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Governor Baker Visits Bay Path

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On Tuesday, December 11, students, faculty and staff welcomed Governor Charlie Baker to the Longmeadow campus. The Governor’s visit made history—it was the first time a sitting governor of the Commonwealth came to Bay Path. The University was one of several stops the Governor made as he swung through Western Massachusetts.

After meeting with Bay Path President Carol Leary, Jonathan Besse, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Kathleen Bourque, Vice President for University Relations and Board Liaison, Governor Baker toured a number of science laboratories featuring state-of-the-art equipment purchased through a Massachusetts Life Sciences Grant, and engaged in a meet and greet with students, faculty and community partners of the department of computer science and cybersecurity.

The Governor’s visit was prompted by a recent Mass Tech Collaborative challenge grant of $250,000 awarded to Bay Path University. The grant, one of three that was distributed at the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Forum, will pilot efforts to prepare entry-level cybersecurity job seekers to meet the needs of Massachusetts employers and address the growing cybersecurity job crisis. In the past year alone, there were 9,000 open cybersecurity jobs in the state. In September 2017, Governor Baker formed the MassCyberCenter, and established the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Strategy Council, an advisory panel that will assist the MassCyberCenter on ways to spur economic growth and cyber-resilience in the Commonwealth’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

Bay Path will lead the grant project that will engage undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity students, primarily women, in a full year of challenging experiences as paid interns on cybersecurity teams that will provide cyber assessments at reduced costs for small- to mid-sized companies.

One of the highlights of the grant is the public-private partnerships. During the Governor’s visit, he had the opportunity to meet with the community stakeholders who are part of this initiative including Larry Martin, Director of Business Services and Market Research from the MassHire Hampden Country Workforce Board; Patricia Crosby, Executive Director from the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board; Professor Brian Candido, Department of Information Technology from Springfield Technical Community College; Richard Sullivan, President & CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts; and Delcie Bean, IV, Chief Executive Officer of Paragus Strategic IT.

“We have already begun the planning phase of the project,” states Dr. Tom Loper, Associate Provost and Dean of the School of Science and Management. “In January 2019, we will start going on-site to companies to do cybersecurity assessments under the supervision of Paragus Strategic IT. This is such a win-win scenario. Both Bay Path and Springfield Technical Community College students will gain valuable internship experience in this area, and companies will have a blueprint to implement sound cybersecurity management practices that will protect their business or organization.”