For the third consecutive season, Marshall University’s Collegiate Cyber Defense team placed in the top 10 of the National Cyber League (NCL) team competition.

The team placed ninth of 510 teams that competed in the fall. Marshall is the only university-sponsored team to be ranked in the top 10 for three consecutive seasons.

The team is composed of students in Marshall’s business, digital forensics and information assurance, computer and information technology, computer science and mathematics programs. They all participate in Marshall’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Club (CCDC).

Team members included A.J. Clark, Philip Taylor, Peyton Stevens, Neale Tindall and Colton Toney. The team is led by Josh Brunty, associate professor of digital forensics and information assurance in Marshall’s College of Science.

“When these students learn cybersecurity and cyber forensics concepts in the classroom, it’s a perfect scenario that results in a perfect outcome. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in the real world,” Brunty said. “When these students play in competitions like NCL, they have to apply a broad base of knowledge and skills to figure out how to solve a challenge, regardless of the obstacles. It teaches them hands-on skills that we could never replicate in the classroom. It’s these skills, along with teamwork, that will set them apart after graduation.”

The NCL is a nonprofit organization that aims to serve as a cybersecurity training ground, providing simulation environments and competitions to help strengthen participants’ skills in the field. For more information on NCL, visit To learn more about the CCDC club at Marshall, visit

Originally from Jean Hardiman for Marshall University Communications