Northrop Grumman Renews Commitment to ACES Program

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The University of Maryland announced on November 23, 2015 that Northrop Grumman, the ACES Program's founding corporate partner, has renewed their commitment to the program with a $2.76 million gift from the Northrop Grumman Foundation. The ACES Program is very excited to continue the partnership and working together over the next three years.

The following excerpt is from the University of Maryland press release:

The ACES program – the nation’s first honors program in cybersecurity – was launched by UMD's Honors College in 2012 with support from the Northrop Grumman Foundation to address a critical, national strategic need. Since its inception, the ACES program has offered 65 percent more credits than originally targeted and served 50 percent more students than originally anticipated. ACES began as a living-learning program for freshman and sophomore students. With this renewed commitment, the program will now expand to offer a more advanced cybersecurity curriculum to juniors and seniors, culminating in an ACES minor.

"The support that the Northrop Grumman Foundation has committed in support of the ACES program shows how important this type of workforce is to the nation," says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD's senior vice president and provost. "This generous gift will allow us to continue to educate and train our students to be future cybersecurity leaders and meet the growing needs in the nation and state."

"We are delighted with the growth of the ACES program and the surge of interest among students from several dozen different disciplines at the University of Maryland," says Sandra Evers-Manly, President, Northrop Grumman Foundation. "We hope that our continued support will help the program reach and attract an even greater and more diverse population of students."

The gift from the Northrop Grumman Foundation will allow ACES to prepare a larger, more diverse student body for leadership roles in this burgeoning field through extended instruction and program administration; an enhanced experiential learning environment; scholarships for recruiting and retaining a diverse, high-achieving student body; and dedicated spaces on campus for the ACES program to thrive. 

The full press release is available on the UMD Right Now website(link is external)The gift was also featured in a Diamondback article on November 22, 2015:

Growing from a two-year living-learning experience into a four-year program featuring a 16-credit minor, ACES’s success has attracted students from several disciplines, including mathematics, engineering, computer science, business, music, criminology and psychology, Cukier said.

“The goal is to have the best students at cybersecurity in the region,” he said. “We not only want to bring students into the field, but also bring diversity into STEM and keep [students] in the region.” Cukier said he seeks to not only include students from a diverse range of majors, but also to attract women and underrepresented minority students to the program. As of today, women make up 24 percent of ACES’s student body, and women and minority students together comprise 30 percent of the program, he said.

The program’s hands-on experiences, coupled with the instruction offered by prominent cybersecurity experts and the emphasis on leadership training, provides an advantage for students as they enter the job market, he said.

The full article is available through the Diamondback's website(link is external). The Diamondback is the University of Maryland's independent student newspaper.

Published November 24, 2015