December 14, 2016

It’s that time of year—a chance to highlight just some of the many accomplishments of Norwich University's outstanding students, alumni, faculty, and staff during 2016. While they may make taking on difficult challenges and achieving distinction look effortless, it isn't. A case in point: This list of stories below. In the end, we couldn't winnow it to ten and were forced to sneak in four more.

1. Norwich Cyber Majors Help Safeguard Super Bowl 50
After a year of preparation, Norwich CSIA majors and faculty based in California and Northfield, Vt., worked with Santa Clara city, California state, and federal law enforcement officials to analyze and flag potential cybersecurity threats during the NFL championship matchup between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

2. Norwich University Celebrates 100 Years of ROTC
The birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Norwich University celebrated ROTC’s centennial anniversary with a leadership symposium in April that drew scores of military VIPs. Among them, 39th U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley, who gave the keynote address.

3. Norwich Class of 2020 Largest in University History
This fall, Norwich welcomed close to 900 first-year students to campus, the largest incoming class in the university’s nearly 200-year history.

4. Forbes Awards Norwich an “A” for Financial Strength In August, Forbes magazine published their analysis of the financial footing of roughly 900 private colleges and universities, ranking Norwich University in the top 20 percent.

5. Writing Prof. Sean Prentiss Wins National Outdoor Book Award
Winning the history/biography category, Finding Abbey chronicled Prentiss’s two-year search for the hidden desert grave of environmental writer Edward Abbey.

6. Student-Built Tiny House Showcases Innovation, Hands-On Service Learning
Norwich architecture, construction management, and engineering majors and faculty designed and built C.A.S.A. (Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture), a 334-square-foot tiny house with a small price tag to address Vermont’s affordable-housing crisis. See related article and video.

7. Norwich’s Standout Athletic Teams and Coaches Fight to a Four-Way Tie

8. Nisid Hajari Wins NU’s 2016 William E. Colby Book Award
A journalist who oversees Asia coverage for the editorial page of Bloomberg News, the first-time author won for Midnight’s Furies, an account of the 1947 partition of India and its surrounding violence following the end of British colonial rule. Founded at Norwich University, the annual book award and symposium celebrates outstanding writers, authors, and ideas from the fields of military affairs, military history, intelligence, and international affairs.

9. NUARI Cyber Attack Simulation Software Nominated for “Innovation of the Year"
Developed by the Norwich University Applied Research Institutes, the DECIDE-FS cyber-gaming platform has been used by major U.S. financial industry firms, regulators and law enforcement agencies to test institutional preparedness and resiliency in the face of cyberattacks.

10. Norwich Wins $700K+ NSA Grant to Train Next-Generation Cyber Soldiers
Working in collaboration with the United States Army Reserve, the National Security Agency announced in December that it had awarded Norwich over $700,000 to support scholarships for soldiers.

Bonus: Washington Post Columnist Says NU's “I Will Try” Is Best College Motto
Writing in her Answer Sheet blog for the Washington Post, education reporter Valerie Strauss opines on “The Small Vermont University With Arguably the Best School Motto.”

January 4, 2017

Norwich University’s School of Architecture + Art presents a lecture on the use of energy-efficient and innovative materials by award-winning and influential design/build architect Steve Badanes on Friday, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m. in the Chaplin Hall Gallery. This event is free and open to the public.

Badanes is director of the Howard S. Wright Neighborhood Design/Build Studio at the University of Washington and co-founder of Jersey Devil Design/Build, a studio specializing in perpetuating the tradition of medieval craftsmen. His studio comprises craftsmen, artists, architects and inventors who live onsite during the construction of their designs.

His work has attracted attention that has led to lectures in 46 states and 10 countries. Badanes has also made significant contributions to architectural education through conducting design/build workshops at seven universities worldwide.

While his architectural practice centers mainly on private homes and artist studios, Badanes is also well known for his winning entry in the 1990 competition in Seattle, “The Fremont Troll” sculpture, a larger than life depiction of a troll located under the Aurora Bridge in the spirit of fairytale, Three Billy Goats Gruff.

In conjunction with his management of the Jersey Devil and Neighborhood Design/Build Studios, Badanes is a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle where he occupies the Howard S. Wright Endowed Chair of the University of Washington College of Built Environments. He has earned substantial recognition for his work, receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts along with a Fellowship from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

The NU School of Architecture + Art Lecture Series is supported by a generous grant from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation. For more than 10 years, the Byrne Foundation has partnered with Norwich to bring eminent national and international architects, designers, artists, and writers to campus. All events are free and open to the public. The Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation is a philanthropic organization that supports cancer research, education, volunteerism, and other charitable endeavors. Norwich University’s School of Architecture + Art is a leader in the region and has the only National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited M.Arch. program in northern New England.

Norwich University Office of Communications

December 1, 2016

Norwich University environmental chemist Prof. Seth Frisbie, Ph.D., has spent much of his career investigating the presence of arsenic and other toxic metals in drinking water in Bangladesh and other developing countries.

Watch Video

In November, he hosted Massachusetts Institute of Technology water and waste-water engineer Susan Murcott to Norwich to give a talk and to continue their work on a number of collaborative projects. One involves the development of a low cost, portable drinking water spectrophotometer for field use in Nepal and other developing countries.

Norwich University electrical and computer engineering professor Michael Prairie, Ph.D., P.E., explains how his design lab students are helping advance the prototype design to build a rugged, easy-to-use unit ready for field use.

Norwich University Office of Communications

December 2, 2016

Norwich University will host the annual Vermont FIRST LEGO League (FLL) championship on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Shapiro Field House beginning at 9 a.m.

Founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST® LEGO® League is designed to inspire children in science and technology through the use of robotics. Open to 9 to 14-year-old students around the world, teams are tasked with researching a real-world scientific issue and designing and building an original robot. Norwich University established the state’s regional FLL affiliate beginning in 2013 hosting regional qualifiers and beginning in 2015 hosting the state championship event.

The Norwich event on Dec. 11 marks the second year of an independent FLL region in the state of Vermont. With 24 teams of up to 10 students each, along with coaches and parents, there will be much to see throughout the day, and spectators are encouraged to attend.

Using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technologies, student teams showcase the results of weeks of intense preparation as they deploy their robots to complete thematic challenges in autonomous robot matches. Teams connect with their local and global communities by using critical thinking, creativity, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM ) concepts to create and present innovative solutions to real-world challenges.

This year’s theme is “Animal Allies” and focuses on finding solutions to human-wildlife interactions.

Events are scheduled throughout the day:

  • Pre-registered team arrival | 8:00 am
  • Opening remarks | 9:00 am
  • Judged events start | 9:40 am
  • Robot matches start | 12:00 pm
  • Robot matches conclude | 3:30 pm (approximately)
  • Awards ceremony | 4:00 pm (approximately)

Norwich campus visits are available all day. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related exhibits begin after noon. The schedule is approximate and subject to change.

Opening and closing ceremonies, as well as robot matches, take place at Shapiro Field House. Event highlights include team presentations to judges on their robot design choices and on their innovative solution to an animal allies-themed community problem. Teams also complete challenges during the event to demonstrate their ability to work as a group—an important component of the competition.

While the robots often attract the most attention, a key aspect of the FLL program is its “Core Values” which, according to its website, “are among the fundamental elements that distinguish FLL from other programs of its kind. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.”

After teams check-in, State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife Louis Porter will give opening remarks at 9:00 a.m. Team presentations begin at 9:40 a.m. and continue through 12:30 p.m. Robot matches begin at noon and run throughout the remainder of the event. The day will conclude with an awards ceremony around 4:15 p.m. Throughout the day spectators are welcome to visit the on-campus Sullivan Museum & History Center, the state’s only Smithsonian Affiliate; watch a NAO humanoid robot demonstration (pictured above); see demos from high school robotics teams (FRC and FTC invited), or tour Norwich’s 3D printing manufacturing lab.

For more information, contact the FLL team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 802.485.2256.

Norwich University Office of Communications

November 30, 2016

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center presents Oral History Coordinator Joseph Cates on Wednesday, Dec. 7, the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, with a presentation of oral histories, “Voices from Infamy: Remembering Pearl Harbor.”

Free and open to the public, this “Lunch and Learn” event will begin at noon in the museum and includes a light lunch.

Cates, who holds a Master of Arts in Military History from the University of Southern Mississippi, will examine oral histories obtained from the National World War II Museum and the Ohio Historical Society of eyewitnesses to the events, play highlights from these accounts as well as show images from the attack and its aftermath.

This event is held in concert with the Sullivan Museum’s exhibit, “World War: America and the Creation of a Superpower,” which examines the way World War I and World War II have defined the place the United States holds in the world. The program is sponsored by the Sullivan Museum and History Center Associates.

The exhibit has been extended until June 23, 2016, due to the overwhelmingly positive response it has received. Featured in the exhibit are propaganda posters on loan from the Robert Hull Fleming Museum in Burlington, and the Pritzker Military Museum in Chicago as well as the Sullivan Museum’s own collection. These posters offer a fascinating look into how war objectives were communicated to the country. Other objects on display include trench art, uniforms, medals and a signature quilt made in Calais, Vermont, during World War I, on loan from the Calais Historical Society, that features a signature by President Woodrow Wilson.

On the following day, Thursday, Dec. 8, the museum will host the final book discussion in “The Path to War” series. This free discussion, open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council. The book featured in December is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s popular book “No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.” Kirkus Review called the book: “a moving drama of patchwork intimacy in the White House, played out against the sweeping tableau of the nation rallying behind a great crusade.”

The discussion will be moderated by Mark Stoler, professor emeritus of history at University of Vermont. He specializes in U.S. diplomatic and military history and is the author of numerous books and articles. The book can be borrowed, free of charge, from the museum. The discussion will be held in the museum conference room at 7 p.m., and light refreshments will be served.

For more information about the programs or exhibit, please call 802-485-2183 or visit

The Sullivan Museum and History Center is located on the Northfield campus of Norwich University. It is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the academic year. There is no charge for admission to the museum.

Norwich University Office of Communications


August 2, 2016

The Norwich University Sullivan Museum and History Center presents “World War: America and the Creation of a Superpower,” with an opening reception to be held on Wednesday, August 31, from 4-6 p.m.

The state’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Sullivan Museum and History Center is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served during the opening reception.

The exhibit, which is aligned with the 100th anniversary of the U.S.’s entry into WWI in 1917 and the 75th anniversary of U.S. involvement in WWII in 1941, will be on display from August 30, 2016-May 31, 2017. The exhibit examines the way these wars have defined the country’s place in the world.

Featured objects include propaganda posters from the Sullivan Museum’s own collection, on loan from the Robert Hull Fleming Museum in Burlington, and the Pritzker Military Museum in Chicago. These posters offer a fascinating look into how war objectives were communicated to the country. Also on exhibit will be a rare complete “Hello Girls” uniform, on generous loan from Norwich alumnus James Mullin. Hello Girls were bilingual switchboard operators who served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War I.

Other objects on display include trench art, uniforms, medals and objects from the field. The exhibit also includes a listening station that will take visitors back in time to experience the home front via radio broadcasts during World War II.

For the August 30 opening reception, members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 792 will provide Buddy Poppies for attendants. Inspired by the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen World War I soldiers in Flanders Field in France, the Buddy Poppy program was started as a way to remember veterans. The VFW administers the Buddy Poppy program to benefit disabled veterans, who make the silk flowers.

Also in conjunction with the exhibit, all are invited to participate in a free book discussion series called “The Path to War,” co-sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council. The series will run from September through December and feature monthly discussions of four books which can be borrowed, free of charge, from the Museum starting on July 28. Three discussions will be moderated by Mark Stoler and one by Alan Berolzheimer. Mark Stoler is professor emeritus of history at UVM. He specializes in U.S. diplomatic and military history and is the author of numerous books and articles. Alan Berolzheimer is the project historian and assistant director of The Flow of History, a Teaching American History program providing professional development activities to Vermont Teachers. All discussions will begin at 7 pm in the museum conference room, light refreshments will be served.

  • September 8 ~ America’s Great War: World War I and the American Experience by Robert H. Zieger, moderated by Alan Berolzheimer
  • October 13 ~ The American People in World War II: Freedom From Fear by David Kennedy, moderated by Mark Stoler
  • November 10 ~ “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel, moderated by Mark Stoler
  • December 8 ~ No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin, moderated by Mark Stoler

Norwich University Office of Communications

November 30, 2016

Norwich University has named George J. Silowash the new chief information security officer, a critical position in the university’s overall cybersecurity posture.

Silowash will take on the role beginning December 5, 2016.

A published security professional who has been in the cybersecurity business since 2002, Silowash has taught in Norwich’s online Master of Science in Information Security Assurance program since 2010 and recently served as associate director. He is also a graduate of that program. In this new position, Silowash will maintain those responsibilities as CISO.

“Norwich University has consistently been at the forefront of computer security training and education for over a decade and a half,” Vice President for Student Affairs and Technology Frank Vanecek said. ”In this ever-changing field of cyber security, the addition of George Silowash will assure that Norwich remains a leader.”

Silowash is responsible for developing and updating Norwich University information security policy and the coordination of information security efforts across the university. The CISO leads security risk assessment efforts and is responsible for the university’s security awareness and training program. The CISO also advises and collaborates with university units on chain of trust agreements, business continuity and disaster recovery plans, and audit and governmental compliance practices. Silowash is also responsible for the forensics examination of digital material collected during university investigations.

About Norwich University Cyber Security Education

Ranked #2 by the Ponemon Institute for cybersecurity in the U.S., Norwich University programs are consistently ranked among the best in the nation for cybersecurity education.

Norwich University is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has received designation as a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3).

Beginning in 2002, Norwich University became a member of what is now called National Science Foundation’s Cyber Corps: Scholarship for Service program.

Norwich recently announced it has officially partnered with the United States Army Reserves (USAR) to develop cyber-education curricula that align with federal standards and cybersecurity needs.

In February 2016 the Norwich University cybersecurity program was the only educational institution to be invited to support Super Bowl 50.

Most recently Norwich’s online graduate program was named one of the top ten best cybersecurity graduate programs in the country by

In October 2016 Norwich University participated in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by dedicating the month to cybersecurity training, bringing in speakers and running contests in security knowledge, among other activities. The annual participation is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about cybersecurity, provide the tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

Norwich University Office of Communications

Oct. 17, 2016

Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) has named Suzanne E. Kecmer vice president of business development, responsible for the leadership of NUARI’s expanding business opportunities and driving revenue, as well as its business strategy and corporate development.

Kecmer holds an MBA from Columbia University and brings 20 years of experience from the global, aerospace and defense industry. She has held equity research and investment banking positions at leading financial institutions, as well as a corporate strategist role at the Raytheon Company.

Aligned with NUARI’s diverse endeavors in cybersecurity, banking sector resilience and other critical infrastructures, Kecmer will find new business areas, as well as foster long-term business relationships, with both customers and industry luminaries. She will complement and enhance NUARI’s ability to meet the evolving needs of customers through proven innovative solutions to the marketplace.

“Suzanne brings to NUARI expertise in both cyber security and experience with emerging businesses,” NUARI President Phil Susmann said. “With that unique set of skills, she will make connections between the marketplace and NUARI’s critical cybersecurity products.”

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). 

Norwich will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

Media Contact:
Daphne E. Larkin M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office: 1 (802) 485-2886
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Developed by the Norwich University Applied Research Institutes, the software has been used by key players in the U.S. financial system, including banks, regulators and government agencies, to test their response and resiliency during simulated cyberattacks.

Norwich University Office of Communications

August 31, 2016

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University Applied Research Institutes’ (NUARI) Distributed Environment for Critical Infrastructure Decision-making Exercises – Financial Sector (DECIDE-FS®) risk resiliency response software has been nominated by FedScoop 50 as one of the best and brightest technologies implemented this year that make the federal government more efficient and effective. Online voting to select the top 50 awardees in the IT community will close September 16 and winners will be announced October 4.

The FedScoop 50 Awards celebrate those people and products that make a positive impact in the government community and in public service.

FedScoop is the leading government tech media company in Washington, DC and gathers top leaders from The White House, federal agencies, academia and the tech industry to discuss how technology can improve government, exchange best practices and identify ways to achieve common goals.

Supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology (DHS S&T) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury and developed by NUARI, DECIDE-FS® exercise software has been used over the past three years to support the banking and finance critical infrastructure sector and its Quantum Dawn exercises.

The DECIDE-FS® software allows business leaders to rapidly test and identify flaws in their incident response plan when faced with a threat.

NUARI built the resiliency assessment platform, DECIDE-FS®, under a $9.9 million contract awarded in August 2013 by the DHS S&T Directorate.

The only system of its kind, DECIDE-FS® was initially designed to test U.S. financial sector cyber risk resiliency and has been adapted for use in other critical infrastructure arenas, such as electrical grids and health care. The software engages an organization by using a simulation that participants experience interactively with their peers, competitors and supply chains to simulate systemic risk.

“DECIDE-FS® is the only human-in-the-loop distributed resiliency assessment platform that allows industries to test their response plans in a safe and confidential environment for all staff to practice decision-making,” said NUARI President Phil Susmann.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a member of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, sponsored legislation that chartered NUARI in 2002 and announced the DECIDE-FS® contract at Norwich’s Northfield campus in 2013.

Through the simulation, individuals and organizations learn to operate under stressful conditions—similar to how simulators are employed to condition the response of pilots and mariners to emergencies—as well as develop more persistent tactics for countering the unknown. DECIDE-FS® grew in part out of war game simulations. Such games have been used for decades by military organizations to validate strategies and tactics and refine response plans.

NUARI has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for nearly a decade, preparing individuals and institutions to respond to catastrophic network failures, natural disasters, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks and other events that can impact market activity, communications, and essential services affecting critical infrastructures.

DECIDE-FS®, created at NUARI, is a massive, multi-participant simulation that effectively immerses industry decision makers, securities traders, IT and business continuity managers and others into complex, simulated scenarios focused on the effects of cyber incidents and other business disruptions.


Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) was federally chartered under legislation sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy in 2002 and is funded in part through the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. NUARI has a national center to address cyber incident management challenges through research, training programs and technology development and has been a global leader for more than a decade in developing cyber war gaming, distributed learning technology, distributed simulation technology, critical infrastructure exercises, and cyber security curriculum.

DECIDE-FS® exercises serve to strengthen the resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructures in the face of cyberattacks from nation-states and trans-national actors.

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