Science & Technology

UWF to showcase cybersecurity program on Capitol Hill

The University of West Florida will highlight the success of its cybersecurity program on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Cybersecurity Centers of Academic Excellence Grant Showcase in Washington, D.C. The NSA and Department of Homeland Security administer the CAE program.

Dr. Guillermo Francia III, faculty scholar of the UWF Center for Cybersecurity, instructing a UWF student in the Cybersecurity Battle Lab in the Science and Engineering Building, Building 4.

Representatives from 15 higher-education institutions, along with participating federal agencies and related industry representatives, will celebrate 20 years of cybersecurity excellence and discuss securing the nation’s cyber future at the showcase. The critical shortage of cybersecurity professionals and educators will be a primary topic of discussion at the showcase. Some estimates predict the shortfall nationally will surpass 250,000 by 2020.

“We are honored to be one of a select few universities invited to participate in the Cybersecurity CAE Showcase,” said UWF Center for Cybersecurity director Eman El-Sheikh, who will represent the University at the showcase. “Cybersecurity is critical to our economic and national security. The University of West Florida is leading efforts to advance cybersecurity education and workforce development through innovative programs and partnerships.”

Administered by the NSA and sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, National Science Foundation and National Institutes for Standards and Technology, the CAE program encompasses 260 universities and colleges in 47 states and territories. Created for robust cybersecurity education, research and workforce development, the program engages academic institutions, government and industry to address the cybersecurity discipline and workforce requirements.

UWF is designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and serves as one of nine Cybersecurity CAE Regional Resource Centers across the nation. As the regional cybersecurity hub for the Southeast, UWF provides leadership to advance cybersecurity education and workforce development among colleges and universities in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Puerto Rico.

For more information about the Center for Cybersecurity, visit