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UWF’s First Place Award on a National Stage

The University of West Florida received the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Community Outreach first place award at the 2023 NCAE-C Symposium in Seattle, Washington, in June.


“The UWF Center for Cybersecurity’s talented faculty and staff have created an exceptional array of community outreach programs tailored to the distinct needs of our various community partners,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “We are grateful that the NCAE-C has taken notice of our work and recognized us with this top honor. This award is a testament to the University’s commitment to meeting the needs of students, the region and the state.”

The UWF Center for Cybersecurity received the first place award for its outstanding community outreach activities that promote cybersecurity awareness, education and research including:

  • Annual events and campaigns for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week
  • Night of Cyber which highlights cybersecurity career opportunities and UWF cybersecurity programs
  • Cybersecurity training and exercises for state and local government personnel that leverage the Center’s Florida Cyber Range®
  • UWF Cybersecurity Ambassadors who visit local area schools to engage students and teachers in cybersecurity and increase interest in cybersecurity education and careers
  • GenCyber Summer Camps that provide in-depth introduction to the world of cybersecurity for middle and high school students with hands-on experiences with real-world labs
  • Professional development sessions for UWF students, including resume writing workshops and career information sessions with employers
  • The Southeast CAE-C Designation Ceremony and Forum for CAE-C designated institutions faculty and staff
  • Virtual forums, regional cyber competitions, monthly digests and other events across the Southeast CAE-C region
  • Local and regional events and organizations, including the ITEN Wired Conference and establishing the Florida Women in Cybersecurity Affiliate

The NCAE-C Community Outreach Award was established to showcase the Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity designated institutions and recognize their outstanding community outreach initiatives. Institutions’ outreach activities are evaluated for their impact, diversity and effort. Award winners are determined by a committee of peers representing the CAE-Cyber Defense Community of Practice from across the country. More than 400 universities and colleges designated as CAE-C institutions across the U.S. were eligible for the award.

UWF was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity in 2016 and redesignated in 2022. The UWF Center for Cybersecurity serves as the Southeast CAE-C regional hub. The Center also leads the National Cybersecurity Workforce Development Program, which has trained more than 1,700 transitioning military, first responders and veterans for cybersecurity jobs over the past three years, and serves as a scalable solution to address the national cybersecurity workforce gap.

Institutions that receive CAE-C designation have met the rigorous requirements set forth by the sponsor of the program, the National Security Agency, and demonstrated excellence and top quality in their education, research, students and faculty.

For more information on the UWF Center for Cybersecurity, visit uwf.edu/cybersecurity.