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CyberWolves rank 7th nationally during National Cyber League Team Game Playoffs April 14-16, Shu ranks in the top 20 in individual games

Release Date: May 03, 2023

Gena Alfonso

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Marketing, Communications & Community Relations

(719) 671-0929

The CSU Pueblo CyberWolves Red Team finished in 7th place in the Experienced Bracket at the Spring 2023 National Cyber League (NCL) Team Playoffs held April 14-16. The results are based on the Cyber Skyline Power Rankings, which are a comprehensive measure of NCL Individual and Team performance that considers a school's top performing team, their top performing students, and the number and performance of each of the participating students from each school.

The CSU Pueblo CyberWolves sponsored six NCL teams during the playoffs. The teams consisted of 38 students representing the university and competing against 6,450 individuals from other competitive cyber security programs from colleges and universities across the nation.  CSU Pueblo student Kevin Shu ranked 19th in the Individual (standard) NCL cyber games out of 6,273 individual student players. 

“These top NCL rankings by our ‘scrappy’ CIS-Cyber Security students attest to the rigor of our U.S. National Security Agency-Center for Academic Excellence designated cyber security program and the quality and discipline of our amazing CSU Pueblo Students,” said Dr. Roberto Mejias, Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems, Director for the Center for Cyber Security Education & Research (CCSER) and Head CSU Pueblo NCL Coach. “Our CSU Pueblo CyberWolves outscored other Carnegie Research-1 (R1) cyber powerhouse programs including the University of Oklahoma, Purdue, Rochester Institute of Technology, and West Point U.S. Military Academy, to name a few.”

Overall, the individual players and teams received a composite national ranking of 7th place, moving up the ranks after finishing in 13th place during the last NCL season and in third place in the Western region. Of note this round is the CSU Pueblo NCL Coaches also formed their own team to personally compete in the NCL Games and ranked in 42 place out of 316 teams in the experienced teams competition. 

Dr. Roberto Mejias commended Jim Quintana, CSU Pueblo NCL and NSA Lab Developer, and former CSU Pueblo Cyber Security grads, Josh Greer, Mark Tullier, Jared Suda, Gabrila Garcia-Greer and Raul Reyes, who now serve as coaches who continue to provide valuable cyber insights to our CSU Pueblo CyberWolves.

"Cyber challenges require problem-solving skills that force us to think outside of the box and change what we have only known,” CSU Pueblo CyberWolves Coach Jim Quintana said. “I am passionate about teaching individuals to push past what we typically know as our set limit. I enjoy watching that student who has the ability to push themselves beyond their norm successfully and have that confidence rush. I feel that those moments define these students' untapped abilities, and they recognize that they can do so much more if they try just a little bit harder."    

Dr. Meijas serves as the principal investigator for two externally funded National Science Foundation (NSF) grants and one State of Colorado CyberSecurity/BlockChain Fund. “CSU Pueblo's success in securing these ‘hard-to-get’ NSF grants was due to CSU Pueblo's active recruitment of more under-represented student groups, particularly Hispanics/Latino and females, into its rigorous CIS program whose students participate each season in these NCL national cyber security competitions.”

More than 300 teams from colleges and institutions across the United States competed during the NCL Team Game. The Team Game is a collaboration of up to seven players per team to successfully answer and complete as many questions pertaining to the given challenges provided by Cyber Skyline on their web-based platform. The Individual Game modules include open source intelligence, cryptography, password cracking, log analysis, network traffic analysis, forensics, scanning and reconnaissance, enumeration and exploitation, and web application exploitation.

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