Durham, N.C. – Deanne Cranford-Wesley, Ph.D., director of the CyberSecurity Lab in North Carolina Central University’s School of Business, has received the 2022 Outstanding CAE Community of Practice in Cyber Defense (CAE COP-CD) Service Recognition Award from the National Centers of Academic Excellence. This award is presented to cybersecurity professionals whose tireless work promotes the advancement of education and advocacy in cybersecurity academics and practice.
Since joining NCCU in 2020, Cranford-Wesley has played an instrumental role in the development of a comprehensive and challenging cybersecurity curriculum to support the university’s information technology major. She also established the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCYS) student chapter at NCCU’s School of Business and is supporting the launch of a cybersecurity certificate.
“I am honored to receive such an impressive award,” said Cranford- Wesley. “I am committed to increasing the cybersecurity pipeline by bringing career awareness to students, faculty, professionals and the community, and encouraging them to become a part of the community of practice in cybersecurity.”
A seasoned cybersecurity professional and cyber educator, Cranford-Wesley has a vast amount of experience in curriculum design, grant writing and program evaluation. She is a published author of various technology-related articles and holds various certifications, including IC3, Security+, Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Instructor (CCAI).
She currently serves as an executive board member for the NC TECH Association, NC Chamber and Colloquium of Information System Security.
The CAE CoP-CD aims to collaborate with the CAE Community and the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) Program Management Office (PMO) to build a Cybersecurity Excellence Community of Practice in Cyber Defense (CoP-CD) in order to gather and share input from the broader community as well as to provide continuous program improvement.