Cukier Receives Mentoring Award for Founding and Leading ACES

Published March 15, 2023

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Michel Cukier, director of the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) undergraduate Honors College program and a professor of reliability engineering, has received a University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

Cukier is being recognized for creating ACES, “a unique, multidisciplinary, successful program for educating the nation’s future cybersecurity leaders,” said the board in a statement.

The awards are the highest honor presented by the USM Board of Regents and carry a $2,000 prize.

Cukier and the 18 other award recipients will be formally recognized during the board’s meeting on April 14 at Coppin State University.

Cukier, who is also a core faculty member in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) and holds an affiliate appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, “revolutionized cybersecurity education” when he created the ACES program in 2013, says the board.

ACES was the first Honors College program to focus on cybersecurity and features a mentoring infrastructure that provides students with multidisciplinary, team-based, experiential learning. More than 600 students have participated in ACES, with another 250 having enrolled in the ACES minor.

Michelle Mazurek, an associate professor of computer science and director of MC2, says the award is well-deserved.

“ACES is a fantastic program that provides great benefits to undergraduate students, and its ongoing success is directly attributable to the hard work by Michel, along with co-founder Jan Plane and the rest of the ACES staff,” she says.

–Story by Melissa Brachfeld, UMIACS communications group