The NOVA 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 formed 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 September 29, the AFCEA-NVCC Chapter held their first luncheon with guest speaker Dr. Kenneth Fritzsche. As an information technology expert, Fritzsche serves as the 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’s 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 organization 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, nonprofit international organization that has helped members advance information technology, communications and electronics capabilities since 1946.
For additional information on NOVA’s subchapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), visit their website.