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Friday, November 09, 2012

SU Creates New Cybersecurity Program with Estonian Campuses

SALISBURY, MD---The cybersecurity industry is expected to grow more than 50 percent in the next four years, says The Baltimore Sun, and Salisbury University is poised to expand opportunities for students looking to enter the booming field.

University officials recently gathered in Annapolis to sign a memorandum of understanding for a new academic program with a prestigious Estonian campus, Tallinn University of Technology (TUT). The collaboration, which also involves the University of Tartu (UT), will allow SU students who are pursuing B.S. degrees in computer science, mathematics or information systems to complete their senior year in the newly created Salisbury Abroad: Cybersecurity Program in Estonia. After graduation, they may seamlessly continue on to earn an M.S. degree in cybersecurity or software engineering at TUT or UT.

“Salisbury University is pleased to support statewide initiatives and provide students opportunities at the forefront of this rapidly developing industry,” said Dr. Diane Allen, SU Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. “The new partnership builds on close relationships enjoyed between Maryland and Estonia for years. Faculty visits, cultural celebrations and study abroad opportunities, for example, all complement Salisbury’s ‘Sister City’ friendship with Tartu. We have welcomed the Ambassador and other distinguished Estonian friends to campus, and we look forward to future collaborations.”

Established in 1632, UT is one of the leading higher educational institutions in Europe. Estonia’s flagship for technical education, TUT is internationally recognized for its research and tech-related programs.

“Estonia is among the most advanced countries in the world in the area of cybersecurity,” said Dr. Karen Olmstead, dean of SU’s Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology. “Information and communications technology has become one of its largest industries. By gaining valuable skills in the protection of these systems, our students will have an edge as cybersecurity jobs grow in Maryland and North America.”

SU’s new cybersecurity program has been in development since 2009. In June, a delegation of SU faculty and administrators moved the initiative forward during meetings in Estonia with UT and TUT officials, as well as representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Interested undergraduate students may begin studying in Estonia as early as fall 2013. Program participants also are eligible for a highly-competitive internship at the NATO Centre.

In addition, SU officials are working with Maryland-based defense industry corporations to create a streamlined hiring process for program graduates. There will be no shortage of jobs, according to The Sun, since the region is home to U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, and numerous government contractors in the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

The new degree, the State’s first joint international program in cybersecurity, exemplifies SU’s dedication to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives, Olmstead added. In 2010, the University earned nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to increase graduates in STEM disciplines.

A Salisbury Abroad: Estonia partnership, which allows undergraduates to explore business and European studies abroad at the same cost as studying in Salisbury, began with UT in 2010.

“The Salisbury Abroad: Cybersecurity component is an exciting development to the original program, made possible by the hard work and support of colleagues in the Henson School and the administration,” said Dr. Brian Stiegler, director of SU’s Center for International Education.

Among the distinguished Estonian guests to visit campus over the years are former Estonian Ambassador Väino Reinart for a gala event in 2010 and Estonian Ambassador Marina Kaljurand for a policy lecture in 2012.

Pictured (top, from left) are Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation Secretary Leonard Howie; SU Associate Provost Melanie Perreault; Maryland Secretary of State John McDonough; Ülle Rajasalu, governor of Harju County Estonia; and Col. Aivar Salekešin, defence attaché of the Estonian Embassy. Also pictured are McDonough, Rajasalu, Olmstead, Governor of Harju Advisor Terje Lillo, and Stiegler.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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