CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Program welcomes first group of scholars

By: Ken Bikoff

Nov 18, 2021

The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program at IU was established in 2020.

The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Program, a collaboration between the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, the Kelley School of Business, and the Maurer School of Law at IU, has welcomed its first group of scholars.

Brady Anderson, Sam Sedziol, and Megan Smaga are the first recipients of the scholarship, which is designed to recruit and train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to meet the needs of Federal, State, local, and tribal government. The program was established via a $2.25 million grant from the National Science Foundation in 2020.

“The clear passion for public service is a distinguishing characteristic for this group, which is all the more laudable given all of the employment options these stellar students have in the cybersecurity field,” said Scott Shackleford, executive director of the Ostrom Workshop and the chair of the cybersecurity and risk management program at IU. “My hope for these students is that they not only master their substantive coursework but see how their skills can be applied to make a difference for under-resourced organizations such as by working with local governments, NGOs, and small utilities through the IU Cybersecurity Clinic. This experience, coupled with their mandatory government internships, will provide them with the well-rounded, applied experiences they need to make a positive difference in the country, and the world.”

Anderson, a Noblesville, Indiana, native, is a junior at the Luddy School who is majoring in computer science. He hopes to use his experience as a CyberCorps scholar to build a stronger bridge between students and faculty as part of the Cybersecurity Club. Anderson would like to work at the National Security Agency in some capacity in the future.

“Being a part of the first group of CyberCorps scholars is exciting,” Anderson said. “I am proud my country and want to protect her, which CyberCorps puts me on a direct path to do. I hope the program continues to develop my leadership skills while also giving me the resources to expand my network in national security.”

Sedziol is also a junior majoring in computer science at Luddy. He envisions a career in penetration testing and other offensive cybersecurity positions, and he’s excited the CyberCorps program will give him the opportunity to pursue his passion.

“For me personally, this program is the perfect opportunity,” Sedziol said. “To be offered the opportunity to not only have a job in government post-graduation but also scholarship support and the experiences that come along with it is better than any opportunity I could have imagined. I hope I can bring a new perspective in some way and be a valuable asset to the program.”

Smaga is pursuing her master’s degree in secure computing with an ultimate goal of working for the FBI.

“Being a part of the first group of CyberCorps Scholars is an honor for me, and I am beyond grateful and excited for the opportunity,” Smaga said. “The program has a lot of opportunities to offer, and I hope to make the most of them throughout my time here. Since this is a new program for the school, as one of the first students to participate I really hope to help build and grow the program as much as possible. I would like to build relationships with faculty and the program coordinators to provide feedback, offer suggestions, and bring new ideas into the program as it continues to develop.”

The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program provides up to two years of financial support, academic-year stipends, a professional allowance for travel, professional certification, and more, and dedicated job fairs. In return, students must agree to work for the U.S. Government after graduation in a cybersecurity-related position, for a period equal to the length of the scholarship. Students in the CyberCorps program gain experience via internships with one of IU’s cybersecurity organizations, including theOmniSOC, theNSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, theResearch and Education Network Information Sharing and Coordination Center, theCenter for Evaluation, Policy and Research, and the newly formed Cybersecurity Clinic.

Graduate students interested in the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program can apply for the Spring or Fall 2022 semesters here. Undergraduates may contact to receive an application.

“This is an amazing opportunity for students to focus on their studies without distractions as well as guide them into careers in public service, all while helping our government employ the cybersecurity professionals it needs to protect us all,” said Joshua Streiff, cybersecurity staff director for the Security & Privacy in Informatics, Computing, and Engineering (SPICE) Center and the IU project manager for the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program. “We’re thrilled to have our first group of scholars and excited to see what they can accomplish.”


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Ken Bikoff
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Reposted with permission. Original found here.