As blogged yesterday, the current issue of IRW should reach subscribers inbox today. The Top CS Departments column features Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, where I teach graduate courses. As mentioned few days ago, PUPR has been designated a CAE. This is a great news that is making a splash across academic centers within the U.S., the Caribbean Region and Latin America, and whose mission is research relevant to homeland security.

Associate Director for Computer Science, Dr. Alfredo Cruz, sent me an  official announcement, which I am reproducing.

Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (PUPR) is Designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by NSA and DHS. PUPR was recently designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on April 22, 2009. The goal of these centers is to reduce the vulnerability of the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in Information Assurance (IA) and Security through the development of a growing number of professionals with IA expertise in various related disciplines. PUPR will be recognized as the first institution in Puerto Rico to be designated as a CAE/IAE on June 3, 2009 in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Alfredo Cruz from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science will be present to receive the designation. He is the Director of the Center of Information Assurance for Research and Education (CIARE) at PUPR. Dr. Cruz is the person responsible for this designation. PUPR is of the very few Hispanic serving institution (HSI) in the Nation to receive this designation, and to become one of the first 100 institutions nationwide; this is a very special recognition. This designation requires that the President of the United States send the Governor of Puerto Rico a certification that should be handed to the president of PUPR designating the Institution as a CAE/IAE at a National level. The Congress and all the respective Congressional Committees are also notified.

Some of the benefits of the CAE/IAE designation are:
• PUPR will receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for our roll in securing the Nation’s information systems.
• This designation increases collaboration opportunities between designated and aspiring institutions at local and national levels. This includes internships, faculty and student exchange, research, and publications, among other activities.
• With this designation as a CAE/IAE PUPR can obtain scholarships that can help outstanding students to pursue graduate studies in IA, enabling them to work with the Federal Government or other federal institutions and agencies.
• PUPR can compete and benefit from proposal calls (RFP) that are specifically for designated CAE/IAE institutions. These proposals offer millions of dollars from the DoD, NSF, NSA and “Homeland Security”, among others, for research and infrastructure.
• Student scholarships offered under the NSF’s Scholarship for Service (SFS) program. The SFS scholarship offers the following:
–2-year scholarship, includes 8K stipend (12K for graduate students), plus tuition and nominal room and board expenses.
–Paid summer internship in a federal agency.
–Placement in federal government at the end of the scholarship period.