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July 22: Carnegie Mellon's CyLab and Information Networking Institute Help Faculty Nationwide Develop Improved Security Assurance Programs


Chriss Swaney

Carnegie Mellon's CyLab and Information Networking Institute
Help Faculty Nationwide Develop Improved Security Assurance Programs

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab and its Information Networking Institute (INI) are hosting six faculty members for the seventh annual federally funded Information Assurance Capacity Building Program (IACBP) through July 24.
"This comprehensive program is designed to foster outstanding programs that support the nation's cybersecurity needs and educate future information security leaders and faculty," said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, INI director and director of education, training and outreach for Carnegie Mellon CyLab.  
This year, select faculty will spend two weeks participating in a combination of lectures and lab exercises designed to help them develop cutting-edge curricula to educate tomorrow's information security leaders.
"It's been so helpful because we are learning how to simulate situations on the Internet, which helps us convey complex information to our classes," said Gail Finley, an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C.
Thorna Humphries, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va., said the program is outstanding because it gives participants insight into the future. "We've been exposed to everything from cryptography to secure software," she said. Other 2009 participants come from Hampton State University and Bowie State University.
Humphries and Finley join 36 other faculty members from 11 academic institutions that have participated in the IACBP. Since 2002, more than $1.1 million has gone toward the IACBP, which is designed to guide faculty from minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Hispanic-Serving Institutions, to develop curricula with academic enrichment from Carnegie Mellon CyLab and the INI. 
"As one of the nation's largest cybersecurity research and education centers, Carnegie Mellon CyLab can offer a wealth of highly relevant topics and research findings to the faculty who engage in the IACBP," said Virgil Gligor, co-director of Carnegie Mellon CyLab, a multidisciplinary research center pioneering development of leading-edge cybersecurity tools. 
Tsamitis said the combined efforts of Carnegie Mellon and the program participants will ultimately translate into new courses and educational initiatives at the participating institutions. In the past seven years, program participants have created 11 new courses, seven new degree options and 14 certificate programs, workshops and symposia.
"Programs such as the IACBP are designed to strengthen information assurance education at campuses nationwide," said Tsamitis, who was instrumental in gaining recognition for the university at an awards ceremony in Seattle, Wash., where Carnegie Mellon was re-designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and designated for the first time as a Center for Academic Excellence in Research.
The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence programs. This partnership was formed in 2004 to protect the nation's critical infrastructures, which are essential to maintaining a strong economy and our national security.