Shaw University Receives $5 Million Technology Financial Assistance Grant to Build Cyber Operations Program

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Shaw University Receives $5 Million Technology Financial Assistance Grant to Build Cyber Operations Program
Shaw University Receives $5 Million Technology Financial Assistance Grant to Build Cyber Operations Program
RALEIGH, N.C. – In February 2023, Shaw University received a $5 million financial assistance award from the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s (NTIA) National Institute of Standards and Technology fund for its Building Bridges to CODE (Cyber Operations & Digital Equity) program.

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The funds derive from NTIA’s Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program, a $268 million grant program to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) for the purchase of broadband internet access service and eligible equipment or to hire and train information technology personnel. The grant funds awarded to Shaw will be used to: 

  • Fund outreach and research activities for the Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research; 
  • Expand the number of faculty in computer science to grow the Cyber Operations program;
  • Purchase computer equipment to offer students virtual hardware for use throughout the Cyber Operations degree program, which was launched in fall 2022;
  • Purchase computer equipment to establish a research and study lab; and
  • Support undergraduate researchers to participate in cybersecurity-related research.

Dr. James Brown, director of the Shaw University Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research, said, “This grant will support our Cyber Security academic program, our IT infrastructure, smart classrooms, as well as student technology.” Joel Faison, Shaw’s Chief Information Officer, said the grant funds will enhance the Building Bridges to Code Project by enabling the university to: 1) execute a complete overhaul of outdated broadband infrastructure and to provide campus-wide Wi-Fi 6 wireless access; 2) provide digital devices and technology to low-income and under-resourced students attending the university; 3) upgrade classroom technology to allow for brick-and-mortar and virtual classes to occur simultaneously; 4) expand the remote educational adult degree program; and 5) fully implement the first HBCU Cyber Operations degree program in the nation.

Dr. Paulette Dillard, President of Shaw University, said, “This improvement in critical infrastructure will pave the way for simultaneous investments in classroom technology, which will enhance the pedagogical capabilities of faculty and the simultaneous learning of both in-person and remote students, by piloting custom-designed teaching and learning spaces.”

Shaw University, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the first historically Black institution of higher education founded in North Carolina and is among the oldest in the nation. The University was founded in 1865 by Henry Martin Tupper. Dr. Paulette Dillard currently serves as the University’s 18th President. For more information, visit:

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