New cyber center: What people are saying

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Much excitement surrounded the Aug. 2 unveiling of the MCPc Cyber Education Center at Mercyhurst University. Here’s what people had to say …

Gov. Tom Ridge

"With the new MCPc Cyber Education Center, Mercyhurst University is at the forefront of developing our nation’s future cyber leaders. As cyber threats continue to mount against both U.S. businesses and government, it is encouraging to see Mercyhurst recognize and prioritize the need for a highly-skilled cyber workforce to defend against cyber criminals. With a shared passion for enhancing our nation’s collective cybersecurity, the Ridge Global Cybersecurity Institute is proud to be associated with Mercyhurst University and the MCPc Cyber Education Center."

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly

"Recently, the White House's Office of Management and Budget found that of 96 federal agencies it assessed, 74 percent were deemed to be 'at risk' or 'high risk' for cyber-related threats.  During a meeting that I had with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Director Jeff Pon a few months ago, we discussed the dire need for our federal workforce to be better trained in cybersecurity.  I told him about the world-class facility that Mercyhurst was developing and the role it could play in protecting Americans. Today I am extremely pleased that Director Pon will be attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Cyber Education Center at Mercyhurst University. I hope that it will quickly become a reliable pipeline for Erie-trained talent to go on to defend vulnerable American data from dangerous security breaches."

U.S. OPM Director Jeff Pon

“I think this is amazing … If you think about the past, we’ve always said ‘air, sea and land’ – those were our military. There needs to be in this country a cyber corps, and I think this is a great first step for getting there. We need to invest in our talent, in our technology and deploy that at a rapid pace…When I see a program like this, we are stepping forward; we are leaning into the defense of our country…So I applaud your efforts and I look forward to working with you and strengthening our partnership between industry, academics and the federal government.”

Mercyhurst University President Michael T. Victor

“Given the rapidly changing cyber security concerns from governments, businesses and organizations, skilled cyber professionals are needed now more than ever. Mercyhurst has long been home to some of the nation’s most respected Intelligence studies undergraduate and graduate programs, thanks to our Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences. In fact, we have graduates currently working in all 17 federal intelligence agencies. Cyber education represents the next great opportunity for Mercyhurst, giving us the chance to leverage our experience, faculty expertise, cutting-edge resources and industry connections to position Mercyhurst as a cyber leader at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

Andy Jones – CEO of MCPc

“MCPc is committed to Erie’s economic growth.  As a company that helps customers optimize technology, we know that ‘optimization’ requires us to stay at the vanguard of technology, and nothing better ensures this goal than a steady stream of talent. That is behind our commitment to Mercyhurst. It acknowledges the visionary leadership of President Victor and the role the Ridge College plays in preparing students to meet the country’s ever-rising demand for a skilled workforce in cybersecurity. Our goal is a steady stream of talent that not only satisfies MCPc’s demand but every company’s need in the region for such talent. It helps keep local talent local, and it translates into companies spending less time and money on importing talent to the North Coast.” 

Erie Insurance CEO Tim NeCastro

“The F.W. Hirt – Erie Insurance Risk Management Program at Mercyhurst University is the first cyber-focused risk management program in the United States. The four-year undergraduate major and its graduate equivalent will help create a talent pipeline for Erie Insurance that will help us remain competitive, and attract and retain the very best talent. This program is especially valuable for insurance and risk management professionals seeking to better understand the growing cyber dynamics of the risk world.”