Texas A&M-San Antonio partners with Facebook for cybersecurity education

August 29, 2018
In The News

Texas A&M University-San Antonio brokered a deal with Facebook enabling the college to be the first in Texas to join the social media company's Cyber Security University Program, officials announced Wednesday. 

This fall, the university is slated to offer a hybrid cybersecurity course to students underwritten by Facebook. It includes curriculum, mentorship, project development and training during a simulated cybersecurity attack side by side with Facebook employees in San Antonio. It also includes potential internships with Facebook for its students and scholarships to attend competitions like cybersecurity events Black Hat Conference and DEF CON in Las Vegas.

The program enables students to "attend Facebook-sponsored security training, conferences and interaction with Facebook employees," said Akhtar Lodgher, chair of Texas A&M-San Antonio's department of computing and cybersecurity, in a news release.

The deal was supported by U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, who was a computer science major at Texas A&M's campus in College Station.

Facebook's Stephanie Siteman, an information security program and operations manager overseeing the effort, said in a news release that the technology company saw opportunity in San Antonio because "our industry needs to reflect the diversity of the people we aim to protect."

Siteman said that the effort is among Facebook's core goals.

"We believe that we all have to work on creating an environment that is open and welcoming to different people with different backgrounds and different thoughts," she said.

That sentiment is similar to one shared by Northrop Grumman Corp.'s executive who oversees San Antonio's cybersecurity office, which seeks to tap the region's diverse cybersecurity talent pool.