James Kainth, ’20 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. Our classes are very hands-on. We work with industry standard technology and really learn how to use 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 & Cybersecurity in the first semester of your first year. Can you tell us about that experience?

A: Working at the Leahy Center, I got a job right in the first semester of college. I became a technical intern at the Leahy Center 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 Leahy Center 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 am the President of the Cybersecurity Club. Ever since I was a first-year in the Cybersecurity club all the way up to being President now, it’s been a time and a half! I’ve learned so much from past leadership, and I’m happy to be working with a group of friends to work on giving back just as much knowledge.

In addition to being the president of a club, I am a member of the Digital Forensics Association, an advocate for the Women in Technology Club, and I also do work with a Champlain literary magazine, Chivomengro.

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 Leahy Center.

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