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Honors for cybersecurity students


UH West Oʻahu cybersecurity students receive honors. Image courtesy of UHWO Staff

University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu cybersecurity students were honored by the Hawai‘i State Senate and the National Security Agency for their recent achievements and accomplishments at the UH West O‘ahu Cybersecurity Coordination Center and Red Team Award Ceremony on March 9, 2023.

The UH West O‘ahu Cybersecurity Program is currently ranked No. 14 in the country by the National Cyber League in overall college power rankings and No. 7 in the Western Region of the U.S. These rankings, which are based on top team performance, top student’s individual performance, and the aggregate individual performance of students, represent the ability of students to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks on the Cyber Skyline platform, according to the website. The website noted that “students had to identify hackers from forensic data, pentest and audit vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more.” Every year, more than 10,000 students from more than 500 colleges and universities and 100 high schools across the US participate in the NCL competitions. 

Additionally, student Jonathan Means earned an individual ranking as one of the top 100 students in the U.S. in a pool of more than 7,000 competitors, which included graduate students.

“We awarded some very talented and skilled students for their achievements, and invited back some of our Cybersecurity Center graduates, who are now working hard to protect our state and national critical services,” Professor of Computer Science and Cybersecurity Matt Chapman said. “Bringing together this group was really exciting for me personally, having our students and graduates together to share their experiences and accomplishments.”

The 2022 UH West O‘ahu Red Team (Captain Anthony Eich, Jonathan Means, Nina Pandya, Chad Miura, Casey Kuwada, Brendon Sarisky, Christopher Lopez, with coach Chapman) members received a Certificate of Recognition by the Hawai‘i State Senate, sponsored by Sen. Michelle Kidani.

“We are incredibly honored by the recognition awarded by the Hawai‘i State Senate,” Chapman said. “I can’t tell you how much we appreciate Sen. Kidani sponsoring this effort, and the entire Senate for honoring these talented, hard-working students, who will play a big part in protecting our state from cyber threats.” 

The National Security Agency recognized UH West O‘ahu for its team participation in the National Centers of Academic Excellence NSA Cyber Exercise (CAE-NCX) in April 2022. The UH West O‘ahu CAE was invited to participate and compete in the exercise that was originally designed for the U.S. service academies. The invitation to compete in this event was a “great honor for our program,” according to Chapman.

UH West Oʻahu cybersecurity students receive honors. Image courtesy of UHWO Staff