Computer science prof wins $300K grant

University of New Orleans computer science professor Vassil Roussev will use a two-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve the delivery of cybersecurity education.

The development of an automated platform will allow instructors to spend more time teaching students and less time on managing and grading assignments.

“Realistic hands-on experiences in the lab are key to building strong cybersecurity skills for the real world,” Roussev said. “It takes a substantial effort on the part of the instructor to create, monitor and grade dozens of student lab assignments throughout the course.”

The Automated Platform for Cyber Security Learning and Experimentation project seeks to dramatically improve the efficiency of instruction by providing a language to specify lessons and exercises, and by automating most of the mundane, time-consuming management tasks behind the scenes, Roussev said. The platform also lets the instructor embed hints and sub-tasks within the lessons to create more personalized experiences.

The UNO Department of Computer Science has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations and Information Assurance Research by the National Security Agency.

Medical school holds white coat ceremony

The LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine held its annual "white coat ceremony" this month at Holy Cross High School.

This year, 203 second-year medical students received white coats, a visible symbol of patient care. During the ceremony, students were “coated” by faculty members chosen by the class for their commitment to medical education and their students.

The coat is placed on each student's shoulders by individuals who believe in the student's ability to carry on the noble tradition of doctoring. 

Although clinical education for LSU Health New Orleans medical students begins in their first year, the ceremony signifies the students’ increased contact with patients during their second year.

The ceremony is a tradition begun at the School of Medicine in 1997.

Official to oversee enrollment at Xavier

Keyana Scales has been named vice president for enrollment management at Xavier University, according to Dr. Anne McCall, Xavier's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

In the newly created position, Scales will be charged with providing supervision and direction to the Offices of Admissions, Student Financial Aid and the University Registrar. Scales will begin work Sept. 12.

"She will lead the integration of important units on our campus to ensure that students who can best benefit from a Xavier education enroll and have every opportunity possible to succeed," McCall said. 

Among her responsibilities will be developing and implementing strategies to reach goals in recruitment, tuition discounting, student revenue and retention.

Scales has more than 15 years of experience in college admissions and recruitment. She comes to Xavier from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she spent two years as director of freshman recruitment and scholarships.

Romig selected as leading UNO grad

The University of New Orleans International Alumni Association said local tourism leader Mark Romig has been selected as the 2016 Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumni honoree.

The association will present the honor at a gala to be held at the National World War II Museum on Nov. 3. The event will also celebrate the investiture of university President John Nicklow, who will be formally installed during an on-campus ceremony Nov. 2.

Romig is president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. He also is the stadium announcer for the New Orleans Saints.

“I credit my alma mater for helping shape the person I have become,” said Romig, who earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism administration from UNO in 1978. “I have always believed that service to my community is of utmost importance, and I learned that by watching the example the University of New Orleans has exhibited through the years.”

Romig previously was vice president of marketing and public relations for HCA Inc.-Delta Division and, prior to that, spent 16 years at Peter A. Mayer Advertising, where he was president of the public relations division. He also served as vice president of public affairs for Hibernia National Bank and was director of protocol and guest relations for the 1984 World’s Fair. 

He coordinated the city’s participation in the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and served on the Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Commission and the Host Committee for Super Bowl XLVII. He also has been president of Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity.