Technology, Management and Budget
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 21, 2021
Caleb Buhs, firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-282-6018
LANSING, Mich. -- The 10th Michigan Cyber Summit (formerly the North American International Cyber Summit), hosted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, virtually brought together nearly 1,000 participants today to discuss solutions for the cybersecurity dangers that threaten the security of citizens and business throughout the world. The summit is the signature event of Michigan Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held each year in Oct.
"This year marks a decade of hosting the cyber summit in Michigan," said Whitmer. "It is amazing how the role of cybersecurity has grown exponentially since our first summit, and during the pandemic, it has become even more important. The role that IT has played in making it possible for us to continue to operate our businesses and educate our children during this pandemic cannot be overstated. But it doesn't come without risks. As more people operate in the digital world, the bigger the target becomes for cyber criminals to exploit."
Cybersecurity experts from around the country joined the virtual event including Chris DeRusha, federal chief information security officer; U.S. Sen. Gary Peters; U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin; Paul Ajegba, director, Michigan Department of Transportation; Tracey Barnes, chief information officer from state of Indiana; Jim Beechey, executive director, Consumers Energy; Kelley Goldblatt, cybersecurity advisor, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; Leah Hurley, managing director, Deloitte & Touche LLP's Government & Public Services Cyber Risk Services; and numerous other information technology and cyber experts.
The Michigan Cyber Summit also continued the tradition of highlighting the skills needed to fill the growing demand for cybersecurity talent by announcing the winners of the sixth annual Governor's High School Cyber Challenge and CyberPatriot competitions.
A total 169 teams, consisting of 520 students from 21 schools all across Michigan, participated in the challenge. The top 10 teams competed in the final round Oct. 8. The final round teams included four teams from Canton High School; two teams from the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center; two teams from the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center; and one team each from Gull Lake Community Schools in Richland and Houghton High School.
Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II today announced the winners in his remarks.
Taking first place in the competition were Eric D'Urso, David Reeves, and Jacob Eason, students from Canton High School, along with coach Scott Obsniuk.
Second place went to Canton High School students Alex Liao and Jayden Sarveshkumar, with coach Scott Obsniuk.
Taking third place, also from Canton High School were Pranav Merugu, Fritz Geib, and Robert Everitt, with coach Scott Obsniuk.
"These bright young Michiganders at the next generation of cybersecurity experts," said Gilchrist. "High school students from around the state have shown an interest in and talent for cybersecurity. It is tremendously important that we continue to support and invest in cybersecurity research, training, and education programs in schools at every level to expose and engage young people in this field for years to come."
The Lt. Governor also recognized Michigan students who participated in the CyberPatriot competitions. This year 102 Michigan teams made up of middle and high school students competed against 3,500 students from across the nation in the Virtual CyberPatriot program. Three teams took the top spots in the Michigan CyberPatriot competition.
Taking first place in the high school open division were students Nolan Kuza, John Paul Robin, Luka Cvetkovic, and Jonathan Hubbard, with coach Eden Konja, from Notre Dame Preparatory School in Pontiac.
Maj. Kevin A. Adams Memorial Composite Squadron students Clara Ballard, Ryan Kersten, Lily McCready, and Kira Shaffer, with coach Capt. Matt Roberts from Ann Arbor, placed first in the all services division.
Placing first in the middle school division were Amelie Strickfaden, Shaila Cranson, Heidi Gee, and coach Jerry Gee from the Farmington STEAM Academy, Farmington Hills.
More information about Michigan's cybersecurity efforts and helpful links on ways to protect yourself from cyber threats can be found at Michigan.gov/cybersecurity.
1st Place - Crickets from Canton High School - from left to right: Eric D'Urso, David Reeves, and Jacob Eason
2nd Place - Breakfast Vedge from Canton High School - from left to right: Alex Liao and Jayden Sarveshkumar
3rd Place - Teamy McTeamer from Canton High School - from left to right: Pranav Merugu, Fritz Geib, and Robert Everitt
1st Place in Open Division - The Fighting Irish Team from Notre Dame Preparatory School - from left to right: Luka Cvetkovic, Nolan Kuza, Jonathan Hubbard, unlisted student, Jonathan Karr (mentor), and John Paul Robin.
1st Place in All Services Division - Yellow Team from Maj. Kevin A Adams Composite Memorial Squadron - from left to right: Lily McCready, Clara Ballard, Ryan Kersten, and Kira Shaffer not pictured
1st Place in Middle School Division - Farmington STEAM Academy - from left to right: Amelie Strickfaden, Shaila Cranson, and Heidi Gee