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NDSU faculty among group honored by governor

NDSU Department of Computer Science faculty members are part of a group that received the Roaming Bison Award from North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. They are members of the ND K-20W Initiative Team, which has worked to create educational opportunities for students at all levels in the areas of computing and cybersecurity.

Kendall E. Nygard, Pratap Kotala, Brian Slator and Jeremy Straub worked with partners from more than 40 other agencies and private sector firms as part of the initiative. According to the award citation, the effort developed a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive cyber education strategy for North Dakotans from kindergarten through doctorate and into the workforce. The group’s work established North Dakota as a national leader in cyber education.

NDSU has launched educational opportunities in cybersecurity at all levels of collegiate education. At the undergraduate level, the Department of Computer Science offers a departmental recognition in cybersecurity. At the graduate level, the Department offers options in cybersecurity as part of its master’s and doctoral programs in computer science and software engineering. The department also recently announced a degree completion plan for the computer science doctoral program allowing students to focus coursework and research on cybersecurity education, which prepares them to be the next generation of college faculty in this important area.

“K-20W has brought together people from across the state with a goal of preparing the security workforce of tomorrow,” said assistant professor Jeremy Straub, who serves as the coordinator of cybersecurity programs in the Department of Computer Science.  “It has truly been a demonstration of what can be accomplished when you get lots of people with different skills and from different companies and state agencies together to work on a complex problem.”

In addition to activities at the university level, the effort also was supported by the development of standards for computing and cyber science at the K-12 level by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. The K-20W Initiative was led by Rosi Kloberdanz, director of North Dakota EduTech.

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North Dakota State University
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