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2019 CAE in Cybersecurity Symposium

November 18, 2019

The Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C) Community hosted its sixth annual symposium on November 21-22 in Phoenix, Arizona. With 361 representatives from 241 CAE-C designated institutions, the event marked the largest symposium ever hosted by the community. In addition to the growth in attendance, the program for the event also marked a milestone for the entire community with the addition of two program tracks—CAE in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) and CAE in Research (CAE-R).

Up to his usual antics, Dr. Tony Coulson from the CAE-C Community kicked off the symposium on November 21 by thanking our sponsors (National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Security Agency (NSA), as well as the National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCyTE) Center), providing a brief overview of the program, and teasing his infamous door prizes. Following Dr. Coulson’s brief introduction, Carrol Parker, chief for the Center for Education, Innovation, and Outreach for the NSA’s National Cryptologic School, and Diane Janosek, commandant of the National Cryptologic School for the NSA, reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to the CAE-C program and commended our efforts as a community to produce the next generation cyber workforce.

The community also heard from Lynne Clark, deputy chief of the Center for Education, Innovation, and Outreach for the NSA’s National Cryptologic School, about the evolution of the CAE-C program, objectives for 2020, and an overview of program changes. Also commenting on the importance of the proposed program changes were two panels, the Executive Leadership panel— comprised of University Presidents and Deans from two and four-year institutions—and the CAE National Resource Center (CNRC) panel.

The Executive Leadership panel consisted of Dr. Paul Maurer, president of Montreat College, Lawrence Rose, dean of Jack H. Brown College at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), Dr. Ryan Carstens, president of Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso (ENMU-Ruidoso), and Randy VanWagoner, president of Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC).  Each member of the Executive Leadership panel discussed the strategic implications of the proposed changes and reaffirmed how these changes would positively impact the community.

In addition, the CNRC Panel comprised of Dr. Tony Coulson (CNRC—CAE in Cybersecurity Community), Corrinne Sande (CNRC—Candidates Program), Art Conklin (CNRC—Knowledge Unit Development), and Margaret Leary (CNRC—Peer Review) discussed the tactical and operational benefits of the proposed program changes.  This article does not discuss the proposed CAE-C program changes. For an overview of the proposed changes, please refer to the symposium presentation archive.

Commenting on programs affiliated with the CAE-C community, Corby Hovis, program director for the Division of Undergraduate Education, and Li Yang, program director for the Division of Graduate Education from the National Science Foundation (NSF) provided an overview of investments in cybersecurity education, reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to cybersecurity education, and provided an overview of planned activity for 2020. In addition, Rodney Petersen, director of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), also asked the community to comment on updates to the NICE Framework per the President’s Cybersecurity Workforce Executive Order, which will continue accepting comments until January 13, 2020. For more information, please visit here. 

Kicking off the working lunch, Anastacia Webster, CAE-C Community program manager, discussed available resources, current and upcoming website changes, as well as a planned user survey on the community website taking place from January 1st-31st 2020. In addition, she also provided an overview of the resources available on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) website on behalf of Latasha McCord from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

The community also heard from Amy Hysell, CAE-C Community assistant, about the CAE Virtual Career Fair, sponsored by the National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCyTE) Center and NSF, on September 27, 2019. A total of 758 students/alumni and 73 industry representatives (representing 20 employers and 4 CAE-C designated institutions) participated in the event.

Following the CAE-C Community updates, Paul Wagner, Jason Denno, and Tom Jewkes from the University of Arizona discussed programs, curriculum, and future initiatives during this year’s CAE Spotlight segment. The CAE Spotlight institution, selected by the CAE-CDE program committee, is recognized for its efforts as a CAE-C designated institution as well as its efforts to advance cyber education.

After the CAE Spotlight presentation, the community split into the CAE-CDE and CAE-R session tracks. The CAE-CDE session track included discussions from Lynne Clark from the NSA on 2020 critical community actions and initiatives, Dr. Vincent Nestler from CSUSB on competencies, and the fastpitch segments from members of the community. Fastpitch speakers included Kyle Jones from Sinclair College, Guillermo Francia, III from the University of West Florida, Mark Thompson, and Ram Dantu from the University of North Texas, Siddharth Kaza from Towson University, Mark Loepker from the National Cryptologic Museum, and Cara Tang from Portland Community College. All fastpitch talks are available on the CAE-C Community Website in the Symposium Presentation Archive.

The CAE-R track included discussions from Michael Kunz from Sandia National Laboratories on successful research projects, Dr. Li Yang from NSF on funding opportunities, and Yingfei Dong from the University of Hawaii, Dan Dougherty from Worcester Polytechnic Insitute, and Martha Crosby from the University of Hawaii at Manoa on CAE-Rs and collaboration.

To conclude the first day, the entire community, except for all government representatives, gathered back into the main ballroom to discuss questions, concerns, and initiatives for 2020. The event ended with a brief overview of the program and directions for the following day.

For day two of the symposium on November 22, participants reported directly to their respective tracks (CAE-CDE and CAE-R).

The CAE-CDE track consisted of two special interest groups. Yair Levy from Nova Southeastern University and Eric Berkowitz from Roosevelt University led a special interest group on a fundamentals course. In contrast, Allen Parish from Mississippi State University and Siddharth Kaza from Towson University led a group focused on developing a professional society for cybersecurity education.

The CAE-CDE track also included six presentations from twelve members of the community, including Wei Li from Nova Southeastern University, Chris Simpson from National University, Shelly Heller from George Washington University, Zachary Zaccagni and Ram Dantu from the University of North Texas, Jinpeng Wei and Bei-Tseng Chu from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Deanne Cranford-Wesley from Forsyth Technical Community College, Melissa Dark from Dark Enterprise, Inc., Mark Loepker from the National Cryptologic Museum, as well as Faisal Kaleem and Portia Pusey from Metropolitan State University. All presentations provided to the community are available on the CAE-C Community website.

The CAE-R track heard from Melissa Dark from Dark Enterprise, Inc. and Agnes Chan from Northeastern University on the History and Highlights of INSuRE.

Next, the community split up into five different rooms to discuss regional community activities. Discussions in these rooms included regional activity for 2019, planned regional activity for 2020, program changes, as well as regional engagement.

During the working lunch, Dr. Tony Coulson (CNRC), Corrinne Sande (CNRC), and Lynne Clark (NSA), answered questions gathered from the community on the first and second day of the symposium ranging from the new CAE-C program changes to the annual report to general questions about the program.

To conclude the activities of the symposium, Lynne Clark (NSA), presented details on the new program guidelines and split the community into three groups (community college, bachelors and graduate programs, and research) to once again ask for feedback on the proposed changes. Once the group discussions finished, the community met once more in the ballroom to discuss final comments and questions that arose over the two-day symposium.

The CAE in Cybersecurity Community thanks all attendees for their participation in the symposium. We would also like to thank this year’s program committees (CAE-CDE Track: Amelia Estwick from Excelsior College, Faisal Kaleem from Metropolitan State University, and Kim Muschalek from San Antonio College; CAE-R: Agnes Chan from Northeastern University, Donwan Shin from New Mexico Tech, and Jennifer Cuttler from Texas A&M University.

All materials from the symposium are available on the website. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s symposium in Atlanta, Georgia!