Seniors enhance tool for future students

Contact: Cindy Wagner

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—One of the essential aspects of any information technology (IT) position is working as part of a team. For three of this semester’s Senior Engineering Design Conference students, the synergy of a team drove their work.

Joshua Bergman

“We experienced the importance of project management skills, technical skills and problem-solving skills to keep all members on a project on task,” says team member Jesse Blaine, a cybersecurity major. “In the end, it was a culmination of all classes and each members knowledge and background that resulted in the completion of the project.” For this team, the common skill was the Python programming language.

The project is a continuation of the Network Security (NetSec) platform started by Jason Johnson, B.S.’10, M.S.’12, faculty specialist in computer science. Johnson is a lead faculty member of WMU’s cybersecurity programs along with Dr. Alan Rea, professor of business information systems. The system is being used as a teaching aid that helps students learn cybersecurity principles. NetSec is written using the Django framework, which is based on Python.

Jesse Blaine

For their part, the student team implemented a simulation of a Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) that alerts a user of any suspicious or abnormal traffic on a network. The enhancement allows student to experience an intrusion detection system and the type of information that is captured for alerting network administrators. 

About the team

Joshua Bergman is a cybersecurity major who is currently an IT security intern at Bronson Healthcare and holds certifications in CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+. He transferred to Western after completing his A.A.S. in cybersecurity at Columbus State Community College in Ohio. Follow Joshua Bergman on LinkedIn.

Gabe Soto

Jesse Blaine is a cybersecurity major who recently achieved obtaining ISC2 Certified in Cybersecurity, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+. He earned an A.A.S. in information technology from North Area Iowa Community College in 2003 and has nearly 20 years of experience in IT. Follow Jesse Blaine on LinkedIn.

Gabe Soto is a computer science major. He works full time at Omega Computer Services as service desk working with UniFi equipment, Meraki devices and Office 365. He has previous experience as a technician for Critical Computer Solutions in Battle Creek installing UniFi network equipment and in technology repair and sales at Office Depot. He earned an A.A.S. from Kalamazoo Valley Community College in computer science in 2020. He is focusing on certifications such as CCNA to achieve a role as a network administrator after graduation. Follow Gabe Soto on LinkedIn.

Find more information on the Senior Engineering Design Conference projects and teams.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.