Admiral Michael Rogers, Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Central Security Service, paid a visit to Georgia Regents University on Thursday to attend the graduation of both the Cyber and Health Science Summer Academies.
Rogers, who took over as NSA Director in 2014, also addressed CSSA students at a separate meeting to talk about the future of cybersecurity.
“Exposure to cybersecurity topics at an early stage in education is critical to the development of private and public sector workforces in which cybersecurity is an underlying competency,” Rogers said, speaking candidly with students after a short round of presentations.
During the meeting, Rogers also noted Georgia Regents University’s ongoing commitment to cyber education. With the announcement of the Cyber Institute, and as one of only a handful of universities offering summer cyber programs to high school students, GRU is uniquely poised to become one of the region’s leading cyber-education authorities.
After taking student questions, Rogers again stressed the importance of maintaining pre-college cyber programs that focus on developing skill, insight and understanding.
“GenCyber camps play a critical role in developing these important talents,” Rogers said.
Student presentations ranged from detailed accounts of key lessons taught to a live demonstration of a transposition cipher being decoded by students.
Afterward, Rogers was presented with a photo of all the CSSA participants as thanks for attending graduation.
Rackley Wren, an 18-year-old senior from Augusta Preparatory School, said that in his chosen field, meeting someone like the admiral was an unheard of honor.
“Well, Admiral Rogers is the Director of the NSA, so for me, meeting him was like meeting the president,” Wren said. “It was a tremendous honor knowing that, of all the places in the world he could have been, he came to speak to us.”
Rogers previously visited GRU last October as part of GRU’s first annual Cyber-Education Summit alongside former Senator and Vice-Chairman of U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Saxby Chambliss.