UTSA cyber security professor Gregory White receives leadership award

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Professor Gregory White (right) receives leadership award in Washington, D.C.

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(July 27, 2011)--The Colloquium for Information System Security Education, an international organization that encourages the development and expansion of information assurance curricula, especially in higher education, recently honored Gregory White, UTSA associate professor of computer science and director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), with the 2011 Educator Leadership Award for exceptional leadership in information assurance education. White accepted the award last month at the annual Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education in Washington, D.C.

"I cannot think of a better person than Dr. White to receive this award," said Dwayne Williams, director of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, which was founded by UTSA's CIAS in 2005. "He recognized the need to develop a pipeline of highly qualified cyber security professionals long before the topic became a national discussion. His tireless efforts in improving information assurance curricula and promoting competition efforts are truly inspirational. This recognition is very well deserved."

From 1980 to 2001, White served in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve in multiple capacities, gaining steady promotions and earning the rank of colonel in 2001. From 1986 to 1989, he served in the Cryptologic Support Center at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio. In the late '90s, he was deputy head of the USAF computer science department. From 1999 to 2001, he was the technical adviser to Maj. Gen. John Campbell and served as the Defense Information System Agency lead on the Joint Reserve Virtual Information Operations program.

In 2001, White joined UTSA as an adjunct professor in the information systems and computer science departments, bringing a wealth of practical experience to the undergraduates and graduate students under his tutelage. That year, he was named technical director of CIAS. The center, a part of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security, founded and organizes the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, which has grown to become the nation's largest cyber-security challenge for college students.

Under White's leadership, CIAS also offers cyber security preparedness exercises and training to educate governments and organizations across the United States. Formalized in 2004 with funding from the Department of Homeland Security, the programs focus on how to prevent, detect and respond to large-scale cyber attacks.

"Dr. Greg White is one of the most dedicated professors I know," said Kleanthis Psarris, chair of the UTSA Department of Computer Science. "As a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science, he teaches a diverse variety of courses including Game Design, Computer and Information Security, and Computer Ethics. His students always speak highly of him, and he consistently receives high scores on his student teaching evaluations. Dr. White also supervises several doctoral students in their research, coordinates the cyber security student competitions and directs UTSA's Scholarships for Service program, which is funded by NSF."

Through its College of Sciences, College of Engineering and College of Business, UTSA offers programs in cyber security education and research. In 2002, UTSA was recognized as a leader in the field of infrastructure assurance and security when the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated it a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE). In 2009, the UTSA became one of 47 institutions to earn the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) designation.