UH West O'ahu earns national honors in cyber defense education

NSA and Department of Homeland Security designate UH West O'ahu as center of academic excellence

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Julie Funasaki Yuen, (808) 689-2604
Public Info Officer, Communications Department
Posted: May 23, 2016

Dr. Matthew A. Chapman and student interns at the UH West O'ahu Cyber Security Coordination Center.
Dr. Matthew A. Chapman and student interns at the UH West O'ahu Cyber Security Coordination Center.

KAPOLEI --- The University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, becoming the first four-year university in the state to receive this prestigious honor.

The University offers a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in information security and assurance, the first of its kind at a public institution in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. In response to national and state needs for graduates with education in cybersecurity, UH West Oʻahu, in cooperation with University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges, state and federal law enforcement agencies, state security officials, and local businesses, developed an expansive security education program.

“We are honored to receive this distinction from the nation’s foremost experts in cybersecurity,” said UH West Oʻahu Interim Chancellor Doris Ching. “The University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu prides itself in offering essential programs that fill a community need and provide our graduates with opportunities for fulfilling careers where they make a difference. Our information security and assurance program is a shining example of this.”

“Certification as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education is a tremendous honor for our program that will benefit our students for many years,” said UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of Information Security and Assurance, Matthew Chapman. “As our primary mission is to provide all students – including Native Hawaiian, local, and regional students – opportunities to prepare for employment in cybersecurity career fields, this certification recognizes our students as cyber defense subject matter experts, who will be leaders in protecting both Hawaiʻi and national critical infrastructure.”

UH West Oʻahu achieved National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education designation by meeting rigorous standards including the establishment of a physical and virtual center and website for cyber defense education. The University also demonstrated how its information security and assurance academic program fosters student-based cyber defense research and community outreach that is supported by experienced faculty who contribute to cybersecurity research.

UH West Oʻahu’s Cyber Security Coordination Center offers cybersecurity and information technology students the opportunity to work in a cyber operations center and coordinate cyber defense information with local ad regional partners. Students gain research experience as network defense subject matter experts, preparing them for future employment with the federal or state government as well as private industry. The center is student-run and supports information security needs in the community, research in modern cyber conflicts, and emerging cyber threats.

Dr. Matthew Chapman will receive the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education certificate on behalf of UH West Oʻahu at the National Cyber Security Summit in Huntsville, Ala. on June 8.

Established in 1976, the University of Hawaiʻi - West O‘ahu is an indigenous-serving institution that offers quality education, small class sizes, and personalized attention. UH West O‘ahu has the newest bachelor's degree-granting campus in the University of Hawaiʻi System, serving approximately 2,700 students with academic programs that emphasize interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies. UH West Oʻahu commemorates its 40th anniversary in 2016. For more information, visit www.uhwo.hawaii.edu, call (808) 689-2800 or toll-free (866) 299-8656. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.