Texas A&M University-San Antonio to offer Facebook-sponsored Cyber Security University Program

By University Communications

Wednesday, 08 29 2018

SAN ANTONIO — Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) announced today that it is the latest university to join the Facebook Cyber Security University Program and is the first in Texas. The program will position A&M-SA as a prominent leader in the cyber security education community and provide students a variety of benefits, such as enhanced curriculum, mentorship opportunities, project development and hands-on training in combating simulated cyber attacks.

Beginning this fall, A&M-SA will offer a hybrid course in cyber security sponsored by Facebook. Participating students earn three semester credit hours, while top-performing students will have the opportunity to pursue internships with Facebook and scholarships to attend special industry competitions, including the Black Hat Conference and DEF CON in Las Vegas.

“This exciting new program will allow our students to attend Facebook-sponsored security training, conferences and interaction with Facebook employees,” said Dr. Akhtar Lodgher, chair of the Department of Computing and Cyber Security and director of the Center for Information Technology and Cyber Security (CITCS). Dr. Lodgher said this trailblazing alliance will benefit the students by giving them the knowledge and skills required of the world's best companies. It will also help the CITCS forge similar partnerships with other industry leaders.

U.S. Congressman Will Hurd also noted the benefits that the Facebook course will bring to San Antonio, which is home to the second-largest concentration of cyber security experts in the nation. “Prioritizing STEM educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds drives innovation across every industry, strengthens our economy, and maintains our national security,” said Hurd, a computer science major at Texas A&M and former cybersecurity expert who proudly represents San Antonio, home to an emerging tech sector. “This partnership will help produce quality tech talent to join our city’s workforce, and further distinguish San Antonio as Cyber City, USA.”

“Our industry needs to reflect the diversity of people we aim to protect,” said Stephanie Siteman, an information security program and operations manager at Facebook. “We believe we all have to work on creating an environment that is open and welcoming to different people, with different backgrounds and different thoughts,” she said. 

“Participating in this exclusive cyber security program with Facebook will help A&M-San Antonio attract the best and brightest to our University to pursue careers in IT security. Facebook’s commitment to inclusive excellence is evident in this commitment to San Antonio,” said Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of A&M-SA. “It will also help bolster the city’s leadership position in the cyber security industry.”

For more information, contact LaMarriol Smith, A&M-SA senior communications specialist at (210) 784-1103 or Lamarriol.Smith@tamusa.edu.

About Texas A&M University-San Antonio
With a nearly 700-acre Main Campus to accommodate expansion, the Military Embracing™ university welcomed its inaugural freshmen class in August 2016 and is now a comprehensive four-year university. Currently enrolling approximately 6,000 students, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is one of the fastest-growing universities in the state. To learn more, visit tamusa.edu.