Why Nominated: Laura Lee, who manages rapid-prototype projects for experiential cybersecurity learning on the Circadence’s AI-powered platform Project Ares, brings an exceptional leadership record in the field of cyber exercises and training, previously directing the research and development at Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL).
Profile: Her holistic delivery of learning material makes Laura Lee an outstanding educator. But so does her experience with the success of persistent training programs in government and military security efforts, which she brought to the Immersive Cybersecurity Defense class at the University of Colorado – Boulder in the College of Engineering and Applied Science last spring. Lee, who while at Johns Hopkins developed the developed the first ever Cyber Protection Team Crew Operations Manual for U.S. Military Forces and National Guard Teams, also led the assessment of cyber teams via large scale cyber exercises to defeat advanced persistent threats in support of U.S. Cyber Command.
Not one to rely on presentations, lectures, and passive video tutorials to teach cyber concepts, Laura integrates a virtual machine environment to elevate the learning process so students can apply cyber concepts to realistic cyber situations they might experience in the workplace. That’s a draw for today’s students who have grown up in a world of video games. She uses a unique virtual environment that is gamified to increase information retention levels among students and engage them better than static, lecture-based models would. Her teaching method is inspired by Bloom’s Taxonomy learning model, which covers learning objectives in cognitive, affective, and sensory domains for optimized concept retention and memory recall.
Understanding that the best way to reach students is to approach cybersecurity in a way that matches their digital learning styles, Lee has introduced them to gamified virtual environments where they can safely practice and test what they’ve learned in the classroom. That gives them the hands-on learning they want and the strategic thinking training that today’s employers look for in cyber professional new hires.
At Johns Hopkins, Lee developed the first ever Cyber Protection Team Crew Operations Manual for U.S. Military Forces and National Guard Teams. In support of U.S. Cyber Command, she led the assessment of cyber teams via large scale cyber exercises to defeat advanced persistent threats.
What colleagues say: “Laura Lee is a true visionary who led the creation of Circadence Project Ares, a cutting- edge gamified cybersecurity training platform that provides hands-on cyber learning and assessment from elementary school to professional.” – Dan Manson, professor emeritus, computer information systems, Cal Poly Pomona, and instructional Designer, Circadence