Fairfield University engineering student receives award from Cisco Systems, Inc. for academic and NYPD career achievements


Fairfield University School of Engineering graduate student Maria Sette, of New Canaan, will receive Cisco Networking Academy's 2007 Global Recognition Award in honor of her Fairfield academic accomplishments and career achievements working for the New York City Police Department.

The award from the multinational corporation is for recognizing individuals who have been exemplary students of the Cisco Networking Academy, which teaches sophisticated technology skills. Sette, who grew up in Stamford, is also being recognized for using those skills to fill an important job in government. She is a certified IT wide-area network (WAN) security manager with the NYPD.

Since 2000, the School of Engineering has been a host site of the Cisco Networking Academy, an educational program started by the California-based Cisco Systems, Inc. to teach students highly advanced Informational Technology, or IT, and Internet technology skills essential in the global economy. The School of Engineering weaves Cisco curriculum into software engineering courses, and also has the latest networking equipment, such as routers and switches, in a computer lab on campus to prepare students for industry standard certifications. Sette recently completed her Cisco certification coursework at Fairfield, where she maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

A master's of science degree in software engineering candidate, she will receive the award from Connecticut Lieutenant Governor (and Fairfield alumnus) Michael Fedele on January 31 at a ceremony at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

Sette's role with the NYPD involves managing a team that oversees the department's sensitive computer systems and screens critical security information. The job entails responding to security incidents, publishing vulnerability alerts, monitoring intrusion detection systems to protect against security vulnerabilities, and analyzing privacy-protected software development techniques for the department. She helps facilitate data management of complex federal, state and city laws. She is also certified in Homeland Security with the American College of Forensic Examiners.

Sette said the Fairfield University/Cisco program has educated her on new industry technologies and afforded her the opportunity for career growth. "Attending Fairfield has given me skills that continue to make me extremely valuable in my position with the police department. The technology skill set that I have gained here from my professors and their involvement in the Cisco Academy will undoubtedly help me advance at work."

Cisco, the leading supplier of networking equipment and management for the Internet, has partnered with universities, such as Fairfield, to ensure that there is a pipeline of qualified individuals to fill IT jobs.

Following the Hartford ceremony, Sette will take part in a technology forum in which participants will discuss the need in Connecticut for people to have the latest IT skills. She noted, "People are smart to gain these skills, because not many people have them. Fairfield is one of a handful of universities where you can gain this knowledge. By taking part in the Cisco Academy, you will increase the opportunities open to you in business, the government and abroad."

According to Vagos Hadjimichael, Ph. D., dean of the School of Engineering, the School weaves the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) curriculum into its courses. The School has designed a thread of study in the master's in software engineering program with the Cisco Academy curriculum as a basis.

Ray Angelo, M.S., Associate Professor and the Cisco Academy Administrator for Fairfield University, said the Cisco program continually keeps pace with what's applicable to networking jobs in business and industry. "The curriculum is maintained by Cisco, so it is very attuned to the current state of data networking. Since subject matter experts in the networking industry are contributing to this curriculum, it is viewed by many academic institutions as a definitive and vibrant option for networking materials and curriculum."

Students study networking basics; routers, switching basics and WAN Technologies. For more information about the School of Engineering, call 203-254-4000, ext. 4147 or visit http://www.fairfield.edu/soe_gradcoursedesc.html.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 24, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 162