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CCI’s CyberExL Program Is Giving Graduate Students Hands-On Experience

December 13, 2021

The Coastal Virginia region of the statewide Commonwealth Cyber Initiative  (CCI COVA) is pleased to announce that 13 students from three Coastal Virginia universities—Norfolk State University, William & Mary, and Old Dominion University—have been selected for the upcoming cohort of CyberExL, an interdisciplinary CCI COVA graduate student experiential learning program that is designed to give graduate students hands-on experience to help their future careers in cybersecurity and technology. 

Originally known as the Graduate Experiential Learning program, CyberExL is in its second year of partnering with industry, faculty, researchers, and university administrators to provide experiential learning opportunities for COVA CCI graduate students. 

CyberExL is currently based at William & Mary where the new CyberExL program facilitator, Stephanie Blackmon, is an associate professor. 

“CyberExL is an excellent way for graduate students to put what they are learning in their classes into practice by addressing real-world cybersecurity challenges, and they do so with the mentorship and support of engaged placement supervisors who are invested in the students’ success as future cybersecurity professionals.” Blackmon said. “That was also a part of the rebranding for the program–to have a name that reflects the previous and continued work of this program: helping graduate students excel in cyber by providing experiential learning opportunities that support their success. As program facilitator, I am especially happy to be working with students and placements across disciplines and areas of cybersecurity and technology. We have an outstanding group of students and first-rate placements for this upcoming cohort.”  

Brian Payne, CCI COVA Node director and vice provost for academic affairs at Old Dominion University, looks forward to welcoming the upcoming cohort of CyberExL students and supervisors. “We are so fortunate to have such a high caliber of students and dedicated partners within the academy and industry. Opportunities like CyberExL are very beneficial for the students and placements, and add to the state’s reputation as a hub for cybersecurity research and development.” 

CyberExL begins Jan. 10, 2022, ending May 6. The students and their placements are as follows: 

Oshay Edwards
Mitchell Harrison
Woosub	Jung
Michael Love
Kluvert	Mornot
Chelsey	Noble
Xavier	Palmer
Audrey	Story
Bailey	Walker
Yao	Wang
Keming	Wu
Amira	Yagoub
Jennifer	Zhang