Cyber robots bring Homeland Security to UCA

CONWAY—A high ranking official with the Department of Homeland Security will visit the University of Central Arkansas to observe high school students from across the state compete in robotic competitions.

Robin Montana WilliamsRobin “Montana” Williams, branch chief , National Cybersecurity Education & Awareness, Department of Homeland Security, will visit UCA’s Cyber Discovery Camp, hosted by the College of Natural Science and Mathematics.

The week-long residency camp provides students from across the state the opportunity to construct and operate robots and use cryptography to solve mysteries through treasure hunts, as well as liberal arts lessons and college life.

The camp is funded by grants from the Department of Homeland Security, which was originally implemented at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.

cyber discovery camp“We are the third school in the nation to have this new program, and the first school that does not have developers of the program on its faculty,” said Dr. Stephen Addison, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “We are being aided by the originators of the program Louisiana Tech.”

Williams will visit the UCA Cyber Discovery Camp throughout Friday and Saturday to observe student activities and student competitions.

Six high schools are taking part in the camp that started Monday and ends Saturday. Six students and two teachers from Calico Rock, Mount Vernon-Enola, Pottsville, Little Rock Central, Little Rock Parkview, and Pine Bluff are participating in the camp.

UCA faculty Nancy Austin, Dr. Bernard Chen, Dr. Mark Mullenbach, Dr. Vamsi Paruchuri, Dr. Mary Sullivan, and Dr. William Slaton serve the camp as teachers.

To learn more about Cyber Discovery, visit http://www.nicerc.org/cyber-discovery/.

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Robin “Montana” Williams, branch chief, National Cybersecurity Education & Awareness, Department of Homeland Security

Robin “Montana” Williams is currently the Branch Chief, National Cybersecurity Education & Awareness, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C. His office is responsible for development of national cybersecurity awareness, education, professional development, policy, standards, and assessment requirements to broaden, develop, and maintain an unrivaled, globally competitive cybersecurity workforce for the nation. Additionally, his team executes three components of the 44th President’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). Prior, Mr. Williams served as a Senior Technical Program Manager for the National Counterintelligence Executive directing cyber counterintelligence training & threat analysis. Mr. Williams has spent 24 years in government service including 21 years in the United States Air Force retiring as a Lt. Colonel. During his military, he held numerous flying, intelligence, training, and cyberspace assignments, including commanding the USAF Cyber Red Team. He is a combat veteran with flying & information operations duties in Afghanistan and Iraq, including serving as the lead planner for OPERATION ANACONDA & Chief, Electronic Warfare in the Iraqi Theater of Operations. Mr. Williams earned a Bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead in 1989, a Master’s degree from Louisiana Tech in 1998, and current completing a doctorate program. In addition, Mr. Williams is a Certified Workforce Development Professional.