Doug Twitchell, associate professor in the School of Information Technology and director of the Center for Information Assurance and Security Education (CIASE), and Mary Elaine Califf, director of the School of Information Technology, accepted the Center of Academic Excellence award at the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education 2015 conference. The award extends the CIASE’s designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through 2020.

The award was presented by Leonard T. Reinsfelder, associate director for education and training at the National Security Agency (NSA), along with Lynne Clark, chief of the National Information Assurance Education and Training Program at the NSA, and Jacqueline Sullivan, acting program lead for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity Training & Education Program.

The honor places Illinois State among the leading institutions in the United States for information assurance and cybersecurity education and provides students with opportunities for federal scholarships in those areas of study. The National Center of Academic Excellence designation program promotes higher education in information assurance and cyberdefense and prepares professionals to meet the growing security needs of the nation’s information networks. Illinois State first received the National Center of Academic Excellence designation in 2009.

“This designation shows that Illinois State continues to excel in educating the next generation of leaders in this field,” Twitchell said.