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Norfolk State Leads $25 Million Effort to Educate

Monday, January 26, 2015  
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NSU NEWSROOM—Jan. 16, 2015)---Norfolk State University will lead a $25-million effort to educate, train and develop the nation’s next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration awarded the grant to the University as part of its efforts to expand and diversify the cybersecurity workforce. The grant aims to foster partnerships between HBCUs, federal laboratories, and students interested in science, technology, engineering and math as early as kindergarten. Norfolk State is the lead institution for the grant that includes a 13-member consortium of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Department of Energy National Laboratories, and a public school district.

For NSU’s Interim President and CEO, Eddie N. Moore Jr., the grant announcement comes at a pivotal moment for the University, which has experienced transition and progress since his arrival to campus in 2013. “This grant is a prime example of how Norfolk State University is forging onward as an institution,” said President Moore. “As the world becomes more dependent on technology and information is shared digitally, the threat of online hackers and data breaches are daily realities. Norfolk State is poised to provide the expertise in cybersecurity sought by many employers in the private and public sectors, such as business, banking, healthcare and the military.”

NSU and its partners will use the funds, which will be distributed over a five-year period, for training students and faculty; course development; research in cybersecurity fields; and expanding cybersecurity programs.

According to National Nuclear Security Administration officials, Norfolk State’s academic infrastructure in computer science, information assurance and cybersecurity were some of the factors that led to its selection. The University has received funding from NNSA for cybersecurity training and research since 2009 and served as the leader of a smaller cybersecurity consortium since 2012. In addition, NSU has been recognized by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a national center of excellence in information assurance education since 2009.

NSU Provost Dr. Sandra J. DeLoatch, the Principal Investigator for the Project, said the award will allow the University to educate students and to position NSU to increase its online offerings. DeLoatch said the program should appeal to prospective students looking to take undergraduate- and graduate-level courses as well as veterans transitioning from the Armed Forces.

“The grant is not just about cybersecurity, it is also about developing a workforce pipeline in a very critical area,” DeLoatch said. “Well-trained cybersecurity workers are needed and our goal is to be a leading institution in that field. We, along with our partners, plan to educate a new generation of cybersecurity workers who will help keep our country safe from cyber-attacks.”

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