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A Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

CAE Designation Seals

From the Cyber Program Director:

Michael Nowatkowski
Dr. Michael Nowatkowski,
Head of the Cyber Program
of Study & Center for

Point of Contact

Augusta University is proud to be a designated Center of Academic Excellence, specifically in the area of Cyber Defense (CAE-CD). This designation is sponsored jointly by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security.

All regionally accredited two-year, four-year and graduate level institutions in the United States are eligible to apply for a Center of Academic Excellence designation.  The goal of the CAE-CD designation is to offer programs designed to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise. Augusta University's School of Computer and Cyber Sciences is in an elite class of higher education institutions, as less than 250 universities nationwide have the Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense designation! Visit the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense to learn more about the Centers of Academic Excellence designation.

The School of Computer and Cyber Sciences Center for Cybersecurity engages with a variety of communities to carry out the mission of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, to include serving as the Augusta University representative to the National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C) program. As such, the Center for Cybersecurity is the lead effort for Augusta University Center of Academic Excellence designations to include our current designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The Center's vision is to attract top students to the school’s degree programs and top research initiatives to our talented faculty. 

Our program of study is our Cyber Defender Certificates program. Our certificate program is designed to prepare students for success in entry-level technology careers. The certificate program is open to all students at Augusta University, regardless of their program of study.

As cybersecurity students in the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, you have access to many student activities and resources. We highly encourage students to join one of our student organizations, including the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) club and Upsilon Pi Epsilon, our honors society chapter for computing and information disciplines.

Cybersecurity Faculty

photo of Michael Nowatkowski, CISSP

Michael Nowatkowski, CISSP

  • Head of Cyber Program of Study and
  • Center for Cybersecurity
photo of Gokila Dorai

Gokila Dorai

  • Assistant Professor
photo of Jay Heslen

Jay Heslen

  • Assistant Professor
photo of Ron Martin, CISSP

Ron Martin, CISSP

  • Assistant Professor
photo of Hoda Maleki

Hoda Maleki

  • Assistant Professor
photo of Jeff Morris, CISSP

Jeff Morris, CISSP

  • Assistant Professor
photo of James Smith

James Smith

  • Assistant Professor
photo of Paul York

Paul York

  • Assistant Professor

External Advisory Board

The role of the External Advisory Board is to provide input and guidance to the Center for Cybersecurity and the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences to achieve our center's mission of attracting top students to our school's academic programs and research initiatives.

Board members include:

Doug Burks, CEO, Security Onion Solutions

Dr. Raheem Beyah, Dean of the College of Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Jon Dollan, Cyber Strategy Director, Savannah River Nuclear Laboratory

Phillip Greer, CEO, Real Lawyers

LTG Rhett Hernandez, Cyber Chair, Army Cyber Institute

Scott Monnig, Vice President, Rural Sourcing Inc.


Cybersecurity News

Male student

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Soon-to-be grad loves the ‘whole picture’ of cyber operations

“As we get more and more connected to the internet, this field is only going to become more relevant,” Henry said. “It’s not going away at all, probably ever.”

Woman smiling

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Beatriz Rodriguez wants to make a difference in the field

Beatriz Rodriguez, a student the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, wants to make a difference in cybersecurity as a woman in STEM.

lock with security badge outline

School of Computer and Cyber Sciences faculty receive $569,000 National Science Foundation award

“I believe that this project will lead to significant advancement of digital forensics practices and will provide a delicate balance between effective use of digital evidence and Fourth Amendment privacy rights,” said Dr. Gokila Dorai, principal investigator.

cyber space

School of Computer and Cyber Sciences faculty awarded $495,000 NSA grant

"This new award from NSA shows our increasing momentum in cybersecurity and privacy," says Dr. Alex Schwarzmann, dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.