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UTSA wins regional cyber defense competition and advances to national comp.


UTSA Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition team pictured from left to right, Team Coach Miroslav B. Bartik III, Mark Pena, Art Garcia, Chelsea Hicks, Justin Grey, Team Captain John Hollenbeck, Derek Bassham, Joe Mireles and Mike Stevens.

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(March 20, 2015) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition team won the Southwest Regional and will advance to the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) in partnership with Raytheon. The competition will be held at the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk April 24-26.

UTSA defeated teams from Texas A&M University, Texas A&M-San Antonio, Southern Methodist University, Sam Houston State University, New Mexico State University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University.

The teams were tasked with protecting computer networks against the same type of real-world cyber threats that are infiltrating major retailers, corporations, social networks and financial institutions today. Students from more than 180 colleges and universities from across the country are competing in various regional tournaments. Ten regional winners will advance to compete in the two-day national competition.

"As the presenting sponsor of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, Raytheon is very committed to helping our country meaningfully increase the number of young men and women who can protect the vital computer networks that our government agencies, private sector companies and frankly all organizations depend upon so much," said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. "Our partnership in support of NCCDC includes providing our own cyber security professionals and technology to give the students real practical experience."

Wajsgras added, "The need for the cyber security talent is real and growing based upon Raytheon's own research which indicates that roughly two-thirds of commercial and government organizations need more knowledgeable and experienced professionals to protect their networks.”

The UTSA team consisted of members representing information systems and cyber security in the College of Business, computer science in the College of Sciences, and electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering.

UTSA CCDC team members included:

  • Derek Bassham, Information Systems and Cyber Security
  • Art Garcia, Computer Science
  • Justin Grey, Information Systems and Cyber Security
  • Chelsea Hicks, Information Systems and Cyber Security
  • John Hollenbeck, Computer Science and Captain
  • Joe Mireles, Computer Science
  • Mark Pena, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mike Stevens, Information Systems and Cyber Security
  • Miroslav B. Bartik III, Coach and Adjunct Instructor of Information Systems and Cyber Security
  • Nicole Beebe, Faculty Advisor and Associate Professor of Information Systems and Cyber Security

“I am extremely proud of this team,” said Beebe. “They are a well-rounded, cohesive team who put in the work to be successful.”

This is UTSA’s second opportunity to advance to the nationals. UTSA also qualified for the national competition in 2006.

For more information about the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, visit the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security.

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