Originally posted on Market Wired
“Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security” Receives Grant From HP to Support a New Generation of IT Security Talent
WASHINGTON, DC– Responding to a shortage of cybersecurity professionals across the United States and a dearth of women in the field, Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) announced the winning recipients of the 2014 Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS). In collaboration with HP, the organizations have awarded college scholarships to 11 women, reinforcing their commitment to support a new generation of IT security talent.
ACSA, CRA-W and HP are working to close a gap where it’s estimated that 40% of available information security positions in the United States are unfilled, according to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute. By awarding scholarships to 11 female students for security-focused studies at academic institutions across the United States, the scholarship program also addresses the shortage of women in IT security positions throughout industry.
The SWSIS program was originally founded by ACSA, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the understanding, theory and practice of cybersecurity. “We were incredibly impressed by the quality, diversity and response of the scholarship candidate pool this year,” said Rebecca Wright, professor at Rutgers University and Co-Director of the ACSA/CRA-W SWSIS scholarship program. “We look forward to seeing how the scholarship winners progress in their careers and contribute directly in the fight against cyber attacks.”
Scholarship winners are undergraduates and masters’ degree candidates from 11 colleges and universities across the United States including:
- Bradley University
- California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo
- California State University, Northridge
- Columbia University
- Columbus State University
- Eastern Michigan University
- National University
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- University of Maryland Baltimore County
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- Wellesley College
“ACSA started this scholarship program recognizing the need to increase support for women in the field,” said Jeremy Epstein, director of scholarship programs at ACSA and founder of SWSIS. “With the announcement of 11 more scholarship winners, we’re pleased to help address the shortage of qualified cybersecurity experts. At a time when the industry is understaffed and underequipped for the escalating threat environment, we welcome more companies to join and help us expand the scholarship program.”
“The computer security club at my school has provided an amazing opportunity for me to learn about the industry and solidify my interest in pursuing security as a career,” said Jessie Pease, rising senior at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. “Security is like a puzzle where I’m constantly trying to break and fix things, and I’m excited to continue developing those skills with support from HP, ACSA and CRA-W.”
As part of a HP’s larger academic initiative to enhance IT security education and training, HP granted $250,000 to expand the ACSA/CRA-W SWSIS scholarship program and will offer winners potential internship opportunities.
“HP is committed to closing the skills gap and arming a future generation of security professionals against the growing number of cyber threats,” said Art Gilliland, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Security Products, HP. “The SWSIS program enables us to directly support students with their academic journeys, provide them with real-life opportunities to apply the skills that they learn and receive hands-on experience through HP’s broader education program.”
Starting this year, the application and selection processes are being managed by CRA-W, whose goal is to increase the number of successful women in computing research. With support from HP, the SWSIS program can now enable greater opportunity and incentive to explore a security career path.
Additional information about the SWSIS program can be found at www.swsis.org. Scholarship submission deadline for the 2015-16 academic year will be February 1 2015.
ABOUT ACSA: ACSA is sponsor of the ACSAC, NSPW, and LASER conferences as well as the SWSIS scholarship program. ACSA is a non-profit corporation with a 30+ year legacy of supporting research and education in cybersecurity.
ABOUT CRA-W: The goal of the CRA 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.