Connecticut Institute of Technology Director Shares Passion for Cybersecurity Education and Innovation – University of New Haven News


As part of a recent virtual discussion hosted by the Military Cyber Professionals Association, Ibrahim Baggili, Ph.D., discussed the important work he and his students are doing at the University of New Haven, as well as the innovative ways he has fostered inclusion and hands-on education.

April 1, 2021

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Ibrahim Baggili, Ph.D.
Ibrahim Baggili, Ph.D., is the founding director of the University’s Connecticut Institute of Technology.

Among his many interests and vast expertise, Ibrahim Baggili, Ph.D., is most passionate about cybersecurity education, and he is dedicated to positioning the University of New Haven as a leading technology hub. He recently shared his vision for promoting innovation, diversity, and collaboration in cybersecurity and discussed the University’s accomplishments with a diverse group of professionals in the field.

The founding director of the University’s Connecticut Institute of Technology and Elder Family Chair, he was invited to speak at a recent “Lockdown Lunch & Learn” (3L) event hosted by the Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA), an educational nonprofit. Created in response to the coronavirus global pandemic, the series, which features interactive virtual discussions led by experts in cybersecurity, enables MCPA’s members to learn from and connect with each other remotely.

Diane Janosek.
Diane Janosek introduced Dr. Baggili.

“Our mission is to train students who can think differently on the job,” explained Dr. Baggili. “It is also to foster and embrace diversity and inclusion.”

Guests learned more about Dr. Baggili’s efforts to expand the University’s educational outreach to underrepresented populations in the field, including programs such as the Cyber Agent Academy, a rigorous camp offered each summer that enables high school students to explore the world of cybersecurity.

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He also discussed the Connecticut Institute of Technology’s Cyber Legends web series that has featured some of the world’s cybersecurity leaders, as well as innovative hands-on learning experiences he’s created for his students, such as a virtual immersion into a mock crime scene.

‘Dr. Baggili loves teaching the next generation’

Diane Janosek, commandant of the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency who recently spoke to the University community as part of its Cyber Legends series, introduced Dr. Baggili, praising the important work the University has been doing in the field of cybersecurity.

“Dr. Baggili loves teaching the next generation and paying it forward,” said Janosek, who attended the dedication of the University’s Samuel S. Bergami Jr. Cybersecurity Center last year. “He teaches virtual reality, security, and forensics through VR, and it’s pretty wild how he does it. We’re really excited about everything the University is doing for the nation’s security.”

Dr. Baggili is one of many accomplished speakers, among CEOs and authors, as well as veterans and current servicemembers, to be featured as part of the “Lockdown Lunch & Learn” series. Other speakers included Major General (Ret.) Paul Nielsen, Ph.D., director of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University; Theresa Payton, former White House chief information officer; and Rear Admiral (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, executive director of the U.S. Cyberspace Commission. Speakers also included Janosek and Joe Billingsley, a business plan consultant for the University’s Tagliatela College of Engineering and director of strategic engagement for the National Defense University College of Information and Cyberspace, who is also a founder of the MCPA.

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Ibrahim Baggili, Ph.D.
Ibrahim Baggili, Ph.D., recently spoke at a “Lockdown Lunch & Learn” event.

“Dr. Baggili presenting a keynote at this prestigious event puts him alongside many greats in the field of cyberspace-focused research and leadership,” said Billingsley, a former Army strategist and cyber officer. “Dr. Baggili and the CIT are regional and national assets to addressing cybersecurity challenges.”

Dr. Baggili concluded his remarks discussing how the research he and his students have conducted has already addressed a host of challenges. They have uncovered vulnerabilities in virtual reality applications, and they have explored the security of using Zoom through a forensic analysis. Dr. Baggili emphasized the importance of continuing to promote education and innovation.

“Ultimately, we need to learn more about how anything digital is being used or misused,” he said. “Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are going to continue to influence everything from businesses to government missions.”



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