College of Engineering and Science announces cyber security scholarships

Louisiana Tech University’s College of Engineering and Science will award six students with a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) for the 2020-21 academic year. Raven Alexander (cyber engineering), Jack Foil (cyber engineering), Colton Gann (computer science), Jacoby Johnson (computer science), Michael Levesque (cyber engineering) and Jason Marxsen (computer science) will receive the award beginning next fall.

The scholarship includes tuition, cost-of-living stipends, health insurance, professional development reimbursements, an allowance for books, a resume-building class, and the opportunity to participate in internships in cyber-related fields with government entities. Next year’s recipients will be Louisiana Tech’s third cohort and will bring the total number of awardees to 17. These students exemplify the commitment to academic excellence and service to the community.

The CyberCorps SFS program is funded by a $3.5 million grant awarded by the National Science Foundation. It provides students with funding and experience, to prepare future cybersecurity professionals for entry into the government workforce. All CyberCorps SFS awardees make a commitment to a career in cybersecurity for the United States government.

Three winners of previous awards will complete their degrees this May and begin new jobs in cyber security with the United States government this summer. Kimberly Atienza (computer science) will move to Illinois to work with the Air Force Civilian Service. Joseph Bingham (cyber engineering) has lined up a position in the Air Force Civilian Services at Barksdale Air Force Base. Kaelyn Nguyen (computer science) will move to Bloomington, Indiana, to join the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Crane.

“I am pleased that we have been able to offer both the funding and opportunities to our students,” Dr. Hisham Hegab, a lead investigator for the grant and the dean of Tech’s College of Engineering and Science, said. “All 17 students who have earned SFS awards from Tech will make outstanding cybersecurity experts.”

“The scholarship has set me up to start my career on the right foot,” Bingham added. “The time we spent in the class helped me to clean up my resume and prepare for interviews. It helped me polish my professional development skills. The funding allowed us to travel to the career fair in Washington, DC, where I was able to get a good look at the government agencies that are out there. This helped me narrow down what I thought my interests were. Also, the funding allowed me to purchase study materials for certifications and even acquire these certifications before graduating. My major has really helped shape my abilities because I feel like it has over-prepared me to begin work. I feel like I was able to learn a lot about different areas of cyber security and feel very equipped to start work.”

Applications for the CyberCorps SFS Scholar program are available during the winter quarter. Juniors, seniors and first-year graduate students with a 3.0 grade point average, who are enrolled in either Tech’s Computer Science program with a Cybersecurity concentration or the University’s Cyber Engineering program are encouraged to apply. To learn more about the Louisiana Tech program, go to the scholarship webpage.

Kimberly Atienza

Joseph Bingham

Kaelyn Nguyen