U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, UDM alum, visits campus

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a University of Detroit Mercy alum, along with National Cyber Director Harry Coker Jr., visited Detroit Mercy’s Vehicle Cyber Engineering Program on April 15. 

Receiving $497,080 from the United States Department of Defense, UDM’s cybersecurity program continues to work towards aiding the Metro Detroit Regional Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute. UDM’s cybersecurity program has been hailed as one of the top cybersecurity programs in the nation by students and government officials.  

Senator Peters spoke highly of the cybersecurity program UDM has fostered and how the students are being prepared to aid in the fight against cyberattacks.  

“I’ve come to really respect the incredible work that’s being done here now at the University of Detroit Mercy,” Peters said.  “This is just an outstanding cybersecurity program; it’s one of the best in the country…I wanted to bring him [Director Harry Coker Jr.] into Michigan to see the program; to see the work being done as we work to try to replicate programs like we see at the University of Detroit Mercy around the country.”   

Peters used the word “critical”  when speaking about the importance of UDM students in the fight against cyberattacks. Also being the Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has had a front row seat in seeing the threats the United States faces when it comes to cyberattacks. He spoke about the importance of cybersecurity education in general, recommending that individuals in every field should take at least one class involving cybersecurity as every career will touch the cybersecurity realm. 

After speaking to the multitude of students and admiring their projects, Peters reminisced about his own time at UDM. He relayed that the school’s reputation was the main factor behind his attendance at the school while pursuing his MBA.  

“I was working full time at Merrill Lynch in the investment business, and I wanted to further my education in finance,” Peters said. “[UDM] had a great reputation, and it was one of the few fully accredited programs and it had a great night program…I had wonderful instructors, and it was a great experience.”  

While Peters observed the students and their preparation for entering into the field of cybersecurity and in the defense and automotive arenas, he also took time to speak to the students on a personal level. An electrical engineering student presenting at the event, Allison Sherman, spoke to Peters as she presented a project she was involved in. 

 “Sen. Peters was very nice and encouraging,” Sherman said. “He seemed very impressed by all the student projects.”  

She also spoke highly of UDM and of the classes that offered her experience and that helped her gain real world knowledge.  

Peters hopes to bring even more recognition to the University of Detroit Mercy as time goes on as well as to their extremely successful cybersecurity program as AI advances in the national political sector.