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Students Awarded Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship

September 16, 2020

Two NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences students were awarded the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship (CySP). The DoD gives the scholarship as a grant to designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) schools.

Zachary Singleton, a graduate student studying cybersecurity and undergraduate Michael Valenzuela, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science—network security, will each receive the full cost of tuition, books, and required fees. In exchange for a full scholarship, Singleton and Valenzuela will perform a service obligation with the DoD as civilian employees.

“The Department of Defense CySP scholarship program is just one of the many amazing benefits afforded to New York Institute of Technology, designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” said Mike Nizich, Ph.D., director of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC). “We are very proud of both Zachary and Michael as well as all of our previous awardees, who have benefited from this wonderful opportunity provided by the U.S. Government.”

Only students at designated CAE-CDE schools are permitted to apply for the scholarship. “Not only are the students paid via tuition and stipend but they also are hired by a U.S. Government agency before they even graduate,” said Nizich.

“Through this grant, and others focused on enhancing educational opportunities for our students, the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences faculty and staff continue to demonstrate our unrelenting commitment to providing career-ready education in high-demand areas of engineering and technology,” said Dean Babak Beheshti, Ph.D. “We are proud of Zachary and Michael, and thank Dr. Helen Gu [co-PI] and Dr. Nizich [PI] for this grant.”

The DoD Cyber Scholarship Program is designed to encourage the recruitment of the nation’s top cyber talent and the retention of DoD personnel who have skills necessary to meet DoD’s cyber requirements and help secure our nation against threats of information systems and networks.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. In the company’s Official Cybercrime Report, cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.