Students in Top Cybersecurity Space and Missile Defense Command Program!

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ASU student's Moorer (L) and Morris (photo credit: David Campbell/ASU).

Space and Missile Defense Command Selects ASU Students for Competitive Cybersecurity and Engineering Development Program!

- ASU's COBA students among the first Cyber Force Incubator students in this state-of-the art Army program. 

By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

Two of Alabama State University's students are among the very first to be enrolled in one of the nation's most prestigious cybersecurity and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) training programs at the U. S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) — with the most senior student selected to be employed after her May 2021 graduation into an assignment at the command’s headquarters at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. 

Roddeja Moorer, a senior from Hayneville and Aiyanna Morris, a junior from Montgomery, are both students majoring in Computer Information Systems (CIS) in ASU's Percy J. Vaughn, Jr. College of Business Administration (COBA). Both students are also enrolled in the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command’s Underserved  Community Cybersecurity and Engineering Educational Development initiative (SUCCEED). 

"When I won, I felt so honored to discover that myself and Roddeja (Moorer) were among the first students to be selected to enter the program," Morris said. "I am happy because it challenges me and allows me to succeed in areas that push my limits." 

According to Dr. Kamal Hingorani, COBA's dean, his college continues to expand both its student's intellectual bounds and brings honor to Alabama State University in the terms of the achievements and the accolades that its students obtain. He said both of the students selected for this program have very high GPA's and exhibit advanced reasoning and intuitive skills. 

"We are most fortunate to have two of our COBA students selected to participate in this program that trains students in state-of-the-art cybersecurity topics and helps them to be ready to be employed upon graduation," Hingorani stated. "This is a worthy initiative and ASU is very fortunate to have its students in this most important program, which helps diversity this career field." 


Information obtained from the U.S. Army, states that SUCCEED's Cyber Force Incubator (CFI) program is designed to increase students’ exposure to cybersecurity and other STEM fields and most importantly leverage minority university and high school student talent into the workforce. The CFI involves a particular training topic or learning objective such as network security or encryption. Students participate in the CFI to familiarize themselves with the basics and fundamentals of cybersecurity. 

While the CFI program is currently involved with the aspects of cybersecurity, it is additionally geared toward pertinent topics that involve military and civilian rank-structures, security clearances and a general knowledge of federal government employment. 

“The CFI modules provide students with a deep immersion into cybersecurity to prepare them for the wide range of duties that make up this career field,” said Terry Carlson, SMDC's chief cyber strategist. “Many are seeing cybersecurity for the first time when they enter the CFI, so it is an essential component of our program. We want our future engineers, scientists and programmers to have a solid understanding of the importance of cybersecurity in all career fields. As they enter into the working portion of their internships they will bring this knowledge to the work they perform. Many will work directly in the cybersecurity field, but others will be engineers and will incorporate cyber-hygiene into their products.”  

Morris will continue in her internship within the program through her graduation from ASU. 

Carlson said that the SMDC has hired Moorer, who completed the CFI curriculum and is graduating from the University on May 7. She will work in the command’s Cyber Security Division at its Redstone Arsenal headquarters. 


Morris said she recently became interested in cybersecurity both academically and as a career field. 

"I want to be an information security analyst and a certified information system's professional. The program with the Space and Missile Defense Command really helps me along the way," Morris volunteered. 

Great opportunities are what motivated Moorer to take part in the SUCCEED program. 

“I knew that this program will allow me to network with a large array of people who can help me to obtain my dreams. I know succeeding in a program like this doesn’t come easy, but it is worth going for and achieving,” Moorer stated. 

Moorer also has a goal of being a mentor for other ASU students interested in this field. 

If you are interested in being involved in cybersecurity, do not hesitate to enroll in the SUCCEED program. If you have the interest and the grades, speak to the COBA dean because if selected, you will learn valuable data, meet wonderful people and obtain a great profession," Moorer volunteered. 

She said it is an intense and difficult program, but the rewards are incredible. 

"The tunnel may be dark along the way as you study and learn new things and are tested to the extreme, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel and I am living proof that you can succeed,” Moorer explained. 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.