Dakota State University (DSU) and ArmyCyber (ARCYBER) have entered into a significant Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA), marking a milestone collaboration in the field of cybersecurity. The agreement, signed during a ceremony at DSU on June 19, aims to foster joint research, collaboration, educational programs, and professional projects for the mutual benefit of both entities.
This partnership holds special significance as it encompasses all five mission objectives of ARCYBER, namely, to operate, defend, attack, influence, and inform. It represents the first of its kind for ARCYBER, signifying the comprehensive nature of the cooperation between the two organizations.
Expressing her pride and excitement, Lt. Gen Maria Barrett, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, stated, "We are proud and excited to broaden our relationship with Dakota State University. DSU's students and faculty have proven to be innovative, skilled, and forward-thinking — just the kind of talented, focused, and driven young minds our nation needs in its cyber workforce to counter our cyber adversaries and defend the networks and critical infrastructure that are vital to our nation."
Over the course of the five-year agreement, DSU and ArmyCyber will gain a deeper understanding of each other's needs and capabilities. DSU President José-Marie Griffiths emphasized that this awareness will enable students to explore diverse cyber career paths, including civilian roles within the military. This partnership also paves the way for students to be at the forefront of emerging job opportunities in the cybersecurity landscape.
Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota commended DSU's commitment to excellence and remarked, "DSU is giving students the kind of career opportunities that they can't get anywhere else." She further emphasized the state's dedication to raising the bar in cybersecurity and creating new precedents, setting an example for universities nationwide.
The signing ceremony also served as an inspiring occasion for over 100 middle school girls attending DSU's GenCyber Girls in CybHER® camp. Lt. Gen Maria Barrett, Governor Kristi Noem, and U.S. Senator Mike Rounds highlighted the significance of the partnership to the campers, underscoring the doors that the EPA can open for their future careers in cybersecurity.
U.S. Senator Mike Rounds praised DSU as a nationally recognized leader in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. He acknowledged the efforts of Dr. Michael Sulmeyer, the Army's Principal Cyber Advisor, and Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, DSU's visionary leader, in facilitating this agreement. Senator Rounds emphasized that the partnership expands opportunities for DSU students and positions South Dakota to play a crucial role in national defense efforts.
The DSU-ArmyCyber Educational Partnership Agreement demonstrates the commitment of both institutions to advancing cybersecurity education and research while equipping students with invaluable skills for the ever-evolving digital landscape.