Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Collin College Cybersecurity Team tops fifth annual ISACA Competition

A team of five Collin College Cybersecurity students won first place at the 2022 Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) North Texas Case Competition, beating out teams from multiple North Texas universities in their first year of the competition.

The Collin College team included students Miles McCready, Khagendra Pokharel, Nghi Nguyen, Matthew Daley, and Mariah Hunt, who brought home a sizable trophy and received a $7,500 scholarship.

ISACA is a global association that provides training and credentials in auditing, governance, technology, and privacy. In these case competitions, student teams must collaborate to create effective methods to solve real-world problems.

In this year’s competition, teams across North Texas were challenged to perform risk analysis and shortcomings on a project for a fast-food chain.

“We performed the risk analysis and gap analysis based on the information provided to us and did not make any assumptions. I believe that’s what set us apart,” team member Khagendra Pokharel said. “Also, we followed the ISACA IT audit framework for drafting our work.”


Five Collin College students made up a team that took first place in the Fifth Annual ISACA North Texas 2022 Collegiate Case Competition. Students are pictures here with their advisors and representative from ISACA. From left: Professor Alena Funtikova-White, ISACA Case Representative Jay Demmler, Mattew Daley, Nghi Nguyen, Miles McCready, Khagendra Pokharel, Mariah Hunt, and Professor Rick Brunner. (Photo: Sara Carpenter / Collin College)

Teammate Nghi Nguyen said participating in the competition forced her to look at cybersecurity from a different perspective.

“I loved receiving guidance from my advisors and working together with my great teammates. When I got the email about first place, I was overjoyed, shocked, and proud all at the same time,” Nguyen said. “I’m blessed to have received such an opportunity to compete, and I encourage students to take the leap and do the same.”

McCready agrees with his teammates and is proud of the work they accomplished. He also said their team advisors Professors Alena Funtikova-White and Rick Brunner provided valuable feedback during their collaboration.

“I can’t speak for everyone, but this was an incredible learning experience that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and I am eternally grateful to our advisors for their support and guidance throughout the process,” McCready said. “I recommend that any motivated students looking to grow and challenge themselves participate in these opportunities.”

Collin College serves more than 56,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) in Cybersecurity, and a new Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Construction Management to be offered beginning Fall 2022. The only public college based in Collin County, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and workforce development. For more information, visit www.collin.edu.


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