By Aisha Tepede

The Minority Serving – Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (MS-CC) is an NSF-funded effort that promotes advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) capabilities through collaboration with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) by using data, research computing, teaching, curriculum development and implementation, collaboration, and capacity-building connections among institutions.

The MS-CC is a vibrant and growing community of information technology (IT) professionals, campus leaders, faculty members, researchers, and students from across the nation’s HBCUs, TCUs, HSIs, and the broader community of MSIs. They are also joined by colleagues and leaders from regional and national organizations.

The main goals of MS-CC include increasing access to CI resources, enhancing interactions and effectiveness among researchers and CI professionals, and providing resources for professional and career development throughout institutions serving underrepresented students. MS-CC’s goals allow for growth and learning by advancing CI for research and education across diverse fields and communities.

In the past year, MS-CC has hosted multiple free CI and cybersecurity workshops at various universities, such as North Carolina A&T State University, Salish Kootenai College, Jackson State University, Claflin University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Topics ranged from the importance of CI on college campuses, access to open-source security tools, documented best practices for campus infrastructure, and hands-on workshop experience with IT leadership and staff. Along with workshops, MS-CC had the opportunity to present at the 2022 National HBCU Week Conference in Washington, D.C. to bring awareness to advancing CI for HBCUs.

MS-CC participant groups within
the 12-state MBDH region
• Chicago State University (IL)
• Fond du Lac Tribal and Community
  College (MN)
• Turtle Mountain Community College (ND)
• Cankdeska Cikana Community College
  (ND; formerly Little Hoop Community
• Sicangu Lakota Treaty Council (SD)

MS-CC recently hosted its first Annual Meeting for its community, and first Student Hackathon for students attending HBCUs and TCUs, in May. Hosted in partnership with Internet2 and with funding support from the National Science Foundation (awards #2137123 and #2234326), the events created a place for networking opportunities, community bridging, and student recognition.

The MS-CC community is built on lifting each other up and growing together. When joining the MS-CC, individuals become part of a vibrant community where they can collaborate, receive support, and advocate for their collective needs.

Joining the MS-CC as a participant is simple, quick, easy—and free! Fill out this form, join the mailing list, and stay informed about upcoming meetings and activities. MS-CC participants can also get involved by joining a committee or working group. Registration is open for a virtual orientation for prospective committee and working group members on Sep. 12 at 4 p.m. ET.

Get Involved

Looking at upcoming MS-CC events or activities, the MS-CC hosts monthly All Hands Meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month at 12 p.m. ET. It’s a great way to stay informed about upcoming workshops, webinars, events, the latest activities, and opportunities for collaboration, with their next meeting being on Sep. 28, 2023. Zoom details can be found here, along with recordings of past All Hands Meetings.

The MS-CC also hosts Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Plan Community of Practice monthly calls for IT leaders, staff, faculty, and/or others leading, interested in, or contributing to the development of CI Plan documents for their campus.

The MS-CC CI facilitation team and several leadership board members will be participating in the 2023 Internet2 Technology Exchange Conference from September 18–22, 2023. They are hosting the Science DMZ and Networking for All workshop on Monday, September 18, and giving a presentation titled “Cyberinfrastructure Advancement Designed by and for HBCUs and TCUs” on Wednesday, September 20.

Future cyberinfrastructure and cybersecurity workshops at HBCUs and TCUs, as well as additional communities of practice for MS-CC participants, are being planned and will be announced on their website in the coming months.

Contact the MBDH if you’re aware of other people or projects we should profile here, or to participate in any of our community-led Priority Areas. The MBDH has a variety of ways to get involved with our community and activities. The Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub is an NSF-funded partnership of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University, Iowa State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, and the University of North Dakota, and is focused on developing collaborations in the 12-state Midwest region. Learn more about the national NSF Big Data Hubs community.