Sabbatical might sound like time off, but it will be anything but that for Dr. Jorge Crichigno who plans to spend his recently-approved sabbatical dedicated to improving his own professional expertise and returning to Northern with enhancements for the Information Engineering Technology (IET) program.
“I am committed to come back and improve the preparation of our students, especially in the high-demand area of cybersecurity,” said Dr. Crichigno, Director of the Information Engineering Technology program at Northern.
During his sabbatical, which begins in August and runs until December of this year, Dr. Crichigno will be at the University of South Florida (USF), home to the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2). The Center, which was created through the Florida Legislature in 2013, is securing Florida’s place as the national leader in the burgeoning field of Cybersecurity. Dr. Crichigno will work alongside Dr. Nasir Ghani, professor in the Electrical Engineering department at USF and research liason for FC2.
“This sabbatical experience is an investment in our program since it will expand opportunities for our students in the field of cybersecurity. It will also build our professional network, which could help us attract new funding and open exchange opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Ivan Lopez, Dean of Northern’s College of Engineering and Technology.
Upon Dr. Crichigno’s return, Northern plans to add a concentration in cybersecurity to the IET program. Reinforcing the cybersecurity component of Northern's IET, the only ABET-accredited program in north-central New Mexico (the only other ABET-accredited programs in New Mexico are offered at UNM, NM Tech, and NMSU), will even further secure the program's place as leader in technology education in New Mexico.