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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Team of Graduate Students Advances to International Cyber/12 Competition

A team of Old Dominion University graduate students has advanced to a Cyber/12 competition that will be held virtually in Geneva, Switzerland, in May.

The team earned its way into the competition with its performance in March at the Ninth Cyber 9/12 Challenge, which was held virtually in Washington, D.C.

This competition tasks participants with developing policy recommendations when taking on fictional, but realistic, cyber catastrophes. Judges come from a diverse array of professional firms and government agencies across the world.

ODU's team, Special Delivery, was led by Warren Marcelino, a graduating cybersecurity MS student and coached by Saltuk Karahan, instructor in the Department of Political Science and Geography and program coordinator in School of Cybersecurity. Teammates included other graduate students from cybersecurity, political science, biomedical engineering: Nicolai Cockrill, Devin Suttler and Xavier-Lewis Palmer. They in turn mentored ODU's undergraduate team, Ad Astra, led by Melvin Orienza, a cybersecurity undergraduate junior and president of the Cyber Security Student Association. Team members included Marquita Snow, Olivia Hoernlein and Joshua Bush.

Out of numerous worldwide entries, both ODU teams qualified to be among the initial 36 contesting teams. Special Delivery made it to the semifinal round, which narrowed field in half, outperforming teams from some military academies and Ivy League schools. Judges cited Special Delivery for its complete briefs in each round and out-of-the-box, multi-dimensional solutions, which surprised judges who often expected pure software- or hardware-derived solutions.

"The quality of ODU team's responses is in part due to the unique structure of ODU's cybersecurity programs, which emphasize the full spectrum of tasks and demands in modern cyber careers and contexts," Karahan said.

This marks the second year in a row in which ODU Cyber 9/12 teams have achieved worldwide top-20 rankings.

If you have questions about entry into the competition or about the experience, contact Marcelino at wmarceli@odu.edu, Karahan at skarahan@odu.edu, or the Cyber Security Student Association at cs2a@odu.edu. Inquiries about entry in ODU's cybersecurity master's program can be directed to Hongyi Wu, director of ODU's School of Cybersecurity, at h1wu@odu.edu.