University of Idaho Named Academic Lead for DOD Cybersecurity Consortium
January 24, 2022
MOSCOW, Idaho — Jan. 20, 2022 — The University of Idaho Center for Secure and Dependable Systems (CSDS) was recently appointed academic support center lead, representing community colleges and universities nationwide, for the newly launched Department of Defense University Consortium for Cybersecurity (UC2).
This is the second national positioning of U of I’s cybersecurity work in the past month, expanding opportunities for students and faculty in Idaho and nationwide to engage in cybersecurity solutions needed in the highest levels of government.
Congressionally mandated by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the UC2 exists to facilitate two-way communication between the U.S. Secretary of Defense and academia across the United States.
As one of the National Security Agency’s first National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, U of I’s role in UC2 is to communicate with other nationally recognized centers, a community that has grown to 340 schools nationwide.
“U of I has led cybersecurity education and advancement for more than three decades,” said Jim Alves-Foss, U of I CSDS director and computer science professor. “U of I is the voice for educational institutions that may not have had a seat at table until now. We’re working together to meet the needs of our government and protect our cyber infrastructure, our industry and our society.”
U of I was also recently made a partner in the U.S. Cyber Command Academic Engagement Network (AEN). Similar to the UC2, the AEN will engage the future cybersecurity workforce and increase applied research and strategy partnerships related to cybersecurity.
Offering computer science-based cyber defense and information assurance education since the late ’90s, U of I offersIdaho’s only cybersecurity bachelor’s degree. The university launched one of the region’s first master’s programs in 2021 and is on track to add a doctorate program.
U of I students train alongside 15 nationally and internationally recognized faculty with expertise in power engineering, information assurance, industrial control systems and transportation.
Students have direct access to state-of-the-art equipment, labs and resources, and train in technically-based programs to become cybersecurity professionals with the most current knowledge and skills aimed at strengthening cybersecurity protocols and developing cyber-secure industrial control systems.
U of I is also one of a few universities nationwide participating in the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, offering cybersecurity training and direct career placement in positions at federal executive agencies.
Funded through the National Science Foundation, the SFS program covers tuition and fees and offers stipends of up to $25,000 for an undergraduate and $34,000 for a graduate student. Since 2002, more than $9 million in tuition stipends have been awarded to U of I undergraduates.
Students have access to the U of I College of Engineering’s global network of leading industry partners, including Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Power, POWER Engineers and Avista Utilities.
Global power systems protection leader SEL and the U of I College of Engineering began a $2.5 million partnership in 2020. The five-year agreement will support U of I’s cybersecurity program through ongoing research projects and faculty and graduate student funding.
With support from the State of Idaho and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the U of I College of Engineering has developed a testbed to develop cyberattack response procedures, connecting research infrastructure across U of I campuses in Moscow, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene.
Work is underway to build a network between U of I’s Reconfigurable Attack-Defend Instructional Computing Laboratories in Idaho Falls and Moscow to allow students to simulate cyberattack and defense protocols within isolated labs.
Learn more about U of I’s cybersecurity programs at uidaho.edu/engr-cybersecurity.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu.