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Building the Future

Enhancing and Improving STEM Education

Kent State has created an Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the National Security Agency (NSA) that will enhance and improve STEM education. The partnership will include undergraduate and graduate students participating in any STEM-related program. These students will have the opportunity to earn academic credit for their contributions to NSA research projects. The EPA is a result of the university’s commitment to serving the interests of the U.S. intelligence community through ROTC, veterans student support and welcoming faculty. Kent State is also fortunate to have KSU alumnus Mounir Habig, ’01, as an internal champion at the NSA to cultivate a closer relationship between Kent State and the agency.

In 2022, Kent State was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (NCAE-CD) for the computer engineering technology program in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering.

"This partnership opens the doors to myriad opportunities," said Dr. Deniz Gurkan, official Kent State contact for the EPA and NSA NCAE-CD designation. “We will advance knowledge in many fields while also adding new frontiers into our curriculum through our collective intellectual expertise collaborating with the cybersecurity and intelligence community.”

As this partnership is still in the early phase, plans are being created to send KSU researchers to the NSA to participate in brainstorming sessions to explore collaborative project opportunities. These would then become cooperative agreements where the NSA would fund a research project or curricular development of programs with our faculty members. In addition, we would be able to host NSA scholars at KSU and vice versa with our faculty becoming scholars-in-residence at the NSA Cyber Command of the USA.

Potential partnership initiatives include direct engagement of students and faculty with NSA research, NSA involvement in curriculum development as well as access to innovative resources to enhance students’ learning experiences.

“We are committed to expanding KSU's contribution to the nation's cyber workforce development initiatives by increasing our engagement with the U.S. intelligence community,” said Christina Bloebaum, dean, College of Aeronautics and Engineering. “This partnership will provide proper pathways for our researchers to engage in projects with the NSA and other intelligence community partners.”

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