Mikulski visits HCC to announce grant and JHU partnership

Dr. Tony Dahbura; Senator Barbara Mikulski; and Dr. Guy Altieri

During a recent visit to Hagerstown Community College on Sept. 24, U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) announced a $713,996 federal grant has been awarded to HCC to prepare students for cybersecurity jobs. These federal dollars from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will enhance the college’s cybersecurity curriculum and provide its students with more opportunities for hands-on research through a partnership with Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute. It will also be used to recruit students to the cybersecurity program, particularly women and minorities.

While at HCC, Mikulski toured the college’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Building, including the cybersecurity penetration testing lab, and spoke with students in the cybersecurity program before making her remarks to community leaders, HCC faculty, staff, and students, and the press.

“Because of Maryland’s world-class educational institutions, unique federal assets, and dynamic private sector, Maryland is the epicenter of cybersecurity,” Mikulski said. “Here at Hagerstown Community College, I’m announcing funds in the federal checkbook to prepare students to be our first line of cyber attacks, making our nation safer and Maryland’s economy stronger. I will continue to fight for Hagerstown jobs and work to grow our cybersecurity workforce, supporting jobs today and jobs tomorrow.”

“We are extremely pleased to receive this grant from NSF,” said HCC President Guy Altieri. “The partnership with Johns Hopkins University will add greatly to our capabilities in cybersecurity, providing opportunities for our students to interact with JHU’s world-class cybersecurity research faculty members associated with the Information Security Institute. It will also further strengthen the curriculum and opportunities for our STEMM Technical Middle College in the cybersecurity pathway.”

HCC will use the federal grant to strengthen its cybersecurity curriculum to optimize the use of technology and address emerging issues in cybersecurity. HCC will partner with the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute to give HCC students the opportunity to conduct research and complete hands-on training with graduate students and faculty at JHU. HCC will also engage business and industry partners to measure the outcomes of the program and develop sustainable strategies to continue to grow and diversify the cybersecurity workforce.

This grant is funded through the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education Advanced Technology Education program. To learn more about the NSF grant, visit www.nsf.gov. To learn more about HCC’s cybersecurity program, visit www.hagerstowncc.edu/cyber.