St. Cloud State has earned a $2.78 million Scholarship for Service Award for student scholarships to train future cybersecurity professionals.
The award from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security certifies that St. Cloud State is a member of the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Community, which is made up of about 55 universities from across the country working to educate and train students to be future cybersecurity professionals.
“The CyberCorp Community is one of the most prestigious communities in cybersecurity,” said Tirthankar Ghosh, principal investigator on the grant and director of the St. Cloud State Information Technology Security program.
The five-year grant will provide two-year scholarships for six students each year of the grant. The first scholarships will be awarded for fall semester 2015.
Awards will go to the top three undergraduate students in information technology security and to the top three graduate students in information assurance. The undergraduate scholarship will cover tuition, books, health insurance and travel to the annual CyberCorps job fair and conferences and a stipend of $20,000 per year.
Director, St. Cloud State Information Technology Security program
The graduate scholarship will cover the same expenses and includes a stipend of $32,000 per year. Following graduation, the students will work for the government at any level in a cybersecurity role for a period of time equal to the length of their scholarship.
In addition to the post-graduation work requirement, scholarship recipients at St. Cloud State will form a Community Cybersecurity Champions team responsible for bringing awareness of cybersecurity issues to the broader community through seminars, workshops and talks to area high school students, teachers and counselors, Ghosh said.
“They will increase general awareness among the community about cyber threats and everything,” he said. “These groups would be very proactive in leading this effort.”
The University is partnering in the grant with information technology programs at Century College, White Bear Lake, and Lake Superior College, Duluth, to encourage students there to seek a cybersecurity degree from St. Cloud State.
Five representatives from St. Cloud State and one each from Century College and Lake Superior College traveled Jan. 12 to Washington D.C. to accept the award at the CyberCorps participating institutions meeting and job fair.
The schools also received $150,000 to hold a Generation Cyber camp this summer. St. Cloud State will incorporate the camp into two of its Pipeline Summer Camp programs, and Lake Superior College will also host its own Generation Cyber camp program this summer.