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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 Programs
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 several federal agencies.

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

  • Professor
  • Head of Cyber Programs of Study
  • Point of Contact, 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
  • Program Director, MS ISM
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

students at computer

Augusta University students get rare close-up look at Fort Gordon cybersecurity jobs

“For our students to be part of VICEROY is a fantastic opportunity. It allows us to take them on events like the tour we just did to Fort Gordon, as well as provide them with incentives for completing coursework in cybersecurity, strategic foreign languages, data science and math foundations of cryptography,” said Michael Nowatkowski, PhD, head of the Cyber Programs of Study at SCCS.

Army major general and university president stand with jaguar mascot.

Augusta University, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence partner to create two online master’s programs to better serve soldiers

United States servicemembers stationed at Fort Gordon and around the world will now have the opportunity to further their education at their own pace and from wherever they are located, thanks to an ongoing partnership between Augusta University and the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence (CCoE).

group of people standing in an auditorium

Augusta University hosts collegiate cybersecurity competition for fourth year

“The competition emphasizes being immersed and role-playing as a company,” said cybersecurity student and team captain Eliana Lopez. "We have to see how much data we can discover and uncover, and push our way into seeing how much we can get." 

Professor in classroom

Augusta University re-designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

“This affirmation of our cybersecurity programs provides excellent opportunities not only internal to Augusta University, but also extends our ability to partner and collaborate with other CAE schools," said Dr. Michael Nowatkowski.