AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– The Augusta University Cyber Institute is just shy of a year old, but it’s already gaining national attention.
“It is a marvelous time for us,” said Joanne Sexton, director of the AU Cyber Institute. “We’re very very excited.”
AU has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Defense. This designation is a part of the federal government’s effort to get more people interested in cyber security careers.
“We just don’t have enough people with the skills and experience to help protect our nation, and as a university we play a role and we take it very seriously,” Sexton said. “We’re very very excited about what we get to do.”
Because of AU’s affiliation with AU Health, the Cyber Institute has an advantage in the field of health security, which aims to safeguard medical information online.
“We always will be known for healthcare. We’re also going to be known for cyber,” she said. “But when you combine the two– of course, we’re going to play a very very big role and we intend to lead the nation in healthcare security.”
Although the recognition dosen’t come with funding, Sexton has that it will help the Augusta University Cyber Institute receive grants and scholarships. It will also help students get jobs.
“It’s more than symbolic. It actually represents alot of work,” she said. “And it represents where we are with our curriculum– that we’re among the leading schools.”