Laurel Ridge cybersecurity experts take part in statewide conference

For Immediate Release:
August 31, 2018

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

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Cybersecurity program manager Professor Henry Coffman and several Laurel Ridge colleagues presented at a recent statewide cybersecurity educational conference.

Coffman, Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange, Associate Professor of IT Darrell Andrews and Workforce Solutions program manager Samantha Brill attended the inaugural Virginia Cybersecurity Education Conference at James Madison University in mid-August. The Virginia Cyber Range Office, which is located at Virginia Tech, managed the conference.

The conference attracted nearly 200 attendees, which included representatives from cybersecurity firms and students who competed in a Capture-the-Flag competition. Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni served as the keynote speaker.

“The purpose of the conference was to allow educators and our partners in government and industry to learn about cybersecurity efforts underway around the commonwealth,” says Coffman. “High school teachers were awarded scholarships to the conference so they could learn all that is happening in this critical field at the K-12, community college and four-year university levels, and take that back to their classrooms. Students learned how to incorporate creative thinking and teamwork in competition maneuvers, while establishing contacts with potential future employers.”

Coffman represents Lord Fairfax on the Virginia Cyber Range Executive Committee, and Stange is an alternate member of the executive committee, which meets on a monthly basis to discuss strategic direction of the Cyber Range, as well as cybersecurity needs and opportunities throughout the state.

Laurel Ridge has a seat at the table thanks to its designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. The designation – awarded by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security – was bestowed in 2015.

“I was there to share the great things Laurel Ridge is doing in cybersecurity and computer science when it comes to producing graduates who are successful when they leave the college,” Stange says. “The most exciting part for me was learning what others are doing and finding new ideas and techniques to bring back to Laurel Ridge to make our classes even better.”

Lord Fairfax offers both associate degrees and career studies certificates in cybersecurity. This fall, Vint Hill has started an accelerated cybersecurity certificate program.

For more information on the cybersecurity program, visit, or email Coffman at [email protected]


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.