Unique Program to Educate Next Generation of U.S. Cybersecurity Leaders

Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land and Northrop Grum­man Cre­ate Nation’s First Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Hon­ors Pro­gram for Under­grad­u­ates
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – June 11, 2012 – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land and the Northrop Grum­man Cor­po­ra­tion (NYSE:NOC) will launch a land­mark hon­ors pro­gram designed to edu­cate a new gen­er­a­tion of advanced cyber­se­cu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als. The unique pro­gram, Advanced Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Expe­ri­ence for Stu­dents (ACES), will immerse under­grad­u­ate stu­dents in all aspects of the field to meet grow­ing man­pow­er needs in the nation and the State of Mary­land.

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ACES will engage a high­ly tal­ent­ed, diverse group of students—majors in com­put­er sci­ence, engi­neer­ing, busi­ness, pub­lic pol­i­cy and the social sciences—in an inten­sive liv­ing-learn­ing envi­ron­ment that focus­es on the mul­ti­fac­eted aspects of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and devel­ops team-build­ing skills. Stu­dents will take on an advanced, cross-dis­ci­pli­nary cur­ricu­lum devel­oped through indus­try con­sul­ta­tion, and will inter­act direct­ly with indus­try and gov­ern­ment cyber­se­cu­ri­ty men­tors. Stu­dents enrolled in the pro­gram will have the option of intern­ing with Northrop Grum­man and prepar­ing for secu­ri­ty clear­ance. ACES will pro­duce skilled, expe­ri­enced cyber­se­cu­ri­ty lead­ers high­ly sought by cor­po­rate and gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions.

The Northrop Grum­man Cor­po­ra­tion will pro­vide a grant of $1.1 mil­lion to launch the pro­gram, which will begin in the fall of 2013, and sup­port it for an addi­tion­al two years. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land will match that amount.

The ACES Pro­gram will serve as an inau­gur­al Region­al Work­force Project of The Busi­ness-High­er Edu­ca­tion Forum (BHEF), of which Uni­ver­si­ty Sys­tem of Mary­land Chan­cel­lor William E. (“Brit”) Kir­wan is Chair, and Northrop Grum­man Chair­man, Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer and Pres­i­dent Wes Bush is Vice Chair.

Stat­ed Patrick O’Shea, Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land Vice Pres­i­dent for Research, “Togeth­er with indus­try leader Northrop Grum­man, we have devel­oped the ACES Hon­ors Pro­gram to pro­duce a new gen­er­a­tion of experts pre­pared to take on real-world cyber­se­cu­ri­ty chal­lenges. We expect that ACES, like our oth­er hon­ors pro­grams, will become a nation­al mod­el for prepar­ing young peo­ple to excel in emerg­ing, mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary fields.”

Find­ing employ­ees ful­ly pre­pared to take on com­plex cyber­se­cu­ri­ty issues is a major chal­lenge for cor­po­ra­tions and gov­ern­ment agen­cies. Northrop Grumman’s Wes Bush said, “We are ful­ly com­mit­ted to devel­op­ing solu­tions to help elim­i­nate the nation’s short­age of crit­i­cal STEM-edu­cat­ed tal­ent and by part­ner­ing with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, we will address work­force chal­lenges in the increas­ing­ly impor­tant field of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty. The uni­ver­si­ty has an out­stand­ing track record for devel­op­ing inno­v­a­tive edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams to answer real-world needs, excel­lent research capa­bil­i­ties through its Mary­land Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Cen­ter, and close rela­tion­ships with the many fed­er­al agen­cies and cor­po­ra­tions in the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., area like­wise con­cerned about cyber­se­cu­ri­ty.”

“The need for STEM pro­fes­sion­als through­out the Unit­ed States is crit­i­cal and part­ner­ships with indus­try lead­ers rep­re­sent one of the most effec­tive approach­es we can take to enhance STEM edu­ca­tion while meet­ing STEM work­force needs,” stat­ed Kir­wan. “The Uni­ver­si­ty Sys­tem of Mary­land and Northrop Grum­man have been work­ing togeth­er to address our mutu­al chal­lenges. As Chair of BHEF, I believe this new Indus­try-High­er Edu­ca­tion part­ner­ship mod­el can repli­cate the suc­cess we have seen in Mary­land across the U.S. These region­al projects rep­re­sent inno­v­a­tive, col­lab­o­ra­tive approach­es enabling us to get to solu­tions in order to tack­le our nation’s tough­est work­force chal­lenges.”

Bri­an Fitzger­ald, CEO of BHEF remarked, “ACES is a per­fect exam­ple of how indus­try and high­er edu­ca­tion can part­ner to make mean­ing­ful change to our nation’s work­force chal­lenges. As one of the ten cur­rent BHEF STEM Region­al Work­force Projects, this deep­er col­lab­o­ra­tion exem­pli­fies how BHEF mem­bers are no longer ‘admir­ing the prob­lem,’ but pro­vid­ing real solu­tions. By cre­at­ing the plat­form that engages under­grad­u­ate stu­dents dur­ing the crit­i­cal first two years of col­lege, keeps them in the edu­ca­tion pipeline of these high-demand fields, and ulti­mate­ly pre­pares them and keeps them for a long-term career, the Uni­ver­si­ty Sys­tem of Mary­land and Northrop Grum­man are a nation­al exam­ple that oth­ers can fol­low.”

ACES will con­sist of an inten­sive cur­ricu­lum, which will include gen­er­al cyber­se­cu­ri­ty offer­ings, as well as a vari­ety of oth­er top­ics, includ­ing cyber­se­cu­ri­ty foren­sics, reverse engi­neer­ing, secure cod­ing, crim­i­nol­o­gy, and law and pub­lic pol­i­cy. In year-long cap­stone cours­es, teams of seniors will apply their knowl­edge and skills in solv­ing com­plex cyber­se­cu­ri­ty prob­lems. Sum­mer intern­ships will aug­ment course­work with real-world projects and devel­op a pipeline of tal­ent­ed stu­dents. Through­out, Northrop Grum­man will pro­vide guest lec­tur­ers, par­tic­i­pate in an indus­try advi­so­ry board, pose real-world prob­lems for stu­dents to solve, and pro­vide advi­sors and men­tors for cap­stone projects.

The ACES pro­gram is slat­ed to accept its first stu­dents at the Col­lege Park cam­pus in fall 2013. Over time, through dis­tance edu­ca­tion pro­grams, online course offer­ings, trans­fer of stu­dents, and com­pe­ti­tions, uni­ver­si­ties across the Uni­ver­si­ty Sys­tem of Mary­land will par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram.

About the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land is the state’s flag­ship uni­ver­si­ty and one of the nation’s pre­em­i­nent pub­lic research uni­ver­si­ties. Ranked No. 17 among pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties by U.S. News & World Report, it has 30 aca­d­e­m­ic pro­grams in the U.S News Top 10 and 71 in the Top 25. UMD’s pro­grams are high­ly regard­ed nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly. UMD is one of only six uni­ver­si­ties in the world with top 25 pro­grams in Com­put­er Sci­ence, Engi­neer­ing, Eco­nom­ics and Busi­ness, Nat­ur­al Sci­ences and Math­e­mat­ics, Physics, and Social Sci­ences, accord­ing to the Aca­d­e­m­ic Rank­ing of World­wide Uni­ver­si­ties. The Hon­ors Col­lege is home to UMD’s high­ly acclaimed liv­ing-learn­ing pro­grams for stu­dents with excep­tion­al aca­d­e­m­ic tal­ents. The Hon­ors Col­lege wel­comes stu­dents into a close-knit com­mu­ni­ty of fac­ul­ty and intel­lec­tu­al­ly gift­ed under­grad­u­ates com­mit­ted to acquir­ing a broad and bal­anced edu­ca­tion. The Hon­ors Col­lege fea­tures small class­es taught by out­stand­ing faculty—which includes three Nobel Prize winners—who encour­age dis­cus­sion and fos­ter inno­v­a­tive think­ing. Each year, approx­i­mate­ly 1,000 under­grad­u­ates are invit­ed into this high­ly selec­tive col­lege. Hon­ors class­es typ­i­cal­ly have low­er enroll­ments, more sophis­ti­cat­ed mate­r­i­al, and pro­ceed at a faster pace than a cor­re­spond­ing stan­dard under­grad­u­ate course. Vis­it the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land web­site at www.umd.edu for more infor­ma­tion.

About Northrop Grum­man

Northrop Grum­man is a lead­ing glob­al secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny pro­vid­ing inno­v­a­tive sys­tems, prod­ucts and solu­tions in aero­space, elec­tron­ics, infor­ma­tion sys­tems, and tech­ni­cal ser­vices to gov­ern­ment and com­mer­cial cus­tomers world­wide. Please vis­it www.northropgrumman.com for more infor­ma­tion.

About the Busi­ness-High­er Edu­ca­tion Forum

BHEF is the nation’s old­est orga­ni­za­tion of senior busi­ness and high­er edu­ca­tion exec­u­tives ded­i­cat­ed to advanc­ing inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to U.S. edu­ca­tion and work­force chal­lenges. Com­posed of For­tune 500 CEOs, promi­nent col­lege and uni­ver­si­ty pres­i­dents, and oth­er lead­ers, BHEF address­es issues fun­da­men­tal to our glob­al com­pet­i­tive­ness. It does so through two ini­tia­tives: the Col­lege Readi­ness, Access, and Suc­cess Ini­tia­tive (CRI), address­ing col­lege- and work-readi­ness, access, and suc­cess; and the Secur­ing America’s Lead­er­ship in Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy, Engi­neer­ing, and Math­e­mat­ics (STEM) Ini­tia­tive, pro­mot­ing America’s lead­er­ship in STEM. BHEF and its mem­bers dri­ve change local­ly, work to influ­ence pub­lic pol­i­cy at the nation­al and state lev­els, and inspire oth­er lead­ers to act. Learn more at www.bhef.com. Con­tact: Steve Barkan­ic, Senior Direc­tor of STEM Pol­i­cy and Pro­grams: Steve.Barkanic@bhef.com; (202) 367‑2422.

Northrop Grum­man