Nearly 30 years ago, James Acker left a thriving law practice in North Carolina to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in academia at the University at Albany.Read More
Ben Spear, '10
Confronting Cyber Warfare
Major: Political Science, Global Politics Concentration; Computer Science
Hometown: North Bellmore, N.Y.
Campus Involvement: Secretary of Presidential Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, Honors College A Capella, Research Assistant
1. What opportunities have you taken advantage of at UAlbany?
The Honors College has been a great experience because of the ability to get together with a small group of people with a common goal of success. The experience has exposed me to topics I never knew existed and also familiarized me with thesis writing and law school admissions. It has truly contributed to a greater university experience.
2. What are you looking forward to this year?
I'm looking forward to conducting my own research project on cyber terrorism and cyber warfare with the support and guidance of my research mentor, Victor Asal. I'll be looking at the Estonia cyber war and the Georgia incident -- comparing both events and figuring out how the threats were posed and defending against similar threats.
3. What advice would you give prospective students?
There are so many different clubs available at UAlbany. It's important to make connections as early as possible because it will make the experience much more enjoyable. Students should make the effort to go to their professor's office hours because they can make useful connections that may help provide guidance for their future.
4. What is your favorite UAlbany tradition and why?
My favorite UAlbany tradition is Fountain Day. It's a great time for everyone on campus to get together. It's a real fun, unique experience. Getting into the fountain has been one of the highlights of my time at UAlbany. I even have a small collection of rubber ducks to commemorate this great event.
5. What is one of your most memorable UAlbany experiences?
My favorite UAlbany memory would have to be my first class of as a UAlbany freshman. When I walked into the International Relations and Comparative Politics class, a handful of students and I began learning about strategy and mediation with the game, Diplomacy. This made the course fun while being educational and providing a deeper discussion of the topics covered.