The Georgia Power Foundation continued its support for higher education by presenting the College of Coastal Georgia with $10,000 towards the College's cyber defense program. The donation is being used to equip the Cyber Defense Classroom and Lab for student instruction.
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Cyber Defense, is housed in the College's School of Business and Public Management. The cyber defense major allows students to master essential skills in understanding network defense, database management systems, cyber-crime, cyber security, security design, and cryptography. Due to the generosity of Georgia Power, the Cyber Defense Classroom Lab has been equipped with server upgrades, firewalls, and other needed equipment to support student learning. The lab will be used to teach and demonstrate critical infrastructure defense concepts, basic and advanced networking concepts, virtual environmental testing, and other curricula.
(Left to right) Cyber Defense student Destinie Neal, Georgia Power Company Area Manager Dialo Cartwright, Assistant Professor of Cyber Defense and Criminal Justice Dr. Nelbert "Doc" St. Clair, and Dean of the School of Business and Public Management Dr. Skip Mounts, stand next to a new server in the Cyber Defense Classroom and Lab. The purchase was made possible due to the generosity of the Georgia Power Foundation.
"At Georgia Power, we value safety and trust. With an increasingly digital world, we know there are vulnerabilities online that can put many people at risk," said Dialo Cartwright, area manager at Georgia Power Company. "We are more than happy to support the education of students who are learning how to keep information safe so that people and businesses can continue to thrive."
The creation and equipping of the lab will help in the program's goal of being designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD). This designation was jointly created by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As of June 2020, 290 institutions are awarded this honor, and in Georgia, only 10—Coastal Georgia wants to be added to that list. If this designation is achieved, Coastal Georgia will become the only CAE-CD institution to combine criminal justice and cybersecurity.
Dr. Nelbert "Doc" St. Clair is the assistant professor of Cyber Defense and Criminal Justice. He considered it a great honor to know that a big company like Georgia Power is thinking about the College—in particular, a small, new concentration.
"It means that they care enough about cyber security and want to make sure that people are safe in the area," St. Clair said. "I want to thank the Georgia Power Foundation and Dialo Cartwright for thinking about us and helping the program. I believe that because of this donation, it will help improve the lives of cyber defense students."
To recognize Georgia Power's support, the College named classroom 107 in the Coffin Building, the "Georgia Power Cyber Defense Classroom," which will endure for the useful life of the classroom.