BU selected for U.S. Cyber Command Academic Engagement Network


By Tom McGuire

Bloomsburg University and its Department of Mathematics and Digital Sciences has been selected by the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) as one of 84 colleges and universities to be part of its newest Academic Engagement Network (AEN).

“Cyber Command’s goal for the AEN is to strengthen our relationships and communication with these participating institutions,” said CYBERCOM’s Executive Director David Frederick. “This will improve and sustain our efforts to meet cyberspace educational requirements and workforce needs.”

The command intends to use the AEN to support and enhance four primary lines of effort (LOE): future workforce, applied cyber research, applied analytics, and strategic issues. These LOEs are intended to serve as an investment in creating a robust and accessible pool of qualified cyber professionals. With its academic partners, it can shape the nation’s cyber workforce while supporting the command’s mission.

“We are honored to be part of this prestigious group of institutions to join the U.S. Cyber Command Academic Engagement Network,” said BU President Bashar Hanna. “By collaborating with CYBERCOM we can cultivate a strong cyber security workforce to help mitigate and successfully manage the threats to our nation.”

Bloomsburg University associate professor Diane Barrett, who will coordinate the partnership, is hopeful this will lead to an increase in students considering a career in cyber defense.

“One of our goals is to engage and inspire students to consider careers in Department of Defense (DoD), both in the military and as civilians,” said Barrett.  “We want to broaden awareness of some great internship programs that Cyber Command runs, as does the service commands.”

“We also hope to expand partnerships with academia to build better relationships and take advantage of the deep expertise in academia about our adversaries’ cyber strategies and organizations.”

For the AEN, strong partnerships supported by talented and skilled people are vital to remain agile and ready in the cyber domain. The AEN extends partnerships to institutions through collaboration and access to CYBERCOM via scheduled events and engagements with command staff, the Cyber National Mission Force, and our four component commands.

Frederick added that this network will further enable us to shape and enhance cyber-focused innovation with partnerships and support the DoD’s ongoing strategic dialogue on cyberspace.