Cybersecurity student, Radford University

Here’s a round-up of education briefs. Want more education news? There’s no full-time education reporter west of Richmond. You can help change that. Help us fund this position.

* * *

Radford University’s cybersecurity program awarded global accreditation

Radford University’s School of Computing and Information Sciences degree program in cybersecurity has achieved accreditation by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.), the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

ABET accreditation assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.

Radford University’s Bachelor of Science Degree in cybersecurity is the first at a four-year public institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia, according to a release from the school.

Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. The accreditation reviews examine program curricula, faculty, facilities and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia and government.

ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that currently accredits 4,361 programs at 850 colleges and universities in 41 countries and areas.

* * *

Christina Ortiz. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

STEM education, research innovator kicks off lecture series at Fralin Institute

Christina Ortiz conducts cutting-edge research on how to build military armor for humans that mimics the near perfect armor found on fish and reptiles.

But in 2016, she shifted her attention to another passion: transforming science and technology research to make it more socially responsible.

Ortiz reduced her commitments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she served as dean for graduate education for six years, to found and become president of Station1, a higher education nonprofit aimed at driving deep and fundamental change in STEM education and research.

She calls it socially directed science and technology.

“We’re fundamentally redesigning and reimagining the process of technological development and the core of the scientific method in the context of inclusion, equity, ethics, sustainability, and other humanistic fields such as history, philosophy, and sociology,” Ortiz said in talk at the 2020 Culture Shifting Summit. Part of Station1’s focus is making STEM fields more accessible to first-generation college students and those from low-income households and underrepresented groups.

Ortiz, the Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, will share her vision in a talk titled “Socially-Directed Science and Technology: Design at the Intersection of History, Sustainability, and Equity with Applications to Biotechnology and Biomaterials.” The talk, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, is the first in in the 2022-23 Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture Series, hosted by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. Refreshments will be available at a 5 p.m. reception.

The series is named for Maury Strauss, a Roanoke businessman and longtime community benefactor who recognized the importance of bringing leading-edge scientists to Roanoke.

The public lecture will be held in the VTC auditorium at 2 Riverside Circle on the research institute’s Roanoke campus. The talk is also available via Zoom.

* * *

Danville CC hosts open house for industrial maintenance training

Danville Community College (DCC) is hosting an Industrial Maintenance Training information session and open house at the Regional Center for Advanced Technology & Training (RCATT) on Thursday, September 22.

Interested individuals will have the option to attend one of the two sessions on the 22nd: a morning session from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., or the evening session from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Attendees will hear from DCC faculty and staff regarding course offerings and the application process. Industry leaders will also be present to discuss employment opportunities for those who complete the training.

in a release, the school said these course would help prepare students for careers in fields such as automation and robotics.

Trainees who complete training will earn industry recognized, National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certifications in the following:

Electrical Electronics Level 1: Trainees will prepare for a career in the electrical field. Trainees develop an understanding of electrical systems in structures, follow blueprints and install wiring and other electrical components, such as circuit breaker panels, switches and light fixtures.

Industrial Maintenance Electrical and Instrumentation (Levels 1 – 4): Covers topics such as Fasteners and Anchors, Process Mathematics, Hydraulic and Pneumatic Controls, Process Control Loops, Instrument Calibration and Configuration, Electronic Components, Programmable Logic Controllers, and an introduction to the National Electrical Code, to name a few.

Industrial Maintenance Mechanics (Levels 1 – 4): Instructs trainees to not only repair and maintain equipment, but also install and dismantle it. This four-level curriculum covers topics such as Oxyfuel Cutting, Introduction to Piping Components and Laser Alignment, and teaching trainees to work across every industry that uses machinery.

For more information about Industrial Maintenance Training, or to enroll at Danville Community College, contact Chad Younger at 434-797-8573 or

* * *

ValleyStar donates to P&H motorsports program

ValleyStar Credit Union recently made two donations to the Patrick & Henry Community College Foundation totaling $8,000. These donations will provide student scholarships and help support the Racing College (P&HCC’s Motorsports program) to continue racing locally.

The first donation of $3000 provides two $1500 scholarships for full-time students enrolled in a business curriculum.

The $5000 donation allows the Motorsports program to race their late-model car in local races while continuing to provide hands-on training opportunities for our students.

These scholarships will be administered by the P&HCC Foundation.

For background on the P&H motorsports program, see this story: “Virginia Racing College keeps Martinsville’s motorsports economy on track.”

* * *