USA Signs Educational Partnership Agreement with U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command
Posted on August 21, 2023 by Keith Lynn
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, AL, is dedicated to fostering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education initiatives that encourage innovative activities which grow the national STEM workforce community. In May 2023, the University of South Alabama formalized a long-standing partnership with SMDC through establishment of an Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA). USA President Jo Bonner and SMDC Deputy to the Commander Mr. Richard De Fatta met to sign the agreement during a visit to the School of Computing on May 31.
"Our MOU with the University of South Alabama signifies the beginning of a key SMDC partnership with yet another academic institution in the areas of Cybersecurity and Protective Technologies development," De Fatta said. "This collaboration brings increased awareness of Army requirements and activities in this critical research, shapes future efforts, and will equip students with the necessary skills to navigate the cyber challenges we face today and in the future. I'm excited about our cooperative efforts and impressed with the dedication and abilities of Dr. McDonald's team."
This essentially broadens the opportunities for faculty and student involvement with researchers at SMDC in areas of mutual interest and concern and broadens exposure of the U.S. Army mission to our students in order to grow the national STEM workforce. Over the five year agreement period, USA will continue to host visits from SMDC that will aid development of coursework and help provide academic and career advice for students interested in pursuing future careers in the technical and scientific workforce of the U.S. Army. The EPA further gives the possibility for loans of surplus equipment from SMDC that would enhance science, mathematics and engineering education at USA. Dr. Todd McDonald, director of the Center for Forensics, Information Technology, and Security (CFITS) helped establish the agreement with partnering efforts from Mr. Terry Carlson, Command Chief Cyber Strategist from SMDC.
"We are extremely happy about the prospect of partnering with Dr. McDonald and the other University of South Alabama professors to work with the students at all levels on these cybersecurity and protective technologies efforts," Carlson said. "This collaboration holds the potential to shape a future and equip students with the necessary skills to navigate the cyber challenges we face today and will face in the future."
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