Scott Schober, Kean University, Class of 1992
Kean University graduate Scott Schober started giving back to Kean – or more accurately giving simultaneously to Kean – as soon as he matriculated. Graduating in 1992 with a B.S. in computer science, Scott said he began sharing his computer technology skills with Kean University from the time he entered the freshman class, while Kean was giving him the writing and organizational skills to become a corporate CEO, writer and public speaker.
Scott N. Schober is the president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS), a 45-year-old New Jersey-based, privately held company and leading provider of advanced, world-class wireless test and security solutions. His father Gary and mother Eileen started the firm, when Scott was four years old. A self-described computer geek, Scott knew when he started at Kean that BVS would be his future professionally. As a matter of fact, Scott, a native of Edison, wanted to go to Kean “because it was a high-quality institution that happened to be near where I would be working while attending college,” he said.
“Even with all of my computer knowledge, I also understood I was going to need some help in order to succeed at BVS and to make the company thrive. I was into math and science for as long as I can remember,” said Scott, particularly recalling his love of Seventh Grade Computer Club. “When I started at the university, it wasn’t that I thought I had nothing else to learn in the computer field …. My computer courses were a source of ongoing learning for me – it was that I knew I had to acquire other skills to successfully leverage those computer skills. I was a terrible writer.
I wanted to learn how to write and effectively communicate to audiences both within and outside of the company.”
Unafraid of going outside of his comfort zone, Scott took a creative writing course – and was the only techie in the class of writers. “The teacher needed some help with technology …. He told me he would help me become a great writer, if I could help him with computers. He gave me an understanding of the story-telling process, the skills for organizing my thoughts – education I draw upon daily,” said Scott.
The fact that he has used his Kean-acquired skills effectively is an understatement. He is a blogger, business and tech magazine contributor, public speaker at tech conferences throughout the world, highly sought-after expert for cable and network television on the topic of cybersecurity (including appearances on ABC News, Bloomberg TV, AJ Jazeera America, CBS News, CCTV America, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, MSNBC). And recently, he has become a published author.
In his book “Hacked Again,” Scott shares his personal accounts as a business owner, thought leader, wireless technology expert – and victim of hacking. (A few years ago, a mysterious hacker stole thousands from his bank account and took over his social media identity.) The book addresses many cybersecurity issues including: malware, hackers, email scams, identity theft, spam social engineering, strong password creation, and the dark web. He also delves into the details of recent headline-grabbing cyber-breaches at Target, JPMorgan Chase, Sony Entertainment, Apple’s iCloud, Office of Personnel Management.
“What I got from Kean were the skills to think outside of the box and the confidence to act outside of the box,” and ultimately turn what could have been a devastating situation into a positive experience by fortifying his position as a cybersecurity expert, he said.
Since the beginning of his BVS tenure in 1989, the company’s product line of wireless test and security instruments has increased to over 100 products with a core focus on Wi-Fi, Cellular, WiMAX, LTE, loT and advanced radio devices. As an experienced software engineer, Scott has developed cellular test instruments used for measuring, optimizing and plotting signal coverage, primarily for the initial cellular build-out throughout the United States. Scott is working on the development (patent pending) of BVS’ cell phone detection tools, used to enforce a ‘no cell phone policy’ in various markets including government, corporate, military, educational, correctional and law enforcement. Thousands of these security tools have been deployed throughout every state in the U.S. and around the world.
Recently BVS, which has 25 employees and does four to five million dollars of business per year, has been doing R&D on technology to battle the growing problem of distracted driving. “In October, we showcased our solution call the RoadHound cell phone detector. We have mounted our solution to a mobile trailer allowing for law enforcement, the state Department of Transportation, and municipalities to place our monitoring system anywhere they want to detect cell phone activity on the roads. When a motorist approaches the detection zone 150-200 feet away and if they are texting or calling on the cell phone we flash an alert reminding them that they are being monitored in hopes they change their behavior. There are over 4,000 deaths each year directly related to texting while driving and we are aiming to change this statistic. I liken the problem to a speed radar sign that adjusts one’s behavior when they are driving too fast.
“I am planning on also getting this placed on several college campuses to raise awareness of distracted driving among students.”
Currently residing with his wife and two middle-school aged children, 10-year-old son, 12-year-old daughter in Middlesex, Scott noted that his daughter already has announced she is going to attend Kean University – like her father and her aunt (Scott’s sister). A member of Kean’s Foundation Board and Kean’s Cyber Security Advisory Board, Scott is proud of his daughter’s early focus on higher education, because he believes that the ultimate cyber-security weapon is simply education.
Previous Alumni Profiles:
David Klein, Montclair State University, Class of 1957 (Featured September/October 2017)
Alison Banks-Moore, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Class of 1977 (Featured July/August 2017)
John Reitmeyer, The College of New Jersey, Class of 1997 (Featured June/July 2017)
James J. Florio, The College of New Jersey, Class of 1962 (Featured May 2017)
Nelida Valentin, Stockton University, Class of 1986 (Featured March/April 2017)
Mohamad Bassel Khair, Montclair State University, Class of 2013 (Featured February 2017)
Robin Schwartz, William Paterson University, Class of 1979 (Featured January 2017)
Denis Onieal, New Jersey City University, Class of 1976 (Featured November/December 2016)
Kenneth Lacovara, Rowan University, Class of 1984 (Featured October 2016)
NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band (Featured September 2016)
Dean Peter Straub, Stockton University, Class of 1980 (Featured August 2016)
David Keefe, Montclair State University, MFA, 2009 (Featured July 2016)
Kayleigh Shangle and James Shangle, The College of New Jersey (Featured June 2016)
Edward Shannon, Ramapo College of New Jersey, 85 (Featured May 2016)
Joanne Robinson, William Paterson University School of Nursing, '75 (Featured March 2016/April 2016)
Danielle Kovach, New Jersey City University, '01 (Featured February 2016/March 2016)
Patricia Powell, William Paterson University, '73 (Featured January 2016/February 2016)
Harvey Kesselman, Stockton University, '79 (Featured December 2015/January 2016)
Lamont Repollet, The College of New Jersey, '94, Kean University, '00 (Featured November/December 2015)
Dennis Devery, Thomas Edison State University, '05 (Featured October 2015)
Lester E. Taylor, III, Montclair State University, '97 (Featured September 2015)
A.J. Sabath, Ramapo College, '93 (Featured August 2015)
Rick Ricciardi, Stockton University, '76 (Featured July 2015)