By: James Kelly, Austin Vetsch, and Mahish Mahendarkar
This article is an update on the George Mason University ISACA Student Group (GMUISG) in 2021. The GMUISG was established in the Summer of 2020. During our first 6 months, we have accomplished many milestones such as hosting multiple live demos, education voucher distribution and reaching 75 members. This student group is the connection between the classroom and IT employers through a partnership with the ISACA Greater Washington DC Chapter (GWDC). All GMU students and faculty may join the organization and we have 1 faculty advisor and 70+ members in our discord community. GMUISG is a student-led organization and our current leadership includes 6 upperclassmen. To join, check out our page at GMUISG – ISACA Student Group. Also, consider an ISACA GWDC membership. More information at ISACA GWDC Membership.
Our mission is to motivate and inform our peers of the pathways and technical knowledge necessary for developing their IT careers. Our goal is to inspire students to go above and beyond in finding extracurricular activities that will build portfolios, familiarize members with industry tools, and the language used in the workplace. Our group’s participation is invigorated through random gift card giveaways and awesome yet practical gifts of Raspberry PI’s to help implement Linux. If a member is unable to attend a live meeting, there are recordings and a biweekly newsletter to offer a quick summary of the week’s events. The leadership team of GMUISG utilizes an anonymous activity software called Mentimeter to help engage the class with interactive PowerPoint slides and collect meeting information. GMUISG meets biweekly on Zoom calls to deep dive into the topic of the day and other new/relevant information is periodically sent in our discord, and updated on our website. We hope to prepare the next generation of Information security professionals and are excited to see what our members accomplish!
Figure 1 shows current semester meeting topics. The topics have been predetermined and hands-on Lab environments are typically set up. The members are free to implement any software setup or follow along with the live demo or a recording from previous meetings.
Figure 2 shows one of our first interactive slides. During our live introductory meeting, we polled our members to find out what relevant IT-related topics they would like to learn about. Alongside other industry trends, these metrics help us to tailor an experience that is best suited for our demographics.