Tag Archives: Cyber Sciences Summer Academy

NSA Director visits GRU

Admiral Michael Rogers, Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Central Security Service, paid a visit to Georgia Regents University on Thursday to attend the graduation of both the Cyber and Health Science Summer Academies.

Rogers, who took over as NSA Director in 2014, also addressed CSSA students at a separate meeting to talk about the future of cybersecurity.

“Exposure to cybersecurity topics at an early stage in education is critical to the development of private and public sector workforces in which cybersecurity is an underlying competency,” Rogers said, speaking candidly with students after a short round of presentations.

During the meeting, Rogers also noted Georgia Regents University’s ongoing commitment to cyber education. With the announcement of the Cyber Institute, and as one of only a handful of universities offering summer cyber programs to high school students, GRU is uniquely poised to become one of the region’s leading cyber-education authorities.

After taking student questions, Rogers again stressed the importance of maintaining pre-college cyber programs that focus on developing skill, insight and understanding.

“GenCyber camps play a critical role in developing these important talents,” Rogers said.

Student presentations ranged from detailed accounts of key lessons taught to a live demonstration of a transposition cipher being decoded by students.

Afterward, Rogers was presented with a photo of all the CSSA participants as thanks for attending graduation.

Rackley Wren, an 18-year-old senior from Augusta Preparatory School, said that in his chosen field, meeting someone like the admiral was an unheard of honor.

“Well, Admiral Rogers is the Director of the NSA, so for me, meeting him was like meeting the president,” Wren said. “It was a tremendous honor knowing that, of all the places in the world he could have been, he came to speak to us.”

Rogers previously visited GRU last October as part of GRU’s first annual Cyber-Education Summit alongside former Senator and Vice-Chairman of U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Saxby Chambliss.

Students graduate from first session of Cyber and Health Science Academies

Dozens of Georgia and South Carolina high school students celebrated graduation a little early on Thursday, June 25. Participants of the Cyber and Health Science Summer Academies, students ended their weeklong academic venture with a tearful farewell and some words of wisdom from a very special guest.

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Kourtney King, a student participating in the Cyber Science Summer Academy. Click to learn more about the CSSA.

Admiral Michael Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, took the stage to wish students in both fields luck and success with their futures. He also stressed the importance of finding careers they could enjoy.

“I tell my own sons I could care less how ‘successful’ they are,” said Rogers. “Do something that gives meaning to your life that will allow you to sustain a lifestyle, and you’ll be more fulfilled.”

Joanne Sexton, Director for GRU Cyber Security Educational Initiatives, said that it had been both an “honor and joy” to teach such receptive, open-minded students.

Denise Kornegay, Executive Director, Statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) and Associate Dean of AHEC at the Medical College of Georgia, mirrored Sexton’s sentiments.

“We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to teach these students,” she said. “The memories they’ve made will last them a lifetime.”

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Sabrina Dowds, a student participating in the Health Science Summer Academy. Click to learn more about the HSSA.

Rackley Wren, an 18-year-old senior from Augusta Preparatory School, said the Cyber Science Summer Academy was an amazing experience, and one that he would definitely recommend to other students interested in the field.

“I really enjoyed the academy,” Wren said. “Everything we did was geared toward people who didn’t have a background in the field. It was very user-friendly.”

When asked, Wren stated that meeting Admiral Rogers was, for him, “like meeting the President.”

Patrick Crockett, a student participating in the Health Science Summer Academy, agreed with Wren’s statements.

“The health academy was a wonderful opportunity,” he said. “It took you step through step through how things operate, from the top to the bottom.”

Crockett, who said he’s known for a while that he wanted to go into the medical field, said the health academy only strengthened that desire.

Sunday, Georgia Regents University began hosting its second session of both the Cyber and Health Science Summer Academies. The next graduation ceremony will be held on Thursday, July 2.

To view a photo gallery of the academies, click here.

Cyber Science Summer Academy opens doors for rising cyber-defenders

As the number of people accessing the Internet for convenience increases, so too do the number of people looking to take advantage of others. From individuals to major corporations such as Sony and Home Depot, no one is entirely safe from cyber crime.

On June 21, Georgia Regents University launched a pilot program called the Cyber Science Summer Academy. Opened to current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, the CSSA was developed as a means of teaching younger students the benefits and dangers of cyber defense in a secure learning environment.

But with cybersecurity being one of the fastest growing career fields in the United States, the CSSA was also developed with another purpose in mind: to help train a new generation of defenders.

Joanne Sexton, Director for GRU Cyber Security Educational Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Sciences in the Hull College of Business, said that teaching high school students is the only way to stay one step ahead of our enemies.

“The need for cybersecurity specialists is too great to rely solely on college students or military personnel transitioning into the civilian workforce,” Sexton said. “We have to start going into high schools, possibly even middle schools, to start teaching people how important the need for cybersecurity is.”

Some students, however, already understand the importance.

Dennis Perea, a junior at Aiken High School, said the CSSA interested him because the world is becoming a more dangerous place.

“Cyber science is obviously something that’s been in the news a lot,” Perea said. “Hackings, infiltrations – they’re everywhere.”

Perea said programs like the CSSA help to encourage students to develop skills he considers necessary for the future.

Kourtney King, a rising junior at AR Johnson, said she took an interest in the CSSA for more personal reasons.

“I’m the most tech-oriented person in my family,” King said. “I’ve always surfed the Web, so hearing about all the little tragedies, the hackings, got me interested in cyber defense.”

Both students said they could see themselves working in the field of cybersecurity, if given the opportunity.

“This program was definitely a positive experience for me,” said King. “Being in this program really helped to expose me to the problems in cybersecurity. If there’s any way I could be part of the solution, I will.”

The Cyber Science Summer Academy continues through Thursday, June 25. The second session begins on June 28.

Academies offer high school students unique opportunities to explore career paths

Georgia Regents University is reaching out to the community with two free weeklong academic residential programs geared toward high school students.

With two dates to choose from, both the Health Sciences Summer Academy and the Cyber Sciences Summer Academy will offer students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their chosen areas of interest while getting a taste of college life by spending a week in student housing.

The Health Sciences Summer Academy will use volunteers from the Health Sciences Campus to introduce students to the academic and professional tools necessary to become successful health science practitioners. According to Denise Kornegay, Executive Director, Statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) and Associate Dean of AHEC/MCG, the experience will provide an environment for students to help inform their academic and career choices.

“From suturing to scientific discovery exercises, students will learn cognitive and hands-on skills that will assist them in confirming or identifying a health career pathway for their futures,” she said.

Fort Gordon, which is now home to the U.S. Army Cyber Command, will provide assistance to the Cyber Sciences Summer Academy.

“The academy offers extensive hands-on cyber-related activities that will test and extend Cyber Sciences Summer Academy student problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills,” said Joanne Sexton, Director for GRU Cyber Security Educational Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Sciences in the Hull College of Business.

The programs, which run concurrently, are each offered twice, from June 21-25 and from June 28-July 2.

The free camps are open to current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

According to Paula Owens, project lead, the camps represent a chance for students to obtain firsthand information about their fields of interest while also strengthening their college resumes.

Eventually, the hope is that the academies will become part of the Governor’s Honors Program, a prestigious residential summer program for gifted and talented high school students. The idea behind the program is to provide students a different educational experience than they receive in the classroom.

“Right now, our academies are a pilot program,” Owens said. “But we would definitely like the Governor’s Honors committee to look at our academies so we can be a part of the Governor’s Honors program.”

For Owens, the academies also represent a chance for the university to reengage with the community.

“I don’t know if there will be more residential camps, but I do believe this will be an opportunity to have more camps where we can invite the community in to GRU,” she said. “I see this as being a gateway for that.”

 

Cyber and Health Sciences Summer Academies open to current high school freshmen, sophomores & juniors

Georgia Regents University will kick off two pilot programs this summer for current freshmen, sophomore, and junior high school students. Both the Health Sciences Summer Academy (HSSA) and the Cyber Sciences Summer Academy (CSSA), a residential educational experience, will be offered in one of two sessions, June 21-25 or June 28-July 2. Each program’s tuition is $500.

“The vision of the Cyber Sciences and Health Sciences Summer Academies is to offer instruction that is significantly different from the typical high school classroom. The programs will provide students with academics, scientific discovery exercises, “top secret” cyber defense skills, and social enrichment necessary to become the next generation of critical thinkers, researchers, and leaders,” said Paula Owens, Program Coordinator and Project Leader.

HSSA_Buckslip The Health Sciences Summer Academy offers students a rigorous academic program.

“From suturing to scientific discovery exercises, students will learn cognitive and hands-on skills that will assist them in confirming or identifying a health career pathway for their futures,” said Denise Kornegay, Executive Director, Statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) and Associate Dean of AHEC/MCG. To learn more about this five-day residential summer program, visit gru.edu/academy/healthsciences.

CSSA_BuckslipFor students who are interested in the cyber sciences, the Cyber Sciences Summer Academy will expose them to experts in the field of cyber defense.

The CSSA is designed to introduce high school students to the academic and professional world of cybersecurity. There will also be a “top secret” hands-on learning experience for students.

“The academy offers extensive hands-on cyber-related activities that will test and extend Cyber Sciences Summer Academy student problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills,” said Joanne Sexton, Director for GRU Cyber Security Educational Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Sciences in the Hull College of Business. To learn more about this program, visit gru.edu/academy/cyberacademy.

The deadline to apply is March 30. Limited scholarships may be available.