AUGUST 2, 2006

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OSU-Okmulgee student lands internship with major federal digital crime lab

Jason Alvarado, an OSU-Okmulgee Information Assurance and Forensics major, is working at the United States Department of Defense Cyber Crime (DC3) Center in Washington, D.C. as an intern this summer.

An Oklahoma State University – Okmulgee student is helping with U. S. government criminal investigations while on an internship this summer in the Washington, D.C. area. Jason Alvarado, an Information Assurance and Forensics major, is working at the United States Department of Defense Cyber Crime (DC3) Center, one of the largest such labs in the nation. The Center evaluates evidence found on digital devices such as flash drives, PCs, laptop computers, DVDs, CDs, global positioning systems, and cellular phones. The DC3 works with prosecutors from the various branches of the armed services and United States Attorneys Offices nationwide.

Alvarado is helping set up a knowledge management application. This research "portal" includes information categorization, forensics tools databases, and legal documents databases. The staff at the lab will use the portal to perform their digital media evaluations more efficiently.

Alvarado was recommended for the internship by OSU-Okmulgee's Information Technologies Division Chair Scott Newman. "I knew Jason would do an excellent job for the DC3. He is very well-rounded technically, has high professional ethics, and is always prepared to work hard." Alvarado's previous internship was with Advancia, a company in Oklahoma City which contracts forensics network security jobs for the U.S. Government.

Alvarado calls the DC3 internship a great opportunity. "I will definitely learn a great deal while here. My plan is to continue working for the U.S. government in the area of cyber security." Alvarado, who is from Yukon, Oklahoma, is due to graduate in December, earning his Bachelor of Technology degree in Information Assurance and Forensics. Workplace experiences, such as Alvarado's internship, are an important component in providing students with the skills and knowledge they will use in their careers after graduating from OSU-Okmulgee.

The Information Assurance and Forensics program at OSU-Okmulgee ensures its students are competent and confident in the technical, operational and managerial aspects of information security — including related legal and ethical issues. Graduates of the program are qualified for a wide variety of cyber security career opportunities in government and industry. OSU-Okmulgee's Information Technologies Division offers numerous professional industry certifications, as well as several National Security Agency (NSA) certificates. Newman notes that businesses and governmental agencies have a growing need for expertise in information security. "These certificates assure employers that our graduates can operate at a high level, thereby increasing career opportunities for our graduates."

Alvarado says he has always been interested in learning as much as he can about computers, taking basic computer classes in high school. Alvarado also took a few community college computer courses. However, these tended to be more theoretical in nature. "I really like OSU-Okmulgee's hands-on approach to learning," says Alvarado.

OSU-Okmulgee is a founding member of the Cyber Security Education Consortium, which received a $3 million education grant from the National Science Foundation to address the need for cyber security educational and training opportunities in Oklahoma and the surrounding region.

Contact: Sharon Smith, 918-293-5140