

NOVA-Woodbridge Information Technology Professor Walter Pehrsson serves as the academic advisor for AFCEA-NVCC. The organization formed after members from AFCEA-NVCC’s parent chapter AFCEA-Belvoir, participated as a corporate sponsor at NOVA’s 2016 Innovation Hackathon event. With assistance from AFCEA-Belvoir Chair of Strategic Initiatives Jeff Thompson, Pehrsson said the student chapter has significantly increased its membership from five to now 17 NOVA students and alumni.

“The AFCEA-NVCC Student Chapter started about a year ago, and since then has grown considerably,” said Pehrsson. “We are all about connecting our students with the right resources they need to become successful and competitive professionals in the IT and cybersecurity industry.”

“The AFCEA-Belvoir Chapter wanted to establish and sub-sponsor a local student chapter,” said Thompson. “We conducted an analysis in the area on what we thought would align well with our overall charter, which is to promote electronic communications for the armed forces. NOVA became our top choice because of the College’s active cybersecurity and IT academic programs and involvement within the community. NOVA is the largest educational institution in the state, with a very diverse student population and a stellar commitment to student success.”

In addition to sponsoring the AFCEA-NVCC Student Chapter, AFCEA Belvoir supports the Fort Belvoir community by providing networking opportunities for government and IT industry professionals. The chapter also donates approximately $50,000 annually in grants and scholarships to area high schools and college students with an interest in a STEM related field.  The AFCEA-NVCC Student Chapter and AFCEA Belvoir are part of a member-based, non-profit international organization that has helped members advance information technology, communications and electronics capabilities since 1946.

For additional information on Northern Virginia Community College Subchapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), visit their website.


Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu



Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.