Supporting cybersecurity scholars | UDaily | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

The principal investigator (PI) of UD’s “Defending Cyberspace through Active Learning” program, which includes $3.4 million in funding over five years, is Kenneth Barner, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical Engineering. Co-PIs are associate professors Stephan Bohacek and Andrew Novocin, and assistant professor Nektarios Tsoutsos.  

“Getting to be part of this SFS cohort was a natural next step for furthering our degree offerings,” Barner said. “Now that we have all the infrastructure, and there’s a great demand for our cyber security courses, we can significantly strengthen our current program offerings in a way that supports our students and helps launch them on their careers.”

“Securing Cyberspace is an identified Engineering Grand Challenge for personal privacy and national security while there remains a critical cybersecurity skills gap and workforce shortage,” said professor and department chair Jamie Phillips. “I am extremely pleased to see the establishment of our CyberCorps SFS program at the University of Delaware to play our part in addressing this national and global need through excellence in educating the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.” 

“As Delaware’s former Secretary of Labor and the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Future of Work Caucus in Congress, preparing people in Delaware and across the country to take on in-demand jobs has long been a top priority of mine,” said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. “Our country is currently facing a significant cybersecurity workforce shortage with more than 500,000 open cyber roles nationwide and more than 2,000 openings in Delaware alone. I’m excited by today’s announcement which will bring over $3 million in federal funding to support cybersecurity students at the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering through this innovative new program as they prepare to take on critical cybersecurity roles, helping strengthen our cybersecurity workforce, grow our economy, and protect our personal data and national security.”

Unique opportunities for cybersecurity scholars

Awarded to five new institutions this fiscal year, the SFS program provides scholarships for students who enroll in the cybersecurity engineering bachelor of science program, the master of science in cybersecurity program, the cybersecurity 4+1 BCPE/MS program, and students pursuing a cybersecurity-focused PhD, all of which are part of UD’s electrical and computer engineering department. The first cohort of SFS scholars will join the UD community starting next fall and will receive a stipend, an allowance for professional development activities and computers, and have their tuition paid in full for up to two years.

One key feature of the SFS program is the requirement for scholarship recipients to work in cybersecurity-related jobs for federal, state, local or tribal government organizations for the same or longer length of time as their scholarship. To help students meet additional internship requirements for the SFS program, this year UD will pilot a summer internship program with the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) and begin fostering additional partnerships with local and regional governmental organizations.


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