CCI Student Masters the Masters

Date Published: 
Friday, March 3, 2017

Department of Software and Information Systems student, senior J. Parker Garrison, has won the prestigious SANS NetWars Core Tournament at the RSA conference held recently in San Francisco.  He competed against 60 cybersecurity professionals.

“It was very exciting” said Garrison.  “I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to challenge myself while competing against some of the best professionals in the field.  It was even more thrilling when I realized I was the overall champion!”

SANS Core NetWars Experience is a competitive hands-on information security challenge created to enhance the skills of infosec professionals. NetWars participants will choose to play solo or in teams up to five players as they navigate and progress through five levels of increasingly difficult challenges that cover all aspects of information security.

“Parker was quite remarkable in the challenges,” said Jason Blanchard, SANS Institute: Outreach and Promotion.  “He has some serious skills for his age.  In addition, he also won a 4-month subscription to our online version of NetWars that he’ll be able to play to help prepare for the 2017 SANS NetWars Tournament of Champions in December in Washington, D.C.

Garrison is pursuing an undergraduate as well as a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity.  He will graduate from the Master’s program in May of 2018.  He is also supported by the Scholarship for Service program.  Members of the program, upon graduation, will work for the federal, state, or local government.

About SANS

SANS is the most trusted and by far the largest source for information security training in the world. We offer training through several delivery methods - live & virtual, classroom-style, online at your own pace or webcast with live instruction, guided study with a local mentor, or privately at your workplace where even your most remote colleagues can join in via Simulcast. Our computer security courses are developed by industry leaders in numerous fields including cyber security training, network security, forensics, audit, security leadership, and application security. Courses are taught by real-world practitioners who are the best at ensuring you not only learn the material, but that you can apply it immediately when you return to the office. All of SANS security courses are also offered at a government customer's desired location. In addition to top-notch training, we offer certification via GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, a certification body featuring over 20 hands-on, technical certifications in information security, and optional Master's Degree programs through SANS Technology Institute graduate school, as well as numerous free security resources including newsletterswhitepapersand webcasts.

About the College of Computing and Informatics
The College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) is the largest and most comprehensive technology program in North Carolina, and one of the largest in the nation, offering scale and critical mass in cutting-edge research and innovation. CCI is a national leader in interdisciplinary partnerships, bridging fundamental research with critical scientific, societal, and national defense challenges. It is also the home to leading research centers and institutes, including the Cyber Defense and Network Assurability (CyberDNA) Center, the Bioinformatics Research Center, the Charlotte Visualization Center, the Complex Systems Institute, and the Center for Education Innovation.  Active research awards currently total $28 Million.  @UNCC_CCI

About the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university. It is the fourth largest campus among the seventeen institutions of the University of North Carolina system and the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region. Current enrollment exceeds 28,000 students, including 5,000 graduate students.


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Media Contact:  Clark G. Curtis, 704-687-7983,