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Red Rocks Team Places 2nd in NSF Community College Innovation Challenge

Cyber Security Students Develop Cybersecurity Test Environment


Lakewood, CO—For the third year in a row, Red Rocks Community College has earned top awards from the National Science Foundation in their Community College Innovation Challenge.


RRCC students John Sanchez and Bruno Salvatico pose with RRCC President Dr. Michele Haney, IT Director Bill Cherrington and Faculty Joe Murdock

A team of three RRCC computer science/cybersecurity students – Bruno Salvatico, Isaac Kerley and John Sanchez – took second place in the national challenge with their innovative Attackerspace Learning Environment. The system allows students to take a holistic approach to cybersecurity and learn how to defend against real-time attacks in a small enterprise network.


The team created a business network from donated parts and used it to practice hacking/attacking the system. The project allowed them to use the skills learned in the classroom of their cyber program on a live environment. The Attackerspace Learning Environment allows students to “break the system” without bringing down any real production/instruction systems.


Joe Murdock, cybersecurity faculty and advisor for the project said, “The students have been working this project for a year or more. It has been a great partnership between the IT and computer information systems departments, and a fantastic learning environment for our students.” For information on the RRCC Cybersecurity program visit www.rrcc.edu/cyber.


About Red Rocks Community College: Established in 1969, Red Rocks Community College delivers high-quality, affordable education programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates. The college serves over 10,000 students per year online and at two campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada.  www.rrcc.edu.


About the Community College Innovation Challenge:  Today more than 40 percent of U.S. undergraduates study at community colleges. Groups underrepresented in STEM as well as first-generation college students make up a significant portion of students on community-college campuses. NSF-funded projects at community colleges support STEM students transferring to four-year colleges, as well as receiving education and training to become part of the high-tech workforce–in fields as diverse as biotechnology, cybersecurity and advanced manufacturing.