MACON – Mercer University was recently selected as a member of the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) Academic Engagement Network (AEN), consisting of 84 colleges and universities representing 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Mercer is one of only three AEN institutions in Georgia, along with Augusta University and the University of North Georgia.

Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences specialization and degree programs in cybersecurity and computer science secured selection into the program.

“Over the next nine months, this program will offer new engaging opportunities for students and faculty,” said Dr. Johnathan Yerby, associate professor of computer science. “Mercer students and faculty will have opportunities to engage with U.S. Cyber Command policy and strategy discussions, as well as the ‘Hack the Port’ cyber competitions, Academic Engagement Research Symposia, applied research, and tech talks.”

“Cyber Command’s goal for the AEN is to strengthen our relationships and communication with these participating institutions,” added CYBERCOM Executive Director David Frederick. “This will improve and sustain our efforts to meet cyberspace educational requirements and workforce needs.”

The command intends to use the AEN to support and enhance four primary lines of effort – future workforce, applied cyber research, applied analytics and strategic issues – as an investment in creating a robust and accessible pool of qualified cyber professionals.

The AEN leveraged various existing relationships with institutions of higher education as part of CYBERCOM’s overall Academic Engagement Strategy.

Since 2012, the command has hosted more than 105 interns from the U.S. military service academies. Beginning in 2020, more than 25 civilian summer college interns and recent graduates also participated in other command internship programs. Additionally, high school juniors, seniors, and undergraduate students have participated in programs and projects via the command’s partnership with DreamPort.

About the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences serves as the academic cornerstone of one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges, it is a diverse and vibrant community, enrolling more than 1,900 students, dedicated to learning and service through the practice of intellectual curiosity, respectful dialogue and responsible citizenry. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in more than 30 areas of study, including more than a dozen pre-professional academic tracks, with classes taught by an outstanding faculty of scholars. In 2015, Mercer was awarded a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society that recognizes exceptional achievement in the arts and sciences. For more information, visit liberalarts.mercer.edu.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​