TCC’s Blankenbaker Appointed to Cybersecurity Education Council

FORT WORTH, Texas — Tarrant County College Northwest President Zarina Blankenbaker has been named one of three cochairs of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Community Coordinating Council.

NICE aims to advance cybersecurity education, training and workforce development.

Representing higher education, Dr. Blankenbaker shares council oversight with Michael Alicca, chief human resources manager for Trellix, a cyber threat detection and response company, and Rodney Peterson, NICE director at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“Being invited to serve as the academic cochair is both an honor and a testament to how community colleges are helping shape the future of cybersecurity education,” Dr. Blankenbaker said. “This invitation signifies our collective commitment to fostering collaboration between public and private sectors, advancing innovative concepts and designing strategies that empower the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.”

The National Security Agency recognized TCC’s cybersecurity program last fall as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. Dr. Blankenbaker has played an integral role in making the program one of the best in the nation.

She says her NICE appointment underscores the vital role two-year institutions hold in cultivating diverse talent and ensuring that cybersecurity education is accessible, relevant and aligned with the evolving needs of an interconnected world.

According to CyberSeek, more than 46,000 cybersecurity jobs are available in the DFW Metroplex.

Tarrant County College is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and boasts the second lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. A comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County and online classes, TCC offers a range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training for area businesses and corporations.