NSF renews K-State CyberCorps program for five years, $3 million
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
MANHATTAN — With recent funding from the National Science Foundation of more than $3 million over the next five years, the CyberCorps®: Scholarships for Service program at Kansas State University will continue to build on its history of producing high-quality graduates to meet national, state, local and tribal government demand for skilled cybersecurity personnel.
"Through a newly restructured and streamlined cybersecurity curriculum, students will receive not just training, but a comprehensive education in cybersecurity theory, fundamentals and the state of the art, enabling a nimble workforce that can readily adapt to new situations, technologies and computing modalities," said Eugene Vasserman, director of the program and associate professor in computer science and Michele Munson-Serban Simu Keystone research scholar.
Under the umbrella of the universitywide Center for Information and Systems Assurance, a National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Research also directed by Vasserman, the award provides scholarship support for undergraduate and graduate students interested in cybersecurity research and practice.
The continuing CyberCorps® program, "CyberCorps SFS Renewal: Strengthening the National Cyber-Security Workforce," will build on the current momentum of providing unique opportunities for historically underrepresented groups, including rural and first-generation students, to become high-quality professionals in the field."
The project will result in an expanded cybersecurity curriculum, a strategic plan for cybersecurity with research focus areas and measurable goals, a continuous improvement plan to grow and evolve the program, including additional classes focused on special interest areas in cybersecurity, hands-on experience with real-world cybersecurity problems through the multistakeholder INSuRE program, and an annual goal and performance review system to tailor instruction and research involvement to the learning style of each student.
Computer science faculty members who will serve as co-investigators on the project include Scott DeLoach, department head and professor; Daniel Andresen, professor; George Amariucai, associate professor; and Arslan Munir, assistant professor.
"As Kansas and the Midwest have a large underserved, mostly rural and first-generation student population, this renewal of K-State's CyberCorps® program will help broaden participation of diverse and underrepresented groups," Vasserman said.
"We are uniquely situated to recruit veteran, active duty and non-scholarship ROTC students through our proximity to, and established relationship with, the U.S. Army's Midwest Regional Network Enterprise Center at Fort Riley and the Kansas Air National Guard in Wichita; and first-generation college students from underserved rural areas and from Kansas' designated Opportunity Zones."