Living Learning Community Connects Cyber, Computer Science Students with Tech Opportunities

Cynthia Baruch-Rosas

Friday, September 30th, 2022

Students in the JAGByte Living Learning Community, managed by the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, continue to enjoy exclusive activities with local technology and cyber organizations.

The JAGByte LLC is a residential experience offered to incoming freshman students majoring in computer science, cybersecurity, cybersecurity engineering, cyber operations and information technology. JAGByte students live near each other in a special wing of Oak Hall and participate in professional and personal development, academic achievement and community engagement opportunities.

JAGByte students are able to participate in events exclusive to the LLC, as well as courses relating to their major. Residents can attend on-site visits to tech companies and organizations such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crime Center, which can provide firsthand experience. Earlier this semester, JAGByte students heard from professionals from CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity technology company, and the National Security Administration.

Students who participate in this unique learning community benefit from higher GPAs and graduation rates as well as increased campus and peer engagement, according to program leadership.

“The JAGByte Living Learning Community is a great way for the students to see firsthand what it’s like to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world,” said Wennie Squires, cyber career success coordinator for the Georgia Cyber Center and coordinator of the JAGByte LLC.

“When we visit industry partners, the students get to hear personal stories from tech professionals about their own experiences and challenges from when they were in college and in their current work roles. It’s a really unique way to network with industry partners in the local community.”

For students, this type of networking is priceless.

“JAGByte has exposed me to many people who share my passion for tech, and these people will affect my life in ways I don’t know yet,” said Josh Alley, a freshman studying cybersecurity.

Earlier this month, the Georgia Cyber Center hosted a laser-cutting workshop for JAGByte students. The workshop was held at The Garage, a collaborative “makerspace” that supports prototyping, workshops, software projects and more. At the workshop, students learned how to use vector graphics software to make designs that could be laser-engraved onto metal coffee tumblers.

“The students were extremely excited to work on the laser, and they all seemed to be having real-time explosions of creativity to what access to these tools could mean for their personal projects, coursework and club projects. It’s really encouraging to see that students are this excited about getting hands-on and creating new prototypes,” said Luke Steel, makerspace specialist at the Georgia Cyber Center. 

Freshman cyber operations major and JAGByte resident Robert Voegtlen attended the laser-cutting workshop because in his spare time, he makes charcuterie boards for the Morris Museum of Art. Voegtlen said the skills taught during the workshop have helped him speed up his laser-engraving process.

Eligible incoming first-year students seeking to enrich their college experience are highly encouraged to participate in this unique living and learning opportunity. For more information about the JAGByte LLC, email the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.

For more about the Georgia Cyber Center and The Garage, email the GCC.