Press Release: Fairleigh Dickinson University Students Take Top Place in NJ in the 2019 Governor’s Cybersecurity Talent Competition

Madison, NJ (May 30, 2019) — Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus is the #1 college in New Jersey and #3 in the nation in the 2019 Governors’ Cybersecurity Talent Competition. Fifty-four students from FDU made the quarter finals and are now competing for $2.5 million in the scholarship round of Cyber Fast Track, demonstrating they have outstanding aptitude for success in a cybersecurity career.

“We’re so proud of the 54 students who have worked so hard and excelled to get through to this stage at number 1. We know that FDU’s innovative curriculum in cybersecurity and our talented students help New Jersey and the nation close the cybersecurity skills gap. Our students are helping to prove that to the whole country,” said Laila Khreisat, professor of mathematics, computer science, and physics at FDU.

SANS Institute partnered with the 25 state governors to launch Cyber FastTrack.The SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Its programs now reach more than 165,000 professionals working in the field.

According to Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, “The leadership shown by Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus is commendable. Without the talent being discovered in Cyber FastTrack, shortages of elite talent will put the United States at a severe disadvantage in protecting power systems, financial systems and military systems in times of conflict, and protecting businesses and personal privacy in peace time. Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus has set a high bar for other schools in New Jersey and in the nation.”

Thirteen thousand college students across America took part in the first stage of 2019 Cyber Fast Tack competition during April, solving a series of increasingly difficult cybersecurity challenges to demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity careers. 2,400 students performed so well that they received invitations to take part in the second round where they are now competing for $2.5 million in scholarships for college tuition and advanced cybersecurity training as well as for recognition for themselves and their colleges.

Cyber Fast Track is designed to bridge the cybersecurity skills gap in the United States. Details of the program can be found at

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