Andreea Cotoranu

STEM is a powerful tool for understanding the world,” says Clinical Professor of Information Technology Andreea Cotoranu ’04, ’08, ’20. 

Cotoranu’s expertise helps students get real-life experience with handling cyber-attacks and reporting incidents in a high-pressure environment.

But college students aren’t the only ones she teaches. Her efforts have been laser focused on Pace’s GenCyber program, a cybersecurity initiative funded by the National Security Agency that trains high school teachers. Over the past five years, the program has trained more than 100 teachers from 100+ high schools in 28 states.

As the co-principal investigator of Pace CyberCorps®, a service program for college students, Cotoranu played a key role in securing a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). She’s also the co-principal investigator for the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship Program, aimed at recruiting the nation’s top cybersecurity talent to the DoD workforce. Recipients of the scholarship are set up with paid summer internships in cybersecurity-related roles and a cybersecurity-related job with the DoD after graduation (pending security clearance, of course).

It’s not just cybersecurity that she’s into—she’s also the director of Pace’s NYC Design Factory, part of a global network of innovators that challenges students to launch brand new ideas on the intersection of design and technology. 

It’s cutting edge, and Cotoranu is at the forefront. Her favorite project (and one that she introduced), was the Challenge Based Innovation A3 at CERN IdeaSquare, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Pace students traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to design new products and services that address the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. “This experience is invaluable to students and may benefit all of us by preparing them to tackle wicked problems,” Cotoranu told us.