Dr. Morgan presented NMTC Innovator Award

Published on March 1, 2024

This is a photograph of Cecil College’s associate professor of computer science, Dr. James Morgan.

NORTH EAST, Md: Cecil College’s associate professor of computer science, James Morgan, Ph.D., was bestowed the Innovator Award for his work in STEM education by the Northeastern Maryland Technology Council during the Thirteenth Annual NMTC Visionary Awards.

NMTC connects collaborative leaders in academia, industry, and the federal government to build a STEM-educated workforce and advance innovation and technology to expand the state’s economy and protect national security. The 2024 Visionary Awards Gala was held at the Water’s Edge Event Center in Belcamp, Md., on Thursday, February 29.

Dr. Morgan received the Innovator Award for utilizing his extensive experience and knowledge in computer science and cybersecurity to develop and cultivate new curriculums that exceed industry standards while anticipating the next generation of cybersecurity challenges.

Under the leadership of Dr. Morgan, Cecil College’s cybersecurity program was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2019. Cecil College was the seventh community college in Maryland to hold this certification. Only 444 colleges and universities across 49 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are designated as CAEs in cyber defense.

“This designation means our cybersecurity program’s stringent academic criteria reaffirms our commitment to Information Assurance and Cyber Defense education,” said Dr. Morgan. “The United States government will continue to invest in and enhance programs that build the domestic talent pipeline, from primary through post-secondary education.”

To become a CAE-CD institution, Cecil College demonstrated its commitment to providing high-quality education in professionally relevant fields. Cecil College’s designation in cyber defense extends through the academic year 2024.

Cecil College’s Associate of Applied Science degree in cybersecurity prepares students to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution for continued cybersecurity study. Students demonstrate proficiency in a programming language as well as securing Windows and Unix/Linux servers and clients, routers, firewalls, email, networks, and other network security appliances and software. They also have an opportunity to earn their A+ Certification, Network Certification, Security+ Certification, and Cisco Certification before graduation.

With an A.A.S. degree in cybersecurity from Cecil College and the appropriate certification, students can enter the workforce as network, forensic, or cybersecurity professionals or choose to continue their education in a 4-year degree program.

Dr. Morgan has raised the College’s profile within the cybersecurity community and increased the enthusiasm for the field among our students. Dr. Morgan presents at high school and middle school recruitment events, increasing awareness of cybersecurity and careers in cybersecurity. He is a popular instructor and serves as the advisor to a very active cybersecurity club, which he initiated. The cybersecurity club has participated in and achieved significant ranking in several national competitions.