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In just the second year of competing, UVU places first in international cybersecurity strategy challenge

/EIN News/ --

Orem, Utah, March 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

OREM, Utah — In a David vs. Goliath-type international cybersecurity competition, a group of Utah Valley University national security students took on powerhouse schools and won.

In just their second year competing, UVU’s student team, the “W0LV3R1NES,” took first place in the Atlantic Council’s Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge. The team went head-to-head with graduate and Ph.D. students from top universities including Tufts, Georgetown, Columbia, New York, American, and Duke universities, in addition to West Point, the Air Force Academy, and the Naval Academy.

“This win demonstrates the exceptional quality of the National Security Program here at UVU,” said Brandon Amacher, a private-sector cybersecurity professional. “The faculty is full of seasoned industry professionals, and the students are some of the best and brightest you will ever meet.”

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is a one-of-a-kind competition designed to provide students across academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of the policy challenges associated with cyber crisis and conflict. Part interactive learning experience and part competitive scenario exercise, it challenges teams to respond to a realistic, evolving cyberattack and analyze the threat it poses to national, international, and private sector interests. 

“As director of the program and center, I have worked with these students and coaches over the years, and it is an amazing thing to see what they have accomplished here,” said Ryan Vogel, director of National Security Studies at UVU. “As an undergraduate team in just our second year competing, it was a huge feat to win this competition over all the elite teams from across the country and world.”

This year’s competition consisted of 36 teams from across the United States, as well as Australia, Chile, and South Africa. Due to COVID-19, the teams competed virtually.

The UVU W0LV3R1NES team consisted of students Andrew Jensen, Mark Driggs, Alec Heitzmann, Hunter Karr, Ashton Earl, Bryton Jensen, and Edward Goebel, all in the National Security Studies program at UVU. They were coached by faculty and professional coaches in addition to academic mentors and local cybersecurity professionals. This team was supported by the Center for National Security Studies at UVU.

To learn more about the program, please visit  


About Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University is the largest public university in the state of Utah, with more than 40,000 students. The university boasts a dual-mission model that combines the rigor and richness of a first-rate teaching university with the openness and vocational programs of a community college. UVU’s unique model, which focuses on student success, engaged learning, rigorous academic programs, and faculty-mentored research, is transforming higher education by making it more affordable and accessible to students of all backgrounds. For more information, visit or follow on Instagram or Facebook.


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Scott Trotter
Utah Valley University