Witnessing how Mason CC’s leadership fosters a community of learning and growth.
BY ETHAN BURK, STAFF WRITER
One of the largest student-run STEM organizations on campus, while intimidating at first, is also one of the most inclusive and community-focused organizations.
Mason’s Competitive Cyber Club, or Mason CC, is one of the largest student organizations at Mason according to the number of social media followers and members of their discord. According to the Mason CC President, Senior Tanner Leventry, the club is not only large in online student membership, it manages to retain a high number of active weekly members. Mason CC focuses on exploring niche subjects in cybersecurity and they help their members hone special skills sets in the broader cybersecurity field.
Leventry, who majors in Cyber Security Engineering, hosts lecture style presentations during most meetings to bring club members together while discussing contemporary cybersecurity practices and techniques. This helps senior members of the club connect with new members, fostering a community of learning.
Mason CC is working on expanding their club membership by advertising to other students who have little to no experience working in the cybersecurity field.
“I really like the [the Mason CC] community aspect, I have a close competitive cyber team that is made up of [Mason CC] members that I am close friends with,” Treasurer Junior Ryan Wong said. “This club is great for helping people get exposed to working in a developer group environment.”
The club improves its members’ technical capabilities by sending them to hacking competitions and having their members compete regularly in capturing the flag challenges. “The club hosts about one ‘capture the flag’ competition weekly that we use for practice,” Junior Sanskar Pokharel, the Competitions Officer for the club said.
Throughout the year, Mason CC competes in statewide competitions such as Cyberfusion and the National Cyber League. These are great opportunities for Mason CC to showcase their skills and also recruit new members. “I first heard about them [Mason CC] at the Cyberfusion event, and that made me interested in being a member,” Junior Cooper Varela said, who is studying Cyber Security Engineering at Mason.
One of the club’s proudest accomplishments was placing first in the Cyberfusion competition. “That really showed the skill of our members, and helped raise awareness for our community at Mason,” Leventry said.
Mason also hosts a cyber competition for innovators called Patriothacks which was successful this year for Mason CC. “We had over 3,000 people in attendance, it was crazy,” Secretary Junior Dylan Knoff said.
Leventry said his favorite part of the club is “meeting new people, the support from our alumni and [working on] making our community special.”