University of San Diego Camp to Create Next Generation of Cyber Professionals

Inspiring a new generation of students to consider the cyber security field is the goal of a free summer day camp at the University of San Diego.


The GenCyber Academy of Excellence, funded by the National Security Agency and National Science Foundation, takes place from July 25 to 29.

“In order to meet the cyber challenges facing the military, corporations and other U.S. institutions, we need to build a pipeline of young people ready to go into these fields,” said Winnie Callahan, Director of the University San Diego Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology (CCSET). “Capturing their interest and attention at an early age is the way to do that.” ( A short video of Winnie Callahan discussing the camp is attached.)

USD’s CCSET is one of an estimated 80 universities to receive funding for a camp nationally and the only one in San Diego. The program includes formal instruction from USD Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering faculty, hands-on experience with cyber defense tools, and field trips to local cyber security organizations and companies Playstation, Sony and Qualcomm.

Students will be engaged in a variety of exciting activities including responding to mock cyber attacks and hacking, and designing systems to prevent them, as well as the basics of cyber security knowledge, skills and ethics.

More than 400 applications were received from all over the country for just 40 spots in the camp. Students selected range from those with lots of experience, including one who already holds a patent to those from underrepresented communities who will be encouraged to consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. A group of 40 K-12 teachers also selected for the camp will learn how to incorporate cyber security principles into their curriculum on a regular basis. 

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.