KanREN and MERIT Announce Professional Learning Partnership

Blue_Merit_logo KanREN members now have access to Merit professional learning opportunities at a discount.

The Kansas Research and Education Network (KanREN) is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Merit Network, Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based non-profit corporation that operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. The partnership provides KanREN members discounted pricing on Merit’s extensive Professional Learning and cyber security certification courses.

“Collaborating with Merit provides extensive opportunities at a significant savings to our members, and opens new cybersecurity certification and training opportunities to help Kansas institutions meet ever-increasing security demands,” says Cort Buffington, KanREN Executive Director.  “Our partnership with Merit creates a conduit for KanREN members to learn from the national leaders in cybersecurity at Merit and the Michigan Cyber Range.”

Merit provides an on-going schedule of in-person and live online learning opportunities for Information Technology professionals, aimed at developing and enhancing critical skills, such as networking, IPv6, Linux security, Virtualization and much more.

Merit also leverages the infrastructure of the Michigan CyberRange, to provide cybersecurity courseware and certification courses. A Merit-hosted, secure virtual environment, the CyberRange provides unique opportunities for experiential courses in penetration testing, ethical hacking, information security, digital forensics, and more.

Merit’s Chief Executive Officer, Joe Sawasky is equally enthusiastic about the partnership, “We are delighted to be working closely with our KanREN colleagues and their community to help improve the overall security posture of our peer research & education networks.  It is essential that we work together for the betterment of our non-profit communities, given the escalating cyber security challenges we all face  KanREN’s proactive approach to leveraging existent cyber security services is progressive, and Merit is happy to work with them in this new partnership.”

This partnership is the first of its kind for KanREN. Merit currently has learning partnerships with a number of other research and education networks including Connecticut Education Network, Great Plains Network, KINBER, NCREN, NJEDge.Net, NYSERNet & WiscNet.

Cristy Cardinal, Merit’s Professional Development Manager is assisting KanREN with formalizing the partnership and communications around available opportunities.   “Merit’s belief in community building stretches beyond Michigan’s borders. Sharing our Professional Development programs throughout the research and education networks is one of the ways we put that belief in practice. We are pleased to welcome KanREN into our Partner program, and look forward to having KanREN Members join us for Professional Development for a long time to come.”

KanREN and Merit will host a joint webinar on the partnership/available course offerings on April 19, 2016 at 11am CST.  Registration is available on the events page.

Course information and a schedule of opportunities is available online at https://www.merit.edu/professional-development/.

KanREN and Merit are both non-profit organizations serving K-20 education and community anchor institutions with a common mission to facilitate network access, foster collaboration and spur innovation within and among their membership. With similarly situated constituencies, this win-win opportunity between our two research and education networks will broaden member’s professional networks and accelerate information technology acumen.