Grand Canyon University's Cyber Center of Excellence (CCE) is a cyber range with a dedicated server room. The CCE provides a hands-on learning environment that combines apprenticeship with real-world experiences to develop competence and knowledge. Based on a "hackers with halos" code of conduct combined with technical controls, the CCE is a place where participants can think like a hacker without breaking laws or compromising fundamental ethical principles.
The Cyber Center of Excellence is used for campus and community involvement, including:
- Community education and awareness
- Certification Preparation Center
- Research and vulnerability discovery
- Faculty and staff skill development
- Industry expert discussions
- Red team exercises and events
- Blue team exercises and events
- Capture the Flag (CTF) events and competitions
- Technology Club meetings, events and study groups
- Showcasing student projects
- Connections with industry partners
- Multiple cyber camps
Read through the Cyber Center of Excellence Code of Conduct for rules, guidelines and expectations of CCE usage.
For more information on how to access the CCE, please contact the Cyber Range Coordinators by emailing [email protected].
In the workplace and at home, we continue to become increasingly connected through digital devices and data. Security talent is essential for enterprises, small businesses, consumers and the government to protect these technological systems and digital information from cyber threats and attacks. This means the cybersecurity industry demands more trained and skilled professionals to secure these entities.
Grand Canyon University's (GCU) College of Science, Engineering and Technology addresses rapid technological and innovative advancements in relation to cybersecurity by offering industry-informed IT degree programs. As a graduate of IT and cybersecurity, you will have the preparation and education to pursue a career in these STEM fields. The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Career and Studies (NICCS) lists various types of job opportunities in cybersecurity.
GCU's Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cybersecurity by the National Security Agency (NSA). To be designated as a CAE, the institution must meet stringent criteria, including mapping curricula to a core set of knowledge units. This degree trains you to problem solve using technology and computer programming, while also leveraging previous experience or approved certifications.
A security capstone project and applied, hands-on activities prepare you to enter the fast-growing, in-demand field of cybersecurity and information technology. You will gain an in-depth understanding and theoretical knowledge in cyber operations planning and execution, cybercrime and cyber law, as well as digital forensic investigations, security architecture, information assurance and secure system administration.
As well, the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity degree offers a direct focus on the cybersecurity industry to produce highly skilled professionals. With an emphasis on real-world applications, students will gain extensive knowledge in the defense of all digital spaces while learning the fundamentals of data security and network architecture design.
With both degrees, students gain theoretical knowledge through firsthand projects and experiences that help them become marketable to the industry upon graduation.
GCU takes a “Hacker with Halos” perspective with cybersecurity education. Students are learning skills that they can use to help protect, serve and educate people, businesses and government. We discuss the ethical considerations we need to take when asked to use our skills to help protect and defend and how that fits into our Christian worldview.
Dr. Pam Rowland
Dr. Pam Rowland is the associate dean of computer sciences and technology in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Grand Canyon University. She holds a D.Sc. in Information Systems from Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. Dr. Rowland came to GCU with 15 years of higher ed experience as a tenured faculty and has also held various administrative positions. Her areas of teaching include cybersecurity and computer science. Dr. Rowland’s research interest focuses on the social inclusion and growth of females in cybersecurity. Her passion project is CybHER,™ which she co-founded. This project focuses on empowering, motivating, educating and changing the perception of girls and women in cybersecurity. The project has been supported by grants from the NSA, NSF, NCWIT and the AAUW. Dr. Rowland has experience in building high-performing teams, promoting partnerships, recruiting and retaining students through mentorship, building diverse teams and writing and administering grants. Her core value is to honor God through serving, mentoring and forming relationships.
Dr. Brandy Harris
Dr. Brandy Harris is the assistant dean and an assistant professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Grand Canyon University. She holds an EdD in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Education. With nearly 20 years of experience in both private and public schools as a teacher and faculty mentor, she has become specialized in facilitating cooperative educational environments that support diverse learners. Dr. Harris’ focus on inclusive education motivates her research interests of increasing underrepresented populations in STEM fields and supporting neuro-divergent students in technology programs. Dr. Harris contributes to cybersecurity workforce development initiatives by mentoring schools seeking Center of Academic Excellence designation from the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. In addition, she has previously served as an educational program reviewer for the State of Arizona and has participated in committee work on community cybersecurity education with the Arizona Governor’s office.
Technology Advisory Board
Each semester, the Technology Advisory Board meets to discuss goals, progress and direction of the technology programs at Grand Canyon University. The CAE designation and requirements are discussed and input from board members is taken into consideration to advance workforce development in cybersecurity. The advisory board consists of individuals who are professionals in technology positions. They provide insight into what is trending in the industry and offer advice to GCU faculty about current needs and developments.
Steven Faulkner, an Arizona native, is the coordinator of Grand Canyon University's Cyber Center of Excellence (CCE). Steven is a GCU alum and earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security (2019). Steven has over sixteen years of experience as a network administrator with several non-profit organizations. Combining that with his education, he has become a thought-leader in cyber operations. Steven believes God has called him to demonstrate Christ's love to all, specifically students, proving that Christians can live for Christ and serve in the responsible utilization of technology. Steven has enjoyed one of the most rewarding experiences during his tenure in the CCE at GCU. He has demonstrated that minorities interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry can achieve it and thrive. Steven is a self-starter and has strong networking, communication and infrastructure leadership skills. He is an experienced organizational leader with strong team building and instructional skills. Steven's lifelong commitment is to continuously show Christ's love to all in every aspect of life. Steven enjoys traveling, serving in his church as a leader, cooking, spending time with family, skating and finding opportunities to be a servant leader.
Joseph Urbaszewski (Joe Urbz) leads the Cyber Center of Excellence as a cyber range coordinator at Grand Canyon University and serves as an adjunct instructor for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. His nearly 30 years of education experience in both the private and public sector has transformed him into the organizational leader he is today. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Roosevelt University as well as K-12 CTE teaching certificates in Arizona and California for media production, IT and cyber. He also holds multiple certifications in the field of IT including COMPTIA (A+, N+, Security+) and LRSA/LRPA from LogRhythm. Joe has instructed Pearson certifications for both Adobe and Cisco Academy as well as serving and served as a technology advisor for several public schools in California and Arizona. Joe was previously honored with the coveted ROP/CTE California Teacher of the Year award, a Rotary Community Service Above Self award for his volunteerism and has been the focus of multiple news and magazine articles for his thought-leadership in the field of education and technology.