Sen. Patrick Leahy Kicks Off Cybersecurity Awareness Month at Champlain College

As a recognized leader in cybersecurity—and a National Security Agency-designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cyberdefense Education—we at Champlain College got an early start to October’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month with the second annual Leahy Cyber Symposium. This year’s symposium’s theme, Protecting Your Organization Against Cyber Threats, drew dozens of professionals to campus on September 22 to hear from Senator Patrick Leahy himself, industry experts, faculty, and standout students about today’s cyber landscape.

“There’s not a single person in this room who has all the answers to the problems we’re facing. Together, we’re going to have a heck of a lot more answers,” Senator Leahy said in his closing remarks. “As Vermonters, we have connections to each other, and that’s what matters—that’s what can help us solve problems.”

Inspired by Senator Leahy, the annual symposium featured expert speakers, students, and panelists who shared their insights, best practices, and practical approaches to address the pressing cyber challenges faced by Vermont businesses. Topics included prioritizing your cyber dollar, accessing cyber resources for your organization, ransomware, and artificial intelligence.

Student James Cangelosi speaks at a podium at Champlain College.
James Cangelosi ’26, a Computer & Digital Forensics major and IoT Analyst at the Leahy Center, presented at the symposium about the vulnerabilities of IoT.

Senator Leahy noted that, while he grew up in Vermont hearing stories about WWII, future generations will know a different kind of war, where enemies are unknown and our devices hold the battlefields. He praised Vermont and Champlain College for their mighty ability to train students to be ready for that future and for careers that make a difference. 

“Next year when we do the third annual Leahy Symposium, let’s talk about what has been accomplished. Let’s talk about how many companies have come here to Vermont and said ‘We’ve got a real talent in our schools here, let’s hire these people.’”

Following his remarks, students, faculty, and guests enjoyed the opportunity to network with each other and to speak with Senator Leahy himself about his contributions that have helped make cybersecurity a priority at Champlain College. 

Senator Patrick Leahy speaks with Champlain College administrators and guests after a speech.
Champlain College’s Leahy Center for Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity was made possible by its namesake, Senator Patrick Leahy, pictured above.

Ready to Continue the Conversation?

Important cybersecurity discussions continue at Cyber Ready, a Champlain Weekend featured event on Saturday, October 28. Hear from our alumni and parent cyber professionals as you explore new trends, roles, and the skills required to succeed in this evolving field. 

If you’re ready for a career in cybersecurity, Champlain’s Cyber Ready is a must. The engaging event includes a panel discussion with industry experts, alumni presentations, and current Leahy Center students working in the field, along with networking breakout sessions throughout. Cyber Ready is a free event and offers an opportunity to engage with the next generation of Champlain cyber students and Champlain’s network of alumni, parents, friends, and faculty working in the field. 

Students working at computer stations inside the Leahy Center for Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity at Champlain College
Champlain College is home to the Leahy Center for Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity, helping businesses and government agencies protect their digital assets.

Back-to-Back Weekends

Champlain is hosting back-to-back weekends dedicated to cybersecurity, rounding out the awareness month with the Women in Cyber Summit: The Next Generation of Cyber Professionals on Friday, November 3. We’re pleased to welcome all ages for an inspiring day of programming and interactive sessions, including a keynote address from Deputy Director of Women in Cyber (WiCyS) Michele Tomasic.

WiCyS is a global nonprofit dedicated to bringing together generations of women in cybersecurity—from academia, research, and industry—to share knowledge, experience, networking, and mentoring. Every year, Champlain College sends students and faculty to the annual WiCyS conference to connect with the best and brightest in the business. As such, this homegrown summit will include opportunities for networking, mentoring, and learning for students and professionals. 

Female-identifying students from Champlain College pose with a light-up sign that reads "WICSY."
More than a dozen Champlain College students and faculty attended the annual Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) conference in Denver, Colorado, this spring.


High school students are encouraged to attend and spend the weekend exploring Champlain College for our Fall Open House the following day. Hear from our students and faculty on Friday, November 3, at the summit and spend Saturday, November 4, speaking with them about your interests and asking them your pressing questions about how Champlain can help you make it in the cybersecurity field.

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