1998 Educator of the Year Nomination Letter:
I nominate Louis M. Numkin of Nuclear Regulatory Commission
for FISSEA Educator of the Year:
(Why the organization or Federal community benefitted from activities
of the individual)
The effects of Louis' computer security education efforts extend
far beyond his agency and the Washington Metropolitan Area and will benefit
federal and civilian communities for years to come.
Louis believes in what he teaches, a more ethical professional would
be hard to find. His conviction, dedication, creativity, and his leading
by example have made a positive impact on people of all ages, from grade
school children to senior citizens.
(Description of major achievements)
His initial goal was to convince potential hackers to change their
ways before they violated laws and caused damage. His presentations
on "Ethics in the Information Age" to youngsters 10-15 years old became
so popular that he was soon was speaking to third graders, high schools,
social groups, senior citizens, and as a keynote speaker at the 1997 National
Veterans' Health Administration Information Security Officer Conference.
He expended much personal time to these educational activities.
(Impacts beyond the organization of the nominee)
His presentations include information on hackers, viruses, copyright
abuse, slamming, scams, spam, chip theft, privacy, and the year 2000.
His presentations often use multiple media, including virus demonstrations
on computer and videotape, such as an interview with a "reformed' hacker.
Some examples of the audiences:
In-service training for 120 Montgomery County teachers at Gaithersburg
300 Computer Security Professionals multi-agency and nation-wide (VHA
Masonic and military-based social organizations
Holiday Park and Schweinhaut/Forest Glen Senior Citizen Centers
Asbury Methodist Senior's Facility
Oakland Terrace Elementary School (third grade classes)
Albert Einstein, Gaithersburg, and Meade High Schools (10th through
40-Army Judge Advocate General enlisted personnel Newport Naval School
of Justice, RI
Numerous sessions to NRC and GSA employees all over the country (e.g.:
Arlington, TX; Chicago, IL; Walnut Creek, CA; King of Prussia, PA; Atlanta,
GA; and Chattanooga, TN, etc.)
Multiple hours with mixed-age classes at The Girls Yeshiva
- For Ridgeview Middle School, Louis gave presentations to six classes
and then challenged students to write essays on Computer Ethics. Four classes
accepted the challenge. Louis constituted a panel of judges made up of
five NRC employee volunteers to review the essays and select the best ones.
After comparing the judges' results, Louis determined the winners and runners-up
for each submitting class. Next, in concert with NRC's Art Department,
he created certificates for the selected students as well as teachers and
the judges. With aid of the lead teacher, a date was selected for
one student (either winner or runner-up) from each class to visit the NRC
Headquarters. Arriving at 8:45am, they went through a badging process
and then met with the NRC Chief Information Officer, Mr. Tony Galante,
who presented them with their certificates in front of an agency camera.
Next, the students met with the judge's panel en route to the Technology
Center where they received hands-on opportunities to work with computers
on nuclear exercises. From there, they were given a guided tour of the
Computer Room and then saw the HELP Desk and hardware technicians in action.
The Emergency Operations Center proved very interesting to the students.
A walking tour of the agency's training center was followed by lunch in
the main cafeteria, for which Louis personally paid. Shortly after noon,
they turned in their badges and departed with NRC Mouse Pads and cups from
NRC's recreation association. Copies of the photos, both on film
and as digital files, were provided to the teachers and students, and also
used in a feature article in the NRC's "News, Reviews, and Comments" magazine.
Copies of the magazine were also sent to the school.
At Oakland Terrace Elementary School, Louis presented to 75 third graders
(three classes) while on annual leave from work. In addition to his
own discussion and illustrations, he used the "Chip and Friends" computer
puppet video (original concept by Gale Warshawsky, a previous FISSEA Educator
of the Year award winner). As an activity, Louis asked the students to
create computer ethics posters. Working with the school's Media Specialist,
he picked up the submissions and will use them at NRC Headquarters during
observance of International Computer Security Awareness Day '99.
Employees will judge submissions and select the best posters. Winners will
receive certificates and mouse pads. Louis has been invited to return
and do this sort of activity on a semi-annual basis and has offered to
do a similar presentation for the PTA where parents, teachers, and students
could be present and learn about computer ethics at the same time.
Edison Technical High School is a technical school where students learn
the inner workings of hardware and software. As a result of his presentations
to several classes last year, Louis was invited back to provide computer
ethics message to this year's students. At these sessions about 80
youngsters and teachers were present. Edison is also planning a PTA gathering
on the subject.
Wootton High School heard about Louis' work over the past several years
with Gaithersburg High, and invited him to provide training for their students.
It is presently scheduled for the 17th of February. Throughout the morning,
Louis expects to deal with more than 100 students.
Gaithersburg High has again invited Louis to speak. Because this
school is large, he usually schedules the presentations on his personal
days. At Gaithersburg, Louis also presented computer ethics training to
120 teachers and administrators as an "in service day."
Louis was invited to presented his computer ethics talk to the computer
club at Asbury Methodist Senior Center. This presentation was later written
up, with photo, in The Asbury Newsletter.
Louis created a special presentation, "Y2K and its possible effects
on YOU," for delivery at a several social and fraternal organization meetings.
Using flip charts and PC-based examples, he explained in detail the nature
of the problem and then answered questions. Several days after he
spoke at the Sojourner's meeting, an attendee phoned Louis to say that
he had taken his car to the dealer to verify if its computer would be affected
by Y2K - he was thankful and pleased to report that it would not.
Getting the call gave Louis the feeling that he had made a difference -
that his message or method of delivery had found a concerned ear and maybe
helped put some fear to rest. He has been invited to give this talk again
in April at a Masonic Lodge meeting.
International Computer Security Awareness Day '99 will be observed at
the NRC in late January or early February, this year. On this day, Louis
plans to construct a booth near the entrance to NRC Headquarters' (' funded
and further developed in collaboration with the Atterbury Foundation.)
cafeteria. At the booth, employees will be able to pick up copies
of anti-virus software, licensed for home use, as well as a magnetic "Things
To Do" list which has computer security information emblazoned on it's
holder. This year's theme is taken from the movie "A Bugs Life"
and will relate to viruses. Louis has arranged for a lab coat for his co-worker
and hospital scrubs for himself to wear. A computer will appear to
be "infirmed," wrapped in sheets on a Gurney, with a blood pressure cuff
around its keyboard, and its mouse in a splint. Its screen will be
demonstrating several benign but illustrative viruses. The face of
each To Do pad will have a cover reading "Prescription Pad" and the envelope
housing the anti-virus diskettes will read something like "... take these
and call us in the morning" followed by phone numbers for the HELP
Desk and computer security personnel. Encircling the booth will be
the 3rd grader posters noted above. Employees visiting the booth
will be asked to select the best posters and mark them on a slip of paper
which will then be deposited in a drop box for later free drawing to present
two employees with donated acrylic quartz clocks which display a computer
security message. The posters will all be individually numbered for
identification and the numbers will be on a bug sticker. Scattered
around the booth will be other large cardboard bugs whose names will be
virus related. This is one of the awareness activities planned for
Headquarters this year. An article will be written about these events in
an agency publication distributed to all employees a month or so later.
During two weeks in December 1998 Louis presented annual computer security
awareness training to more than 1,400 Headquarters employees and contractors.
Make-up sessions are scheduled in January and February, 1999. A videotape
of the training will be offered to home-bound employees and special groups.
Also, Louis has taken this presentation to several Regional offices: King
of Prussia, PA; Chicago, Il; Arlington, TX, and is scheduled to offer it
in Chattanooga, TN in February 1999. Louis has presented via TeleVideo
conference to a small group at NRC's Atlanta office. The talk runs about
an hour and 15-minutes, and is a montage of video tape vignettes created
by the CIA/FAA, actual visual virus and Trojan horse examples, some show
and tell demonstrations, slides, and discussion. In addition to these sessions,
Louis has also been invited to provide training to select audiences on
the care of classified data/systems.
Interagency-wise, Louis has served on the FISSEA Executive Board.
This year Louis has worked to re-energize the FISSEA Newsletter as an information
source for computer security educators. Also, Louis serves on the
ETA Working Group of the NSTISSC SISS subcommittee. His Disaster
Recovery Planning work has caused him to be invited to FDIC, GAO, and the
Mid Atlantic Disaster Recovery Association to present NRC's methods.
He continues to offer himself to other agencies which are seeking employee
computer security awareness presentations. Finally, he is an active
Steering Committee member of the Forum of Computer Security Program Managers.
As seen above, the impact is far beyond his on-going training sessions
for new NCR employees and annual refreshers for agency personnel and contractors
at NRC Headquarters and regional office facilities. The requests
for his presentations has taken him beyond NRC's Public Affairs Office
community outreach program plan and he has ‘volunteered' across the country
and to multiple governmental agencies. His popularity is easy to
understand and is well deserved. FISSEA acknowledging him as Educator
of the Year, in a way, would be recognizing FISSEA's effectiveness because
Louis got his inspiration (or rally cry) during a luncheon at the 1994
FISSEA Conference when he heard Dr. Peter Tippit speak on the need for
instilling ethical values in young computer users.
(Information on whether the nominee received any compensation or awards
as a result of his activities)
The primary compensation that Louis receives for his activities is the knowledge
that he has reached his audiences, touching the minds and hearts of youth and
adults. A secondary compensation is the audience response: Louis has received
standing ovations for his presentations, which were mostly created on personal
time and provided in evenings, on days off from work, and on weekends. He has
taken personal leave to give security awareness presentations, and he has paid
for related expenses (for example, the lunches for the children who won the
essay contest) from his own resources, with no reimbursement.
This January, Louis received a United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Performance Award, signed by NRC's Chief Information Officer, Mr. Tony Galante,
presented in the from of an employee audience "in recognition of sustained
high level performance which resulted in a significant contribution to the
work of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission." Louis' supervisor, Ms. Francine
Goldberg, cited five specific items which lead to his award in this
time of constricted award budgets. Two of the points directly related to Louis'
computer security awareness efforts: the schools program, especially noting
non-work hours donated outside of work time; and the creation of this year's
annual computer security awareness employee refresher training presentation.
Congratulations Louis M. Numkin!