Center for Cyber Defense Education


UNCW Center for Cyber Defense Education Joins Academic Engagement Network of U.S. Cyber Command

February 18, 2022

UNCW announces its membership in the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) Academic Engagement Network (AEN). The AEN includes 84 colleges and universities working with USCYBERCOM headquarters, Joint Force HQ-DODIN, the Cyber National Mission Force, Air Force Cyber Command, Army Cyber Command, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, and the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command. The goals of this strategic partnership are to engage future workforce, increase cyber applied research and innovation, expand cyber-focused analytic partnerships, and enrich strategic dialogue.

“Cyber Command’s goal for the AEN is to strengthen our relationships and communication with these participating institutions,” said USCYBERCOM’s Executive Director David Frederick. “This will improve and sustain our efforts to meet cyberspace educational requirements and workforce needs.”

“UNCW is thrilled to partner with USCYBERCOM,” stated Dr. Ulku Clark, director of UNCW’s Center for Cyber Defense Education. “There are six major military installations within 100 miles of UNCW. We are looking forward to supporting USCYBERCOM by filling military and civilian cybersecurity vacancies with our graduates of five different UNCW cybersecurity programs, and by our faculty focusing their research on some of the USCYBERCOM technical challenge problems.”

For the full story, click here.

WITX Educates Community on Cybersecurity

April 9, 2019

Dr. Ulku Clark and Dr. Jose V. Sartarelli

This year's Wilmington Information Technology eXchange (WITX) carried a theme of cybersecurity with keynote speakers from the FBI and U.S. Cyber Command and the opening ceremony of UNCW's Center for Cyber Defense Education. This year's event broke its own attendance record again with 574 attendees. Read more about this event via the two news stories linked below, and view the photos from the event here.

Cyber Security Was Hot Topic at Wilmington Information Technology Exchange (WWAY)

UNCW Hopes To Prepare 'Cyber Warriors' To Combat Future Cyber Threats (GWBJ)

UNCW CCDE to Hold Opening Ceremony at 2019 Wilmington Information Technology eXchange

April 9, 2019


It is free to attend the exhibits and Ignite! presentations. For more information, visit

Drs. Clark, Stoker and Baker Present at 2019 Wilmington Biz Expo

March 27, 2019

Dr. Ulku Clark Dr. Elizabeth Baker

[Photos, L to R: Dr. Ulku Clark and Dr. Elizabeth Baker.]

The UNCW CCDE sponsored two seminars at the annual Wilmington Biz Expo on March 27.

Dr. Ulku Clark and Dr. Geoff Stoker's presentation covered the background of the UNCW Center for Cyber Defense Education, its importance to students and the community, and also some of the major cybersecurity threats our nation is currently facing.

Dr. Elizabeth Baker's presentation, titled "Held for Random(ware): Your Data...And Your Company. How NOT to Be a Victim" provided attendees with an overview of randomware and how both businesses and individuals can protect themselves from falling victim to this type of cyber crime.

UNCW Receives Federal Recognition as a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

November 9, 2018


(Photo: Dr. Ron Vetter and Dr. Ulku Clark accept the certificate for CAE-CD designation)

UNCW has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, a designation that will enable students to compete for federal and private cyber security jobs. The label means that UNCW’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a minor in cyber security meets the academic standards set by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

Ulku Clark, professor of management information systems, was instrumental in shepherding the university’s application through the lengthy process.

“Cyber security is a very important field because our systems are so exposed,” she said. “On almost a daily basis, we hear that some system has been compromised or that data have been stolen.”

The DHS and the NSA have made it a priority to encourage universities and community colleges to offer degree programs that meet the agencies’ rigorous standards as a means to improving the nation’s computer networks. Students who go through programs with the Center of Academic Excellence designation have a significant advantage in securing jobs with federal agencies as well as top private cyber security companies.

UNCW’s 2016-21 Strategic Plan emphasizes graduating students who are equipped with critical workforce skills and preparing them to compete in a constantly evolving job market.

The curriculum will provide students with up-to-date strategies and tools to safeguard computer networks. It is designed especially for students interested in a career with federal agencies that require employees with the most current knowledge about how to protect networks from hacking and data theft. As hackers become more sophisticated, government agencies, private businesses and individual computer owners have to adopt a comprehensive approach to network security, Clark said.

“Security is like an onion,” Clark explained. “You need layers and layers of security, not just a firewall and antivirus software. We also need to teach people how to track who is accessing data and how to prevent breaches.” The cyber security minor and DHS/NSA designation represent a collaboration between the Cameron School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences.

“With technology playing a vital role in our global economy, universities must graduate more students who have the skills needed to help combat hacking and other threats to cyber security,” said CSB Dean Rob Burrus. “The DHS/NSA designation positions UNCW as a university that maintains the highest standards in cyber defense education.”

In April 2018, UNCW launched the Center for Cyber Defense Education, which is dedicated to raising awareness about information security issues for UNCW students, faculty and staff.

-- Tricia Vance