Grant to help establish cyber education center

By Keri Luise, Assistant News Editor

Photo courtesy of Towson University

Towson University was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Commerce through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative (MEI) to create a cyber education and research center on campus.

This is TU’s first E-Nnovation grant, which will be combined with a significant private contribution to establish the Towson University E-Nnovation Endowed Professorship.

MEI, now in its fourth year, is a Maryland state program created to enhance basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at the state colleges and universities. Towson was one of four Maryland schools to be awarded funds from this $6.7 million endowment for new research professorships. Others included Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), The University of Maryland, College Park and Washington College.

In the Department of Commerce’s press release, Acting Secretary Kelly Schulz said that Maryland Commerce is proud to support the work being done at state institutions.

“Maryland’s Colleges and Universities are responsible for the groundbreaking research and discoveries that help make Maryland a top-ranked state for innovation,” Schulz said.

Towson University senior cyber security program Daniel Elice believes the grant will continue to help Towson better its program by allowing the university to purchase state of the art equipment and provide for faculty and staff to continue program growth.

“Cyber security is constantly evolving and the grant will allow TU to stay up-to-date with the new threats we face each day, and to better prepare students for the workforce,” Elice said.

This MEI professorship grant award will provide critical resources to an exceptional faculty member in TU’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) who will lead the creation of a world-class Cyber Education and Research Center.

It will also help fund The Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research, which will be aimed at working to pursue novel solutions to the cyber challenges of today and tomorrow, encourage innovative lines of research and discovery, develop solutions to the cyber workforce crisis, and engage in opportunities for technology commercialization.

“The new center for cyber security education and research will allow our students and professors to stay on the cutting edge of cyber security,” said Mazlow Cohen, President of the TU Software Engineering Club.

Sean Welsh, Towson’s director of media and news, said that TU has one of the first four ABET-Certified cyber security programs in the world and that the grant will “help us continue to provide top-notch education for a field in need of talented graduates.

Despite coming in as a freshman with no prior computer programming or cyber security experience, TU’s cyber security program has prepared Elice to be an active member in the workforce after college.

“As a senior now, I feel that the cyber security program taught me exactly what I need to know as I prepare for my first job after graduation,” Elice said.

Cohen also believes that Towson’s Cyber Security program has prepared students for successful careers, and feels that the university has emerged as a leader in the cyber security space.

“I think even with our cyber security program’s success, the cyber security field is evolving every day,” Mazlow said. “Our cyber security program will need to anticipate the trends so that we can prepare our students for the cyber security of the future.”

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