President Mortensen, Dr. Ravi Krov, Dr. Matt Paulson, and Dr. Brian Rague receive the designation for the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense from a National Security Agency of the United States of America representative at a regional event which took place at the University of Denver, Sept 9.

ASHLEY LIGHT, a 2019 network management technology graduate, said her education prepared her for the challenges faced in the information security industry. “The cybersecurity concepts I learned at Weber State have been invaluable,” she said. “I will continue to use this knowledge for the rest of my life both in and out of the workplace.” Recognizing Weber State’s commitment to cyber security, the National Security Agency has designated the university as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE).

The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense, and to increase the number of industry professionals. WSU joins Brigham Young University and Southern Utah University as the three institutions in Utah that hold the CAECDE distinction. The designation will remain active through the academic year 2026. The designation has helped strengthen Weber State’s partnerships with the local defense industrial base (DIB) community, including Hill Air Force Base, Boeing and BAE Systems, and opened up more opportunities for grants.

Weber State’s rigorous cybersecurity curriculum, which is improved anually, has also garnered the interest of other community partners, including Strong Connexions, Northrop Grumman and Intermountain Healthcare. In addition to developing a talent pipeline for government and DIB jobs that benefit the local economy, these strengthened partnerships have also increased the opportunities for Weber State students to participate in meaningful internships with industry partners.

To support its robust cyber defense education, WSU’s School of Computing launched the Weber State University Cybersecurity Initiative (WSUCI), which takes a universitywide, collaborative approach to promote cyber defense education to students outside computer science, including Utah’s K–12 students. The goal is to help students become excited about information security as a career from an early age, and to provide resources and opportunities to engage the public on the importance of protecting information and data. “We continue to explore ways we can meaningfully connect with our K–12 education partners and the community in general,” said MATT PAULSON, director of the Weber State University Cybersecurity Initiative.