At the center of the cybersecurity conversation.

The National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College is an academic and research center dedicated to assisting government, industry, military, and academic sectors meet the challenges in cybersecurity policy, technology, and education.

The NCI is shaping a coordinated effort to build the cybersecurity workforce and influence an informed leadership base that implements cutting-edge cybersecurity policy. We target the development of effective cybersecurity practice in specific sectors, including health care, finance, utilities/energy, telecommunications, and education/training.

Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

NSA and Homeland Security seals

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Excelsior College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.


Amelia Estwick, PhD

Amelia Estwick, PhD

Director of National Cybersecurity Institute

Amelia Estwick, PhD, brings extensive experience in cybersecurity to her role at the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College. She previously worked in the Department of Defense (DoD) as a technical director within the Threat Operations Center, which is responsible for monitoring and securing DoD networks against cyberattacks. She has more than 20 years of government IT experience (both civilian and military) working in the areas of cybersecurity, information assurance, and computer network operations (offense and defense). Read Amelia’s Bio

National Cybersecurity Institute Fellows

Weylin Brad Leavitt

Weylin Brad Leavitt is a cybersecurity leader and technical subject matter expert. He works for the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he is assigned to the chief information officer for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Leavitt is responsible for providing access and customer support to seven worldwide networks across the Indo-Pacific Command theater.

Leavitt is a 2008 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he studied computer engineering. In 2010, he became an active-duty Air Force officer and quickly became well- known among the cadre of cyber operators. He was first assigned to the Air Force Enterprise Service Desk for three years, creating policies and leading quality assurance efforts, before being deployed with the U.S. Army to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. There he fulfilled the role of system operations officer-in-charge at the Regional Network Operations Service Center-Afghanistan. After returning from deployment, he was assigned to the Air Force Computer Emergency Response Team, becoming mission-qualified and eventually commanding one of the six Air Force Cyber Weapon Systems. He was responsible for conducting various cyber defensive operations against all activities, from daily phishing attempts to large-scale network attacks.

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Director of NCI
Amelia Estwick, PhD

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Alicia Jacobs

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Excelsior College National Cybersecurity Student Association Chapter

The National Cybersecurity Student Association (NCSA) encourages the educational and professional development of cybersecurity students through activities, networking, and collaboration. NCSA strives to inspire career awareness and promote creative efforts by cultivating a national community that supports students in their cybersecurity endeavors.

National Cyber League

As part of the National Cybersecurity Student Association, students have the opportunity to participate in the National Cyber League. This biannual cybersecurity competition for high school and college students consists of a series of challenges that allow students to demonstrate their ability to identify hackers from forensic data, break into vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more.

Excelsior College has participated in the National Cyber League since 2017 and has consistently ranked on the Top 100 Leaderboard for the past three seasons.
In the fall 2019 season, Excelsior College ranked No. 34 overall and teams placed No. 55 and No. 99 on the Leaderboard.

“I think the exposure and skills [gained] are the biggest takeaways. You learn things you would never learn in the classroom. This provides you a way to practice everything you learned, too.”
– Melissa Burger, Master of Science in Cybersecurity student at Excelsior College

Excelsior College National Cybersecurity Student Association Chapter

NCI Blog

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National Cybersecurity Institute Journal

The National Cybersecurity Institute Journal, a peer-reviewed journal, covers topics that appeal to a broad readership within the cybersecurity discipline, with a particular focus on education, training, and workforce development. The manuscripts submitted to the Journal are reviewed for their contribution to the advancement of applied research in the area of cybersecurity.

View past issues of the journal

Events and Webinars

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Previous Events

The CAE symposium is open to all existing Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD), Centers of Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R), and Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO), as well as government representatives and invitees. The CAE in Cybersecurity Symposium is designed to provide community members and applicants the opportunity to network, receive community updates, and present their research to the community.
The annual NICE Conference and Expo brings together thought leaders from industry, government, academia, and non-profit organizations to address the community’s cybersecurity education, training, and workforce needs. This event provides an opportunity to share best practices from around the world and across sectors in order to build the workforce we need to confront cybersecurity risks today and in years to come.
Topics included:

• Expected industry need and projected salaries for skilled cybersecurity and IT professionals

• Differences between an IT degree and a cyber degree

• Federal government job opportunities

• Excelsior’s wide range of bachelor’s and master’s programs with instant workforce benefits and transfer credit benefits

The federal Cybersecurity Framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce was originally launched by President Obama and continued by President Trump. Applicable infrastructure includes utilities providing energy and water as well as sectors covering transportation, financial services, communication, healthcare and public health, dams, key manufacturers, emergency services and more. Dr. Estwick will be a panelist at the ASPA conference discussing Cybersecurity Infrastructure and the urgency of our informed action to prevent the multi-dimensional threats we invite if we fail to address cybersecurity challenges.

View all NCI events