CEHC Dean, Professor Join Gov. Cuomo on Solidarity Trip to Israel

From left: CEHC Professor of Practice Michael Leczinsky and Dean Bob Griffin showcase the college's drone testing facility. (Photo by Patrick Dodson)

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 16, 2019) – UAlbany’s first in the nation College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) took another step forward in its growing relationship with one of the world’s leading security powers.

As part of a solidarity trip led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, CEHC Dean Bob Griffin, along with professor of practice Michael Leczinsky, recently traveled to Israel, meeting with various higher education, government, industry and other community leaders in the country.

The trip included ongoing partnership discussions with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, a public research university in Beersheba, Israel. BGU is at the center of the country’s cybersecurity research and development. The college’s Cybersecurity Research Center is currently partnered with The Israeli Computer Services Directorate, which leads Israel’s cyber defense efforts.

Last year, CEHC sent three students to BGU as part of inaugural “CEHC in Israel” program. The students spent six months immersing themselves in all Israel has to offer – including its unique approach to national security. The two institutions are currently discussing a dual degree program and will join together again for a two-week exchange summit next semester.

"Leveraging our research expertise for the greater good and preparing our students to be globally engaged citizens are among UAlbany's core values,” said UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez. “This innovative partnership between CEHC and Ben-Gurion University accomplishes both by helping address the critical need for cybersecurity research and development while providing powerful opportunities for education abroad."

"The Governor's vision of a SUNY college dedicated to training those who will keep our families and communities safe knows no boundaries,” added Griffin. “The opportunity to share, work and learn with our friends and colleagues at Ben-Gurion University reflects UAlbany's values and strategic mission in New York and around the world. I remain honored to be part of this vision, mission, and partnership."

Supporting the Governor’s Mission

As a result of his solidarity trip, Gov. Cuomo announced a wide ranging series of economic development partnerships between New York State and Israel in industries including UAV/drones, transportation, energy, cybersecurity, financial technology and health care.

Students test equipment in CEHC's makerspace.

CEHC's makerspace features 3D printers, laser cutters, soldering irons and a variety of other tools and hardware, ready to help students create, invent and learn. (Photo by Patrick Dodson)

Along with the BGU partnership, Griffin also co-hosted a roundtable discussion on UAVs, laying the groundwork for possible collaboration opportunities and sharing details on CEHC’s new 1,700-square-foot drone testing facility and campus makerspace.

Leczinsky visited The Center for Israeli Innovation, a cutting-edge visitor’s center presenting an introduction to the Israeli startup ecosystem. The center’s exhibition displays over 80 leading Israeli technology companies in different fields such as health, science, safety and security, agriculture, space and transportation.

“We want our college to become a national model for emerging technology education and experiential learning,” Leczinsky said. “With Israel having the highest number of per capita startups in the world, this was a unique opportunity to learn what makes them successful, and also share some of innovative things we are doing back at home.”

You can learn more about Gov. Cuomo’s solidarity trip here.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.