U.S. Cyber Command Strengthens Ties with HBCUs to Foster Cybersecurity Excellence

  • Published

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Maryland — U.S. Cyber Command continues to make significant strides in bolstering diversity and excellence in cybersecurity education through its on-going collaboration with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The Academic Engagement Network, established by USCYBERCOM, aims to create a more inclusive and equitable cyber community through partnerships.

Recognizing the critical role of diversity in addressing the complex challenges of cyberspace, the AEN actively engages with HBCUs and colleges serving diverse student populations. By doing so, it seeks to expand representation and introduce students to the rewarding careers available in cybersecurity.

Recently, USCYBERCOM’s AEN engaged with Morgan State University (MSU), a trailblazer in cybersecurity education.

Dr. Kevin T. Kornegay, a professor in cybersecurity at MSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is the director of MSU’s Cybersecurity Assurance and Policy (CAP) Center, positioning the university as a leader in educating Black doctoral students in the critical field of “cyber.”

Kornegay’s journey from New York City, to the University of California, Berkeley and on to Morgan State University played an important role in shaping the professor into who he is today.

Time and time again he noticed that he was one of the few Black students in his burgeoning field of interest, and as his career took off, he resolved to make a difference.

Today, MSU stands as the first state-funded center for CAP, and its Center for Reverse Engineering and Assured Microelectronics further solidifies its position.

Kornegay describes his teaching style as “hands-on,” and he is wholeheartedly committed to shaping the future of both his students and cybersecurity.

His recent Ph.D. graduates now pursue high-paying careers at institutions like the National Security Agency, John Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, MITRE, CAD Center, and Sandia Labs.

US Air Force MSgt. Katrel Bishop, deputy director of Academic Engagements, said the AEN’s outreach program is important because it extends opportunities to institutions both large and small.

“When we visit HBCUs, I can relate to these students – I can see myself in these students,” Bishop said. And it is that commitment to fostering a diverse workforce that aligns with the AEN’s mission.

The AEN takes an inclusive approach to finding, encouraging, and cultivating cyber talent. It actively seeks individuals with the necessary skills and innovative thinking to tackle the challenges inherent in defending the nation’s cyber interests. As the cyber landscape evolves, this capacity building becomes increasingly crucial.

For more information about the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), visit here https://www.cybercom.mil/Partnerships-and-Outreach/Academic-Engagement or email: USCYBERCOM_AEN@cybercom.mil.

The United States Cyber Command remains dedicated to safeguarding and defending the Department of Defense’s cyber domain, ensuring a secure and resilient future for our nation.