Student View Q&A
Rory Yegerman ’09
Rory Yegerman may not have traveled far to get to Champlain College—his hometown is across Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, New York—but his sights are now set on broader horizons. On track to earn his Bachelor of Science in Computer & Digital Forensics degree this spring, Yegerman has prepared well for the real world. His campus activities have included the Digital Forensics Association (DFA) and the Criminal Justice Club, and he worked part-time in the Digital Forensics Lab. No one needs to tell him that professional computer forensics work doesn’t look much like it is portrayed on television. Here he discusses what it is like to be poised at the start of an exciting career. —MFM
What drew you to Champlain’s Computer & Digital Forensics program?
I was drawn to the program because of the unique curriculum. I really enjoyed the criminal justice and computer forensics blend that I was able to experience from the courses, and the upside-down curriculum allowed me to begin my forensics classes the first semester I got here. I didn’t have to wait until my junior year to find out if I loved or hated the program.
Information is always changing, which must have an effect on computer forensics work. How will you stay on top of changes?
Techniques, best practices, and even laws are constantly being modified, added, or removed, so it is important to know your boundaries when practicing computer forensics. I am subscribed to multiple forensics forums, magazines, discussion boards, and journals that have great resources regarding current news.
How has Champlain prepared you for your future in these fields?
I have been exposed to both the private and public sectors of the digital forensics field, and I think that the exposure and experience I have gained at Champlain will allow me to be more marketable to a wider range of companies or agencies. I have also gained valuable hands-on technical experience.
When people hear “digital forensics,” they may think of popular television crime shows. Is this an accurate portrayal of what you’ve been prepared for?
No, not at all. On the television crime shows, they often display image enhancements at the click of a button. For example, taking a picture of a lady and pulling the reflection off her eye to show what she was looking at. All of this is done within 5 to 10 seconds. I wish someone would show me a program and computer that could do this! I have been prepared for a thorough investigation of a computer or other digital device using forensically sound hardware and software.
What do you see for the future of computer and digital forensics, and how will you fit into it?
As computers and technology evolve, so does the amount of computer crime. People think that they will not be caught because they have new security features or the best and most current anti-virus software. The fact is that people are still going to try to do unlawful things with, or to, a computer; crime will never completely go away. That’s what I’m here for—to stop them.
What is the most rewarding experience you’ve enjoyed in your program?
I had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., and interview for a position within the Department of Defense. If I did not have the experience and skills that I have learned and developed at Champlain, then I would never have been presented with the opportunity to work for the government this early in my life.