Lipinski Announces $600 Thousand Education Grant for Moraine Valley Community College

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is announcing that Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) in Palos Hills has been awarded a $600 thousand grant through the National Science Foundation to help establish an “Internet of Things (IoT)” Coordination Network to bring together representatives of industry, manufacturers, academia, and users of integrated smart devices to examine emerging technologies, explore new products and devices, and provide guidance to educators preparing the next generation of technicians. 

IoT is the term used to describe the use and integration of smart devices capable of monitoring, controlling, collecting, sending, and receiving data to intelligent systems.  The coordination network also intends to include experts on protecting the users and environments that are projected to be affected by these IoT devices.  

“The first step in securing our cyber future is education, and that means everything from educating individuals, to companies, to the next generation of IT professionals,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “Over the years, Moraine Valley has trained countless people in cyber-related fields and served as a leader and a resource for other community colleges around the country offering cyber programs of their own.  These individuals are now making a difference nationwide, and I’m pleased that this grant will help build on that success.”

The emergence of IoT is already transforming homes, institutions of education, manufacturing facilities, and other work places.  The network plans to complete research projects on IoT products, technologies, standards, and applications, and the results of these studies will help to inform decisions about how to optimally develop IoT programs at community colleges.

“This grant allows Moraine Valley to bring together experts in the area of IoT, manufacturers and people who write standards for these devices,” said Dr. John Sands, professor and department chair of Information Technology and director and principal investigator of the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance NSF Regional Center at MVCC.   “We will do research and develop standards to be taught in classrooms to meet the future needs of employers.  Moraine Valley is leading this charge because we’re highly recognized in cybersecurity education.  Our fingers will be on the pulse of what’s coming out and what we should be deploying in our classrooms.  We’ll also host national meetings and involve our students with employers.”

“Since 1999, Moraine Valley has received over $11 million in cybersecurity related grants from the National Science Foundation,” said Dr. Sharon Katterman, MVCC Director of Resource Development and Institutional Effectiveness.  “Our first grant supported the development of the college’s A.A.S. degree in Applied Internet Technology and our next grant, awarded in 2003, established the college’s Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA).  Since then, the college has received six NSF grants, all of which allow us to continually update our cybersecurity education programming to respond to changing labor market needs.”