Dedication set to begin new chapter

Chloe Forbes, Editor-in-Chief

Gannon University’s Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK) is set to open its doors to the Gannon community for the first time this week.

The new space was purchased in 2016 and now houses the cybersecurity and cyber engineering programs. It includes the Pierre McCormick Cyber Learning Center, Cyber Attack Lab, Cyber Defense Lab and Internet of Things Lab.

Mary C. Gensheimer, the co-director of the School of Communication and the Arts, said that when students walk into the I-HACK building, they think to themselves, “I want to be a part of this.”

Gensheimer worked with architects to design special spaces within the building. She said a large focus was placed on looking at how people interact in the space, rather than giving it a super sleek, modern feel to the point of feeling cold and uninviting.

“Human beings using technology for good is vital to inspire, to protect and to integrate,” Gensheimer said. “I think there’s a human element in it that’s really important, so it’s not just about technology, but also about human beings using technology.”

Part of this includes collaboration areas in the center concourse along with other spaces for students to collaborate.

Paying homage to the history of the cell tower building I-HACK previously was, an art installation on the second floor will incorporate the old pay phones, refurbished to match the I-HACK design.

Geremy Paige, a student currently studying to receive a cybersecurity essentials certificate through the engineering and business program, said that he thinks the new center will be highly advantageous to those entering the cybersecurity and cyber engineering fields.

Graduate student Geremy Paige stands in the common area of the renovated I-HACK building. (LinkedIn)

Paige emphasized that COVID-19 showed people the importance of working remotely, as many jobs have exponentially increased their use of technology, and along with that comes cybersecurity risks.

Paige speaks from experience as he graduated from Gannon with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management with a concentration in sports marketing. He went on to complete his Master of Business Administration degree at California University of Pennsylvania but realized he wanted to enter the cybersecurity field when the pandemic began.

Paige recently founded SEED, a nonprofit corporation that provides education in the areas of financial literacy, computer skills and decision-making using Software as a Service (SaaS) teachings.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million unfulfilled cybersecurity positions globally in 2021.

“Going forward, the people who can mix their degree with cybersecurity are going to be very attractive in the job market,” Paige said. “Just imagine someone was a health science major in their undergraduate, then they get a cybersecurity certificate. Then that makes you flexible in the job market because one of the biggest things about the health field is HIPPA – you need to keep your information secure.”

In the near future, Paige predicts that I-HACK will move cybersecurity and cyber engineering to be among the top degrees at Gannon.

“I think it’s going to be one of the best programs at Gannon in the next year or two years mainly due to how technology is innovating,” Paige said.

The new I-HACK building, formerly known as the Knight Tower, begins a new chapter in Gannon University’s pursuit of offering new academic programs. (Nadya Makay)

The opening ceremony is set to take place at 2 p.m. Friday and will be streamed over Facebook Live for students and faculty to attend virtually. Visit for more information.


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