Hood Cyber Blazers Nationally Ranked

Cyber Blazers

Interview with Carol Jim, Ph.D., Computer Science & Information Technology & faculty coach for Hood's Cyber Blazers

Hood Cyber Blazers Team


  • Cybersecurity (M.S., Certificate)
  • Management Information Systems (M.S.)
  • Computer Science (M.S.)
  • Information Technology (M.S.)


  • Computer Science & Information Technology

Dr. Jim - can you provide a quick bio and general background?

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology at Hood College.  I am also the program director of the Management Information Systems Master’s program and faculty coach of the Cyber Blazers.

I earned a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Computer Science both from Hood College.  I earned my Ph.D. in Computer Science from George Washington University in 2015.

What is the National Cyber League?

The National Cyber League (NCL) is a bi-annual cybersecurity competition for high school and college students.  The competition consists of defensive and offensive-based challenges that allow students to demonstrate their ability to identify hackers from forensic data, break into vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more.

The NCL competition prepares students for the workplace by stressing application over theory.  The Cyber Blazers performed extremely well last spring outranking universities such as Penn State, George Mason, GW, and Johns Hopkins on the national table; and UMBC, UVA, Drexel, and Harvard in the Eastern region rankings. 

Hood College ranked 27th overall in the U.S., 17th best team in the nation in Spring 2019, and was the 7th best team in the Eastern region. I am so proud of our team!

Who are the Cyber Blazers and who participated in the Spring 2019 league?

The Cyber Blazers is Hood’s own ethical hacking team.  The Cyber Blazers meet regularly for practice and compete in several cyber and ethical hacking competitions each semester.  One of the major competitions they competed in last year is the National Cyber League in which we sent two teams.

The team roster for the Spring 2019 NCL competition included Tristan Beyer, Rob de Cespedes, Luan Lepi, Michael Hodge, and Vincent Yu on Team 1 and Sneha Soni, Arundhati Naikavde, and Berl Lovelace on Team 2.  Kudos to all of them for their contributions to the team’s success!

How can interested students join the Cyber Blazers?

We are always looking for students interested in the cybersecurity field to join the Cyber Blazers.  The team is open to undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines.  Please contact Carol Jim, Ph.D. (jim@hood.edu) if you are interested.  No experience is necessary!

Anything else you would like to share?

We are all cheering on the team for this year’s competitions.  Go Cyber Blazers!

Ready to #GOFURTHER in your studies & career? Learn more about Hood's graduate programs, including its Cybersecurity and other STEM programs by clicking here.