Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kimberly Crider
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kimberly Crider

UTEP gets visit from National Leader in Cybersecurity

On Monday, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kimberly Crider, a national leader in cybersecurity, shared her expertise with The University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) researchers and encouraged female engineering students to continue to pursue and explore careers in the science and engineering industries.

“We are honored for Maj. Gen. Crider, a national authority in the field of cybersecurity, to visit our campus today to share her expertise and experience with our students and faculty,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “Maj. Gen. Crider’s insights will only deepen UTEP’s leadership in cybersecurity, as we develop critical relationships with our military and commercial partners to diversify the cybersecurity workforce and produce important cyber research.”

Crider, the former United States Space Force Chief Technology and Innovation Officer and former Air Force Chief Data Officer, was on campus Monday to discuss the future of cybersecurity and the potential for a new generation of women engineers.

“Cybersecurity is one of the critical issues of our time,” Crider said. “It underpins national security, commerce, transportation and many other essential functions of our society. To effectively manage and counteract cyber threats, we need highly trained individuals. The work UTEP is doing to prepare students from diverse backgrounds with cyber skills is important, and I am thankful for the opportunity to support this mission.”

UTEP is one of only 21 institutions nationally designated as a Center for Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency (NSA) in both cyber defense and cyber operations.

UTEP offers a variety of cybersecurity-focused degrees, primarily through its computer science department. These degrees include: B.S. in Computer Science with a concentration in Secure Cyber-Systems and an M.S. in Software Engineering with a concentration in Secure Cyber-Systems, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security for students already holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The computer science department also hosts a Scholarship for Service program sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation, which provides scholarship and training to students interested in careers in cybersecurity with the federal government upon graduation.

“We have been working tirelessly on our efforts to engage young women by infusing essential STEM curriculum into their learning not only on the UTEP campus, but also at the middle and high school levels,” said Ann Quiroz Gates, Ph.D., a nationally recognized computer science scholar and director of the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

“We will continue to do our part to ensure that our graduates, particularly women, are equipped with the proper education and training to thrive in a very competitive job market.”

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