Excelsior Places First in National Cyber League Competition
Team Excelsior earned first place in the National Cyber League (NCL) spring competition, a cybersecurity competition with offensive and defensive puzzle-based and capture-the-flag games.
Excelsior’s National Cybersecurity Student Association Chapter participates annually in the NCL, a virtual training that prepares high school and college students for potential real-world cybersecurity situations. Alumni within one year of graduating and students acting in a fellowship role are also allowed to participate in the competition. Participants join in the preseason, individual, and team games at the level of their choosing, giving them opportunities to be successful and expand their skills. The number of Excelsior students participating in the NCL has steadily increased each season since 2017, and teams participate in both the spring season, held from March until May, and the fall season, which starts in October and ends in November.
“My military training and opportunities have had a strong influence on these skills, but through Excelsior and NCI support, I have been able to hone and practice those skills and teamwork in the virtual/cyber realm. I would not trade these lessons and experiences for anything.” –Weylin Leavitt, Team Captain
Under the guidance of master’s in cybersecurity graduate Weylin Leavitt, 28 Excelsior students and alumni participated in the individual, preseason, and team games this past spring. For the team games, Excelsior created four teams led by captains Leavitt; Todd Krebsbach, a master’s in cybersecurity graduate; Stephanie Barnes, a master’s in cybersecurity student; and Steven Meredith, a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Technology Management student. Each team collaborated, trained, and spent countless hours competing in the challenges, which resulted in Excelsior College’s team, the r00ts, placing No. 1 among the Top 100 schools in the NCL and placing No. 2 in the NCL team games.
“Not only has the NCL expanded my technical skills through its challenges and continues to with new and current cyber tools and tactics, but it has taught me invaluable leadership skills,” says Leavitt, who has progressed from casual player to team captain and fellow at the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College (NCI). “My military training and opportunities have had a strong influence on these skills, but through Excelsior and NCI support, I have been able to hone and practice those skills and teamwork in the virtual/cyber realm. I would not trade these lessons and experiences for anything.”
Students who participate in the NCL competition gain cybersecurity experience, prepare for the workplace, and increase their skill levels in preparation for more competitions down the road. They also apply what they learn in the bachelor’s and master’s programs in cybersecurity, which prepare students to prevent, detect, counter, and recover from cyber incidents.