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elping achieve that cyber city designation for our home base is one of Augusta
University’s highest goals— and we’re
well on our way to making it a reality.
As the U.S. Army Command Center prepares to
move its headquarters to nearby Fort Gordon, the
Augusta community is experiencing nothing short of a
cyber tsunami and we are happily riding the wave. More
than that, we helped create the wave.
Augusta University, one of the University System of
Georgia’s four comprehensive research universities, had
already achieved national renown in areas including
mathematics, computer science and other STEM studies
by the time cyber concerns burst onto the international
scene a generation ago.
The U.S. military has long recognized the importance
of cyber security in safeguarding Americans’ safety, privacy and infrastructure. Even before Fort Gordon was
designated as its epicenter of activity, Augusta University
was pivotally positioned to complement and expand on
these efforts, and the initiative has moved into high gear
in the past two years. We have teamed with Augusta
Technical College to offer studies ensuring a rich pipeline
of expertise in cyber information and technology.
To expedite the effort, Augusta University launched
its Cyber Institute in 2015 to provide cyber defense program guidance and oversight as well as collaboration
and outreach opportunities among students, faculty
and other principals. Network and information systems
in both business and government require vigilant oversight and lightning-fast response time to ensure
safety and privacy in cyberspace,
and that is exactly
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J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9
what our Cyber Center is optimizing.
Cyber course content includes health care security,
professional development and STEM disciplines with
focus areas in education, health care, research, strategic
alliances and innovation/commercialization. With the
recent approval of an Augusta University cybersecurity
engineering degree, one of only a couple of such programs nationwide, our immersion in the cyber eld is
now among the most comprehensive in the world.
Our commitment to cyber excellence is reflected in
Augusta’s skyline: the Augusta University School of
Computer and Cyber Sciences, founded in 2017 to
encompass computer science, information technology
and cybersecurity disciplines, now has its own home
in the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for
Innovation and Training on Augusta’s Riverfront
Campus. It’s a stunning downtown jewel made possible
by a $50 million state investment.
The societal benets— chiey the peace of mind of
every American as we navigate lives that are now inextricably linked with innumerable digital implications— cannot
be overstated. And the economic benets are simply incalculable. Imagine the attractiveness of our city and state as
the Augusta area grows in prominence as the hub of cyber
expertise. Today’s students are not only acquiring this
expertise, they will be tomorrow’s cyber leaders in business, government and academia. This formidable
ecosystem will bring high-paying
jobs to the area and create ripple effects through every sector of the economy.
Along those lines, Augusta University is also investing in other pipeline priorities, including construction of
a new building to house the College of Science and
Mathematics. This facility will serve as a tangible reection of our commitment to optimally prepare our undergraduates not only for immediate high-demand employment in STEM elds, but for higher education, if they
choose, in disciplines including medicine, dentistry,
nursing, allied health and biomedical research. These are
disciplines with a combined 200-plus-year history of
excellence on our Health Sciences Campus. Augusta
University’s Medical College of Georgia, the 13th-oldest
in the nation, offers nationally ranked programs and a
dynamic environment for specialty training. Our Dental
College of Georgia, the state’s sole dental school, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and enjoys worldwide
renown in areas including uoride metabolism, esthetic
techniques, biomaterial efficacy, caries prevention, dental implants and temporomandibular joint diseases.
And don’t forget our Summerville campus! The
rolling hills of this picturesque home to our liberal arts
programs will soon house a newly renovated Fine Arts
Building as well as a new design studio for art and music.
Our growth truly reflects the comprehensive
nature of our university and the international reach of
our expertise.
Augusta University hosted Alumni Weekend recently and our visitors could scarcely believe the rapid
growth and development of their alma mater. We are
privileged to make them proud. Even more, we are honored to chart a future that will immeasurably enhance
the lives of our citizens.
Dr. Brooks Keel has been president of Augusta University since 2015.
J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9
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