UMR students will soon be eligible for new scholarships and grants related to securing the nation’s information systems, thanks to the university’s designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE).
The designation is offered jointly by the U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. When the designation officially occurs on June 5, UMR will join an elite group of universities that meet the federal government’s criteria for providing educational and research opportunities in cyber-security. UMR will also become the first Missouri university to receive the designation.
"UMR offers a unique contribution to the information assurance field with our focus on developing ways to protect the nation’s electric power grid, oil, gas and water distribution systems, and transportation systems from terrorist attack." – Dr. Bruce McMillin, center director
The CAEIAE program is designed to reduce vulnerabilities in the national information infrastructure by promoting the study of “information assurance” in U.S. colleges and universities. The program also is designed to promote information assurance expertise in various disciplines.
Dr. Bruce McMillin, professor of computer science and UMR’s coordinator for the new center (cae.mst.edu), notes that UMR’s focus on protecting the nation’s power and transportation systems from terrorist attack offers graduate and undergraduate students unique educational and research opportunities.
“UMR offers a unique contribution to the information assurance field with our focus on developing ways to protect the nation’s electric power grid, oil, gas and water distribution systems, and transportation systems from terrorist attack,” McMillin says. Much of that research occurs through UMR’s Center for Critical Infrastructure Protection.
“UMR’s designation as a center of academic excellence makes us eligible to apply for scholarships to recruit students to become trained professionals in the information assurance and computer security fields,” says Dr. Ann Miller, the Cynthia Tang Missouri Professor of Computer Engineering and director of the CCIP. Miller will work with McMillin in the new center.
The scholarships will be available through the National Science Foundation’s Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service program and the Defense Department’s Information Assurance Scholarship Program.
In addition, says Dr. Daniel Tauritz, assistant professor of computer science, “Students have the opportunity to participate in summer internships with national laboratories, building on UMR’s strong relationship with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.” Tauritz serves as UMR node coordinator for Sandia’s Center for Cyber Defenders.
Students attending UMR may also achieve graduate certificates in computer security with the Committee on National Security Systems National Standards 4011 and 4014E. Completion of those programs certify students for information systems security professionals and for information systems security officers, respectively.
“These course offerings have a strong practical component,” says Brian Buege, interim chief information officer for UMR. “One of our practicing IT professionals, Karl Lutzen, will be offering one of these certificate courses for the fall 2007 semester.”
The center designation is for five years. On June 5, McMillin, Miller and Dr. Warren K. Wray, UMR’s provost, will receive the designation during an awards ceremony at Boston University.