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Minority-Serving Faculty Join Carnegie Mellon's Cybersecurity Faculty for Summer Program

July 15, 2009

Carnegie Mellon CyLab and the Information Networking Institute (INI) will host six visiting faculty members from minority-serving institutions July 13-24 for the seventh offering of the Information Assurance Capacity Building Program (IACBP), a federally-funded program designed to boost the nation's college-level educational programs in information assurance. Through the IACBP, Carnegie Mellon faculty, researchers and staff in the area of cybersecurity advise faculty from minority-serving institutions in developing new curricula through discussions on current theory and practice in information assurance to implement at their home institutions.

The IACBP is a program Carnegie Mellon designed with respect to its designation by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Center of Academic Excellence in Research.

The faculty from minority-serving institutions including the following individuals:

  • Chutima Boonthum, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Computer Science
  • Gail Finley, Associate Professor, Dept. of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of District of Columbia
  • Thorna Humphries, Associate Professor, Dept. of Computer Science, Norfolk State University
  • Jean Muhammad, Assistant Professor and Chairperson, Dept. of Computer Science, Hampton State University
  • Aurelia Williams, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Computer Science, Norfolk State University
  • Azene Zenebe, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Management Information Systems, Bowie State University

Faculty who participate in the program, known as IACBP fellows, commit to two weeks of curricula development during the summer, followed by three days of presentations of initial results during the next summer. The National Science Foundation gave funding to CyLab and the INI to host two offerings of the IACBP in this two-phase structure, running summers 2009 & 2010 and summers 2010 & 2011.

"It's important that the IACBP fellows put what they learn into action at their own institutions, as well as to share the results with their peers. For this reason, we planned a follow-up session for participants to share results from their institutions," said Anna Maria Berta, Principle Project Manager for Technical Curricula at CyLab. The IACBP fellows will interact with several Carnegie Mellon faculty members, including Alessandro Acquisti, Lujo Bauer, David Brumley, Nicolas Christin, Lorrie Cranor, Anupam Datta, Barbara Laswell, Chris May, Rich Nolan, Adrian Perrig and Marios Savvides.

"As one of the nation's largest cybersecurity research and education centers, CyLab can offer a wealth of highly relevant topics and research findings to the faculty who engage in the IACBP. The combined efforts of Carnegie Mellon and these faculty will translate into new courses and educational initiatives at participating minority-serving institutions," said Virgil Gligor, co-PI for the program and co-Director of CyLab.

The past six offerings of IACBP have involved faculty from 29 minority-serving institutions and resulted in the creation of at least 14 new courses, six new degree options and 14 new certificate programs, workshops and symposia. A few participating institutions have since been designated Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance, including California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and Texas A&M University.

"Programs such as the IACBP are designed to strengthen information assurance education at campuses across the country," said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, Director of the INI and Director of Education, Training and Outreach for CyLab, who is principle investigator for the program. "As the cybersecurity field expands, CyLab and the INI will continue to take leadership to align information assurance education programs to the nation's needs."

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