PGCC GenCyber Summer Campers Receive Visit from Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson

  • img/@alt

Article by: Tabresha B. Langham

For Immediate Release

PGCC GenCyber Summer Campers Receive Visit from Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson

LARGO, Md. (July 18, 2018) – Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) Tuesday, July 17, 2018, to observe the GenCyber Summer Camp. The camp, which has 20 middle and high school participants, exposes low-income and underrepresented populations to careers in cybersecurity and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

GenCyber is a program funded by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the goal to increase interest and diversity in cybersecurity careers and workforce in the U.S. This is the second summer that Prince George’s Community College has offered the GenCyber Summer Camp at no cost to students in Prince George’s County.

Programs like GenCyber provide “exposure to the discipline but also exposure to the college,” said PGCC Dean of STEM Dr. Christine Barrow. She explained that the college is able to host the camp because of its designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, which it received because of the quality of its cybersecurity program and its industry and business partnerships.

“Cybersecurity is one of the major industries in the Washington region,” explained Executive Vice President and Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Student Success Dr. Clayton Railey. He agrees that there is a need to equip students who actually live in this area with the training for these available jobs. These types of federally funded programs make it possible for PGCC to do that.

Ms. Trump and Secretary Wilson’s visit highlights the significance of federally funded programs like GenCyber. The funding enables PGCC to provide access to quality training and educational programs for the county’s residents, mostly of whom are African-American and women.

Ma’Kiya Herndon and Iyssis Johnson are two of the campers who participated in the hands-on activity that Ms. Trump and Secretary Wilson observed. Ms. Johnson’s interest in STEM preceded her participation in the camp while Ms. Herndon’s interest peaked because of the camp. For both, however, the real, hands-on experience can significantly influence the academic and professional goals they hope to accomplish, which is why offering these types of programs is so important.

According to the Economics & Statistics Administration, STEM degree holders earn 12 percent more than non-STEM degree holders. Because it targets low-income and minority students, the GenCyber Summer Camp helps create the opportunity to lessen the economic inequity that these students experience in their lives.

The demographics of Prince George’s County exemplify the need for PGCC to invest in programming and resources that establish the college as a premiere center for training and education. This will ensure that the college continues to compete for federal grants that help make the difference in students’ lives.

“Several students who come from summer programs end up attending PGCC,” said Dr. Barrow. “The programs go a long way to demystifying what college is all about and what our institution has to offer.”

About Prince George’s Community College
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the college is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enable PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.