COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland and the National Security Agency (NSA), in partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation, announce a collaboration to provide unique education and development opportunities to students in UMD's Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) program. The ACES program – the nation’s first honors program in cybersecurity – was launched by UMD's Honors College in 2012 with support from the Northrop Grumman Foundation to address a critical, national strategic need.
“The academic and professional opportunities that this partnership with NSA and the Northrop Grumman Foundation will offer University of Maryland ACES students are unparalleled,” says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD's senior vice president and provost. “Our students will be educated by experts in their field, giving them the real-world experience they need to succeed in the workforce after graduation. This is exactly the type of learning experience we strive to give all UMD students.”
As part of the collaboration, the NSA will provide instructors for several ACES courses, and offer internship positions, mentors and research advisors to ACES students.
Deborah Frincke, NSA Research Director, says “NSA is excited to collaborate with the ACES program to prepare and motivate the next generation of cybersecurity professionals who will help protect the nation. Education and research programs, such as ACES, are important activities that will improve safety and security in cyberspace. ACES offers a world-class program that complements NSA’s premier research in cybersecurity.”
“Northrop Grumman and our Foundation are committed to helping develop our future cyber talent and enjoy a strong partnership with the University of Maryland. We are excited to have the National Security Agency join us in supporting this great program at College Park and turning out top talent to support our Nation’s cybersecurity challenges,” says Chris Valentino, Program Director, Cyber and Intelligence Mission Solutions Division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.
ACES students will have the opportunity to participate in unclassified internships with the NSA, allowing them to apply the skills they've learned in the classroom to real-world problems. The collaboration will also pair ACES students with NSA mentors to provide insights about real-world cybersecurity work, technical advice on classes and projects, and help with professional networking.
"ACES is honored to have the NSA offer a unique program of multiple opportunities for ACES students. Partnering with the NSA and Northrop Grumman will give ACES students unparalleled access to some of the nation's top cybersecurity experts," says ACES Director Michel Cukier. "Bringing together three cybersecurity powerhouses from academia, government and the private sector will allow us to educate and graduate a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of students who will become our nation's and world's future cybersecurity leaders."