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New Digital Challenges Series Starts October 1

By Marissa Malone

Published October 1, 2014

For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine life without an Internet connection. With the freedom to get connected “anytime, anywhere” comes a greater chance of putting your private information at risk.

Marissa Malone (UB Student, Class of 2015) has a dream of traveling to all seven continents, and she’s already visited four. When not globetrotting, Marissa studies Communication, Spanish, and Management at UB while working for both UBIT and Career Services.

“Technology isn’t inherently good or evil, but like anything in life, it can be used in positive or negative ways,” said Dean Hendrix, Assistant Director for University Libraries. "For example, it’s great to share photos with your family and friends all at once online, but at the same time, the Internet opens the door to having your financial accounts compromised through phishing and hackers."

Provoking Dialogue

J. Brice Bible, Chief Information Officer, and H. Austin Booth, Vice Provost for University Libraries, chose to implement the Digital Challenges Series this fall with the purpose of raising awareness and starting conversations around the implications of the Digital Age.  As Dean told UBIT News, “There is a need for these conversations on UB’s campus to express concerns around corporate data centers, Edward Snowden’s revelations and the NSA.”

The University Libraries, UB Information Technology, the Office of Educational Innovation & Assessment, Student Life and the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Systems Assurance, Research and Education (CEISARE) have teamed together to sponsor the annual Digital Challenges series, which starts with three events during the 2014-2015 Academic Year featuring guest speakers who are “luminaries in their fields,” according to Dean.

Your Digital Footprint

The first event, “Your Digital Footprint,” features a range of guest speakers sharing their expertise:

  • Christina Peters, Chief Privacy Officer, IBM
  • Marcus Ranum, Chief of Security at Tenable Security, Inc.
  • Brian Boetig, Special Agent in Charge, Buffalo Office Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Kristen Martin, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Public Policy, George Washington University
  • Tracy Mitrano, Director of IT Policy and Institute for Computer Policy and Law

Dean encourages all UB students, faculty, staff, and Buffalo community members to participate in the first free event “Your Digital Footprint,” on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 in the Student Union Theater on North Campus. Sessions will run between 12 p.m. and 6:20 p.m., so stop in to enjoy provocative discussions, a chance to win door prizes (includes Beats headphones and an iPad mini) and light refreshments. The event will also be streamed live online.

While registration is not required to attend these sessions, pre-registration is encouraged. Visit to register, find speaker bios and a schedule of events.