New cyber facilities strengthen TU’s national leadership in cybersecurity

By Rebecca Kirkman & Henry Basta on November 4, 2022

Center for Interdisciplinary & Innovative Cybersecurity brings together TU experts, community partners in cybersecurity education and research

With the grand opening of the Center for Interdisciplinary & Innovative Cybersecurity—known as the TU Cyber Center—Towson University has bolstered its national leadership in cybersecurity education, interdisciplinary research and innovation.

The TU Cyber Center, which opened in The Residences at 10 West Burke Avenue on Nov. 3, tackles the biggest cybersecurity challenges through inclusive, interdisciplinary education and research brought together in new, state-of-the art facilities.

“As an anchor institution in Maryland and one of the leading universities in the hub of our national government’s workforce, Towson University is uniquely positioned to support the growing demand of the cyber industry,” says President Kim Schatzel. “We are immensely proud to expand our impact with this contemporary facility.”

The center engages faculty and students throughout TU alongside government and industry partners to solve real-world cybersecurity issues and prepare the next generation of cyber professionals.

“Cybersecurity demands interdisciplinary solutions and diverse teams,” says Blair Taylor, director for interdisciplinary and innovative cybersecurity. “Here at Towson, we’re known for our student-focused mission and our commitment to the public good. Never has this been more applicable in cybersecurity. My vision and goal for the Cyber Center is to facilitate this mission by becoming the nation's premier academic center in cybersecurity education and research.”

The center builds on TU’s demonstrated excellence in the field. Currently, 35 full-time faculty across the university focus their research and teaching in cybersecurity. TU is one of just 21 universities nationwide designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations. And, last year, the university secured a $2 million grant from the NSA to boost cybersecurity education. 

“When you deal with wicked problems, you need interdisciplinary solutions—you need students in the same place from various disciplines working on this together,” says Sidd Kaza, associate provost for research and dean of graduate studies and TU’s inaugural E-Nnovation endowed professor

The formation of the TU Cyber Center was made possible through the establishment of the E-Nnovation Endowed Professorship, a role created through a $1 million endowment funded with a gift from the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and a matching gift from the Maryland Department of Commerce E-Nnovation Initiative Fund. 

Additionally, $250,000 from the TU Foundation supported the build-out and equipping of the Cyber Center.

At the opening celebration, students were on hand to share their research in different spaces throughout the Cyber Center. Guests has the opportunity to take self-guided tours of the three floors to engage with the students and immerse themselves in the new space. 

Along with the Cyber Center, The Residences at 10 West Burke Avenue is now home to the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry, which strengthens the university’s culture of undergraduate scholarly inquiry, and the Office of Competitive Fellowships & Awards, which supports high-achieving students in advancing their career and educational goals through application for prestigious scholarships and awards.

The Cyber Center offers a variety of activities and events to engage the community, raise awareness and develop cyber-prepared citizens, including monthly open houses, seminars, recruitment events and conferences. Learn more about how to get involved.