Campbell receives grant for cybersecurity, IT programming

Campbell University was selected as one of ten universities to receive a grant to participate in the National Science Foundation-funded CyberStart Student Apprentice and Onboarding Workshop held at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

Associate Vice President for Information Technology Sherri Yerk-Zwickl and Coordinator of Homeland Security & Cybersecurity Dr. Amanda Parker applied for and attended the workshop in Brooklyn, New York earlier this month. While there, they learned best practices for implementing the CyberStart program at Campbell. This program, developed by the SANS Institute, helps competitively identify, select, train and provide cybersecurity experience to students across the country. 

CyberStart has the potential to identify and onboard many thousands of future cybersecurity professionals. Using a unique, engaging game platform, players are challenged to solve puzzles of increasing difficulty and learn cybersecurity principles along the way. Students that demonstrate high problem-solving capabilities are then provided access to another tool “CyberStart Essentials” which provides advanced training on cybersecurity topics.   The College of Arts and Sciences at Campbell recently launched its Cybersecurity major, and the program can be used as a gateway to recruit students into the field by identifying students with a talent for cybersecurity. As one of the nine pilot schools, Campbell will help understand how best to utilize the program and the results will be disseminated broadly to other schools encouraging students in the realm of cybersecurity, IT, and STEM careers as well as students in non-technical programs who may not have previously considered a career in the area of cybersecurity.

The CyberStart initiative was started by Alan Paller at the SANS Institute. CyberStart “offers a suite of challenges, tools, and games designed to introduce people to the field of cyber security.” 

 Dr. Parker and Ms. Yerk-Zwickl will work together to place selected students in apprentice positions in the university’s IT department. They will monitor the students’ progress, evaluate the “success” of the program and submit a report to NYU at the end of the program, plus receive funding to implement the program and attend workshops in New York City for a pre-pilot session and a post-pilot session.

See for more details on the program.