Norwich University Awarded Grant to Train the Next Generation of Cyber Soldiers

Norwich University Awarded Grant to Train the Next Generation of Cyber Soldiers

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Norwich University was recently awarded $714,285 from the National Security Agency (NSA) in collaboration with the United States Army Reserve (USAR) in order to support scholarships for soldiers, capacity building to enhance the overall educational experience and outcomes, and to enhance local and regional community outreach and development.

“Norwich University continues to keep Vermont at the cutting edge of cyber security training and preparation. When the Appropriations Committee set up this program we knew how important cyber security is, and the threats we face from abroad, but we could not have predicted that 2016 itself would be the year of some of the largest hacks in history, many of them originating from overseas,” stated Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “The work Norwich is doing is more important than ever, and I am proud that Vermonters are sought out by the U.S. Army Reserves to make sure their men and women are prepared to respond to threats to our networks.”

Norwich will provide scholarships to U.S. Army Reserve soldiers to enter the online graduate certificate programs for information security and assurance. The grant will also provide critical software and hardware upgrades that will be made part of the student experience.

Other investments into cybersecurity education infrastructure on the Norwich campus include improved equipment and software to enhance engagement and experiential learning. This includes improvement of virtual (online) laboratory environments.

“As the world is increasingly driven by technology, skilled cybersecurity professionals are essential to our nation's defense,” said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “Quality education is a key component in developing our National Cyber Mission Force. I strongly support this critical component of the mission of Norwich University and am pleased that it has received this funding for scholarships and improving the educational experience for cyber professional students.”

As a function of its role as a national leader in cybersecurity education, over the past several years, Norwich University undergraduate students have been supporting and mentoring the Cyber Patriot Team at the Northfield Middle and High School. Through Norwich’s Cyber P3i partnership with the U.S. Army Reserve and recent grant award, there is now opportunity to open the program to a larger group of students with the addition of equipment, travel costs to competitions and greater engagement with Norwich faculty and students.

As a well-recognized world leader in the field of cybersecurity training and education, Norwich is one of six universities in the nation to partner with the United States Army Reserve in a public/private effort called Cyber Private Public Partnership Initiative (P3i), which is focused on fostering the intellectual development of next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

“Our missions are one in the same: to educate the next cyber intelligence professionals, both in the armed forces, government and private sector,” said William Clements, Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. “Our nation requires these trained professionals to counter and eliminate emerging threats and risks -- Norwich is committed to developing the next generation of cyber soldiers.”

Through the grant, Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) will provide curriculum development in support of both undergraduate and graduate programs. The online graduate certificate offerings will see significant enhancements to aid the hands-on experience for students enrolled. NUARI will also develop reusable modules, or units, to support and integrate a critical infrastructure response and recovery exercise using the DECIDE™ platform.

“Norwich has a great responsibility to meet the demands of the cyber industry’s shortage of professionals,” said Phil Susmann, President of Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. “Since receiving the opportunity to serve with the USAR, we’ve been on the fast track to be as effective as we can. From building a gateway for high school students right here in Vermont to upgrading our campus facilities to educating cyber soldiers via our online distance-learning programs.”

In support of the USAR, Norwich initiatives will be focused on its successes as a nationally recognized National Security Administration (NSA) cyber education Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) by forging ahead with these four elements; scholarship for service, curriculum development, capacity building and community outreach.