Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Conversation with Computer Forensics Professor Paula Velluto

Bunker Hill Community College Professor Paula Velluto has received National Science Foundation funding to create a model computer forensics program. The project is a regional collaboration Middlesex Community College, Bristol Community College, Bunker Hill Community College, Northern Essex Community College and the University of Massachusetts Boston to meet the regional need of law enforcement for trained computer forensics (CF) technicians. The programs uniquely combine the disciplines of Information Technology (IT) and Criminal Justice (CJ) and are tailored to the needs of each institution.

The CFATE NSF project focuses on achieving three goals:

1. To create computer forensics programs that align with law enforcement, public safety, private industry and homeland security needs to ensure consistent, current and flexible training. CFATE works with local/regional law enforcement agencies and industries to determine the needed skill set. Faculty workshops are being conducted to facilitate integration of CJ and IT into courses and expedite curriculum development on a consortium wide basis. CF experts work with the colleges to ensure that materials are rich in real world content. UMass Boston is developing baccalaureate programs that accept community college graduates and provide them with career pathways. In addition, CFATE is developing stand-alone courses and programs for IT professionals and CJ practitioners.

To offer regional professional development opportunities for educators to develop expertise needed for teaching these programs. In addition to workshops on CJ and IT integration, extensive workshops on CF and the use of state-of-the-art software are being offered. Curriculum development workshops emphasize learner-centered pedagogy that give students needed skills. CF experts work individually with faculty and mentor them as they deliver CF courses.

To expand the capacity in the region to attract students from diverse backgrounds to CF programs at each institution and support them in gaining employment in related positions. CFATE is creating recruitment materials such as CDs, brochures, and interactive websites to reach local schools and local and regional community organizations. This is combined with targeted personal outreach to schools and organizations.

I've know Paula for many years and have always been so impressed with her technical knowledge, experience, vision and (especially) the way she works with her students. Paula is one of the best and last month I had the opportunity to interview her at the SAME-TEC 2008 Conference in Austin, TX.

You can get more information on the CFATE rogram at Bunker Hill Community College here. The project website at CFATE.ORG will also be up shortly.

This is one of many interviews we did at SAME-TEC 2008 - there will be many more posted and you can get them different ways:

YouTube: Watch our YouTube Channel at:

and Downloading: View streaming videos and download content using your web browser at:

iTunes: If you have iTunes installed you can watch and listen to this one, watch and listen to others, and subscribe to our video and audio podcasts by following this link.

We're planning and looking forward to the SAME-TEC conference next year. Watch this blog and SAME-TEC.ORG for 2009 Conference information and updates.


annb said...

Thanks for the interview with Paula. She is continue to challenge not only her students and herself, but her colleagues. She is a great role-model.

annb said...

Must have been past my bedtime! I meant to say: She continues to challenge not only her students and herself, but her colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful post. Just like other forms of forensic science, computer experts use very methodical approaches to find the data they need to prove cases. There are numerous methods for revealing the information needed in a case such as the recovery of deleted, encrypted, or damaged files to reveal information stored in a computer.