ACSA Teams With HP and CRA-W to Increase Cyber Security Scholarships for Women

Originally posted on Market Wired

HP Grants $250,000 to the Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS)

WASHINGTON, DC— Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA), the non-profit sponsor of major cybersecurity research conferences, announced the expansion of the “Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security” (SWSIS) through relationships with HP, and the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W). As part of the expanded initiative, HP is committing $250,000 to the scholarship program, and CRA-W will assist with selecting scholarship winners and publicizing the scholarships through its extensive network of faculty members and researchers in the field.

With the addition of HP’s multi-year financial commitment, starting with the 2014-15 academic year, ACSA will be able to increase the number of scholarships, in turn helping to increase the number of women in the field. These $5,000 to $10,000 scholarships, up to $20,000 total over a two year period, provide assistance to women at formative stages of their careers.

Numerous studies have identified the shortage of cybersecurity professionals and the dearth of women in particular. Since 2011, ACSA has provided scholarships to women studying for their B.S. and M.S. degrees in fields relating to information security.

“Recognizing the lack of women in cybersecurity, we started the SWSIS program as a way to help women enter this dynamic field,” said Jeremy Epstein, Director of Scholarship Programs for ACSA. “Diversity is vital to the vibrancy and innovation in any field. In cybersecurity, with its rapidly changing threat landscape, it’s crucial we have those with diverse perspectives and problem-solving skills. We are excited to have HP’s support to address the critical national shortage of qualified cybersecurity candidates, and CRA-W’s ability to reach and connect with young women on college campuses to identify and encourage them to apply,” Epstein added.

Jill Jermyn, a graduate student at Columbia University and one of the first group of SWSIS scholarship winners, said “Being a recipient of the SWSIS scholarship made it possible for me to further my studies in cyber security, both financially and through encouraging support from leading professionals in the field. It also gave me the opportunity to attend ACSAC, which opened my eyes to exciting new cyber security research and inspired me to pursue my PhD.”

Nancy M. Amato, CRA-W Director of the ACSA/CRA-W SWSIS program, says “CRA-W is excited to team with ACSA on the SWSIS scholarship program and is thrilled that HP is supporting this effort. We believe the SWSIS scholarships have the potential to enable more women to consider graduate studies and research careers.”

Recent SWSIS scholarship winners hail from Columbia University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Towson University, University of California Berkeley, UCLA, and University of Maryland.

SWSIS winners will be invited to attend flagship conferences sponsored by ACSA, HP, and CRA-W, and will be encouraged to participate in HP’s summer internship program.

The application period opens on March 30, 2014, and ends May 1, 2014. Additional information can be found at www.SWSIS.org.

Questions about the scholarship program may be sent to swsis@swsis.org.

About ACSA:
Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the understanding, theory and practice of cybersecurity. ACSA has a 30+ year legacy of supporting research and education in cybersecurity, and is the sponsor of the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), NSPW, and LASER conferences. For more information on 2014 ACSAC, please visit www.acsac.org

About CRA-W:
The goal of Computer Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is to take positive action to increase the number of women participating in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) research and education at all levels.