James Kainth on Computers, Hands-On Learning, and the Core Curriculum

A Q&A with James Kainth, ’20 // Computer Networking & Cybersecurity

Computer Networking & Cybersecurity major James Kainth, ‘20, has been passionate about technology since he got his first computer in the third grade. In this interview, we talk with James about how he is expanding his knowledge and experiences with technology in college, and the industry-specific skills he has been learning since his first year at Champlain.

Q: What made you choose your Computer Networking & Cybersecurity major?

A: I’ve been interested in computers since I was in third grade because I was just naturally curious. I liked building stuff and playing with computers. I got my first computer when I was in third grade. 

Plus, I’ve always known I wanted to help people and save the world. It sounds like, “Whoa!” But I think it’s entirely possible for me to save the world from the negative things that are going on through computers and systems.

Champlain College student, James Kainth

Q: What do you like best about your classwork?

A: Over the last year I have learned so many things from all of the experiences that I have absorbed from the College. We actually go hands-on into the technology that’s industry standard and really work with it. We’re not just sitting in lecture halls taking notes. The curriculum works so well for students that learn best by doing.

Q: How does Champlain’s Core Curriculum add to your major classes?

A: In Core, I look at what we’re learning and think about how it’s going to benefit me in my major. So, for example, when I learn about neuroscience and psychology in Core, I ask, “How are the hackers going to think? How will the government perceive my actions?” You work with what they’re teaching you to incorporate it into your sense of humanity, which is the whole point of the Core.

Q: Because of Champlain’s Upside-Down Curriculum, you started working with the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation (LDCI) in the first semester of your first year. Can you tell us about that experience?

A: Working at the LCDI, I got a job right in the first semester of college. I became a technical intern at the LCDI and I was put on the network defense team. We researched network defense, passwords, vulnerability assessments, and Pen Testing. Getting involved is probably one of the biggest aspects of college life, and by working with the LDCI I’ve learned really valuable information. I got so much out of my experience there in my very first year.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs or organizations?

A: I’m involved in the Champlain Wave. The Champlain Wave is the campus radio station. Music is the one way that I relate to the world. The Wave is a phenomenal opportunity for me to bridge the gap between my interests and show my skills as a leader and my passion for music, radio, and expression.

Q: Do you have any advice for prospective students?

A: Come to visit the campus—you’re going to find a phenomenal atmosphere. Everybody is welcoming and it’s really inclusive. So when you do come on by, experience it.

Want to learn more about our nationally recognized Leahy Center for Digital Investigation? Sign up for a Campus Tour and Information Session to find out more about Champlain and the LCDI.

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