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The George Washington University Associate Professor Diana Burley Co-Leads a National Center to Study Cybersecurity Education

October 08, 2012

Latarsha Gatlin
202-994-5631; [email protected]

ASHBURN, Va. — Diana Burley, associate professor of human and organizational learning, has been named a co-principal investigator of National CyberWatch, a collaborative national research center led by Prince George’s Community College with the mission of formalizing and elevating cybersecurity education in two- and four-year institutions.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded a four-year, $5 million grant for the project titled “National CyberWatch: Cybersecurity Education for the Nation.” The National CyberWatch (NCW) Center will be housed at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md. and its mission is to advance cybersecurity education by leading collaborative efforts to strengthen the national cybersecurity workforce. GW is a sub-awardee on the project, meaning the institution is under a formal agreement with PGCC to perform specific tasks. GW will be responsible for research management, sustainability and expansion of the NCW and industry liaison.

"We are excited to join with our NCW Center partners to increase the ability of the United States to produce cybersecurity professionals who will protect the nation from the continuously evolving cyber threat,” said Dr. Burley. “NCW research will lead national cybersecurity workforce development efforts by informing both policy and practice across the educational spectrum."

GW’s participation in the NCW Center is a joint effort between the Cybersecurity Policy and Research Institute (CSPRI), an institute housed within the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) that promotes technical research and policy analysis of problems that have a significant computer security and information assurance component, and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD), where Dr. Burley is a faculty member. CSPRI has for five years been the home of a  regional CyberWatch Center project and many of those affiliated researchers will continue this work and expand it nationwide under the new NSF grant funding.

Dr. Costis Toregas, lead research scientist in the SEAS Division of Computer Science and co-Director of CSPRI, will lead NCW sustainability and industry liaison efforts while Dr. Rachelle Heller, professor of computer science, will support the expansion of cybersecurity education in underrepresented communities.

Dr. Burley will be responsible for the curriculum and research component of the project. Her work will entail creating articulation models between two- and four-year institutions offering cybersecurity degree programs and leading efforts to promote, sponsor and conduct research on cybersecurity education and workforce development.

Dr. Burley, who works at GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va., is also a Research Scholar at GW’s Institute for Public Policy and a Senior Research Scientist for CSPRI.

Earlier this year, Dr. Burley was appointed to the Virginia Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cybersecurity Committee (JCOTS). JCOTS is a permanent legislative commission charged with studying and promoting all aspects of technology and science in the Commonwealth of Virginia through sound public policies. Dr. Burley is also a member of the National Research Council's “Cybersecurity Professionalization for the Nation: Criteria for Future Decision Making” Committee. The committee is conducting a study that would consider approaches to increasing the professionalization of the nation's cybersecurity workforce.

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