USC-Aiken expanding its cyber reach; signs MOU between university, SANS


AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — USC-Aiken is expanding its cyber reach thanks to a new partnership with a company that focuses on cybersecurity training.

“We are all in this together as a community across the border in Georgia, really as a nation,” Chancellor of USC Aiken Dr. Dan Heimmermann told NewsChannel 6 Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk about the cyber industry. “Proximity matters, right? The power of proximity,” Director of the Joint Staff of the SCNG Army Maj. Gen. Brad Owens added.

A ceremonial signing of the MOU between USCA and SANS

It’s that power that organizations and businesses like SANS are focused on. The company touts itself as the world leader in cyber education —specializing in cybersecurity and training. The partnership with USC Aiken is expected to help students get a leg up in the field. “Together the [bachelor’s degree in computer science], the courses, and the certifications will make these computer science students so highly employable either in their region or in the world,” Executive Director of SANS Technology Institue Eric Patterson said. “There’s a lot of great momentum here. And so this just adds to what we can provide to the CSRA,” Dean of USCA’s College of Sciences and Engineering Dr. Chad Leverette said.

The effort will complement what’s already happening across the river with Georgia and its cyber footprint. “For this to be located in such close proximity to Fort Gordon, and the Augusta CSRA it’s really going provide a collaborative environment. That’s going open a portal up into the entire cyber enterprise in South Carolina,” Maj. Gen. Owens added.

Meanwhile,  the Cyber Dream Port, the South Carolina National Guard Readiness Center, and the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative will make their homes on USC Aiken’s Campus.

The multi-million-dollar projects are expected to become complete within the next two to three years.

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