AU National Security Students Relish Opportunity with Indiana Department of Homeland Security



Gaining real-world experience while still an undergraduate student isn’t a myth at Anderson University. For four national security students, that kind of experience has been integrated into a semester long practicum that has given them the opportunity to work with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

The group, under the direction of Dr. Michael Frank and with the support of the Center for Security Studies and Cyber Defense, is made up of four students: Izach Butler, Grant Hardwick, Korey Rees, and Morgan Rossman.

The group has been tasked with developing a cyber incident response plan for an Indiana city and a simulation manual for a tabletop exercise. This is the first in a series of 8-10 pilot communities the state has targeted to roll out the local government initiative of their strategic plan. AU students could potentially be able to work with other communities in the future.

“The project for the Indiana Cyber Security Department required us to use critical thinking skills for developing policies that require emergency response and coordination,” said Hardwick. “The curriculum and opportunities here at Anderson University helped prepare us for real world experience with this internship.”

Students were required to adapt the State of Indiana’s framework to the local community they’re working with to ensure the community is prepared for cyber threats. The simulation manual created by the group will hold a set of instructions for the community’s government to use when they conduct a tabletop exercise. The exercise, which the students will be present to observe, is designed to find weaknesses.

The experience given to the students is something that, while not necessarily unique, is difficult to find at a university, including those larger than AU. 

“AU has really stepped up in offering amazing on-campus opportunities to students,” said Rossman. “The amount of high-ranking officials that have visited and new internships like this have been pretty staggering. Friends I know going to state universities 20 times larger than Anderson don’t have opportunities like this.”

In this case, Frank and David Dungan, director of the CSSCD, have cultivated a relationship with Chetrice Mosley-Romero, Indiana’s Cybersecurity Program Director. Mosley-Romero reached out to AU and asked for its involvement in the project. It’s these types of relationships that have set AU students up for success moving forward.

“This internship is exactly the kind of real world experience that not only gives me an opportunity to explore different opportunities within my field to find what I am most passionate about, it also gives me a competitive advantage moving into the professional world,” said Rees.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.