After coming in second place for two consecutive years, Team Metro took home the gold at the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) state qualifier, hosted at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

“We were the youngest team to join two years ago and were the runner-up for 2015 and 2016 state qualifier. The team is fairly young and only had one returning member from last year as compared to many other teams who have many repeat members participating for few years,” said Prof. Faisal Kaleem, team advisor and associate professor in the university’s Department of Information and Computer Sciences. “This is a good team, with varied skills and has the potential to win the regional competition.”

The team now has a chance at the regional competition, which will take place March 17-18, in Chicago, Illinois. The winners of that contest advance to the national competition, to be held  April 13-15, in San Antonio, Texas.

The team consists of 12 Metropolitan State University students who showed strengths in both technical and soft skills, as well as a commitment to the competition.

This year’s Team Metro lineup includes:

  • Maryan Osman (Computer Application Development)
  • Alex Hepp (Computer Information Technology)
  • Mai Phan (Management Information System)
  • Brian Thill (Computer Science)
  • Prakat Tuladhar (Computer Science)
  • Taylor Beauclaire (Computer Science)
  • Nick Hanzlik (Computer Information Technology)
  • Ann Putnam (Computer Information Technology)
  • Kurt Wise (Computer Science)
  • Austin Kleineschay (Computer Information Technology)
  • Richard Ketelsen (Computer Science)

The ultimate goal of Metropolitan State’s Cyber Defense Team is to bring more visibility to Metropolitan State, and Minnesota as a whole, when it comes to cyber-security and talent in the field. The team has worked on many initiatives in the cyber-security and forensics sector.

In 2018, the team hopes to have eight returning team members, giving them an advantage in upcoming competitions.

Students who are are interested in joining Team Metro next year should contact Faisal Kaleem. Learn more about the competition at the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) website.