Griffiss Institute, Rome Lab partner on cyber defense effort

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ROME — The Griffiss Institute will again work with the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate and Office of Undersecretary of Defense, along with several universities, to train a new generation of cyber defense professionals through the “Virtual Institutes for Cyber and Electromagnetic Spectrum Research and Employ” — VICEROY — Program.

The three VICEROY Program recipients named this year are Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; University at Albany – SUNY; and Northeastern University.

Each of the recipients will be awarded $1.5 million over two years to equip students with applied cyber operational skills through hands-on learning and research opportunities. It will also help to provide scholarships for 60 students selected for the program.

“The world is no longer predictable as it once was, and America needs to be prepared for anything,” said Heather Hage, president and CEO of the Griffiss Institute. “Today our battlefronts are on the ground, the sea, the skies, and in the cloud. That is why Griffiss Institute is proud to partner with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense and the outstanding academic institutions participating in the VICEROY program. Our nation’s cybersecurity needs can only be met by a vast force of STEM graduates trained and prepared for the realities we face.”

The VICEROY Program is designed to help close that gap by increasing the number of students that graduate with job-ready DoD cybersecurity skills. The approach adds to a traditional classroom atmosphere by providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that will match the workforce demands of the Armed Services, Department of Defense, and Defense Industrial Base partners.

The federal government stipulates that each Virtual Institute involved in the VICEROY program should also strive to achieve three key objectives:

-Provide an enhanced pipeline for future cyber leaders.

-Increase diversity in the cyber workforce.

-Stand as recognized leaders in technology areas of critical importance to the National Defense Strategy, the DoD Cyber Strategy, and the DoD Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority Strategy.

This is the second annual round of VICEROY awards. Both rounds were managed by the Griffiss Institute. Last year’s partners were Washington State University, Mississippi State University, and the University of Detroit, Mercy. Earth of those institutions has almost completed its first year and is focused on the development of foundational expertise in critical cyber operational skills for future military and civilian leaders.

The VICEROY Program is intended to increase the quantity and quality of U.S. students who possess job-ready Department of Defense cybersecurity skills upon graduation. The approach is to augment traditional college curricula by providing hands-on, experiential learning and internship opportunities that are uniquely tailored to match the workforce demands of the Armed Services, DoD and Defense Industrial Base partners.

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