Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS)
SWSIS 2023 Applications are now closed.
The SWSIS program provides scholarships of $2,000 or more for women studying for their Bachelors and Masters degrees in fields relating to information security.
The purpose of these scholarships is to provide assistance to women at the formative stages of their careers in these fields.
SWSIS is a partnership of Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and CRA-WP. Its long-term goal is to contribute to increasing the representation of women in the information security workforce. ACSA founded the SWSIS scholarship program in 2011 and joined forces with CRA-WP in 2014 to lead the selection process. As of fall 2019, SWSIS scholarships have been awarded to over 90 women studying information security.
Find recent press releases and coverage, here.
NEW: Read about the new Parisa Tabriz sponsored PrinSWSIS Scholarship
Check out this great coverege on the newly selected SWSIS scholars!
16 women across the country were awarded a scholarship for their work in cybersecurity. 2 are from CU. Read More.
The PrinSWSIS scholarship is awarded to a woman aspiring to work in computer security, and by her mere existence, challenging the stereotype of a cyber security professional and helping redefine what it means to be a princess. She is both a cybersecurity princess and a mentor and inspiration to others on that journey.
- In selecting a scholarship recipient, we consider that women represent only a small minority of the modern cybersecurity workforce at a time when the need for skilled professionals is at an all time high. Separately, we recognize that “princess culture,” a term coined by psychologists, impacts child development and has historically failed to provide strong role models for girls.
- The PrinSWSIS scholarship was established by Parisa Tabriz, self-appointed Security Princess at Google, to recognize a woman who is broadening what it means to be a professional in cyber security and a modern day princess. In this way, the recipient is helping to combat systemic inequality and level the playing field for future generations.
- Ms. Tabriz benefitted from a scholarship early in her career. That scholarship not only helped offset costs during school, it also allowed her to meet other women in engineering and realize she too belonged. Based on her experiences, Ms. Tabriz recognized the need to support the ongoing development and progression of other women who aspire to do serious work without taking themselves too seriously.
The Rebecca Gurley Bace SWSIS Scholarship honors the memory of Becky Bace. In selecting a scholarship recipient, we consider that:
- Becky was the “Den Mother of Cyber Security”. A recipient might have shown her ability to mentor, to create community, to bring groups together.
- Becky experienced financial hardship which impacted the timeline of her degree, but not her ability to get one. A recipient might be working through similar financial hardships, or helping others who do.
- Becky experienced sexism and racism, in the context of her geography, her work, and her degree. A recipient might be addressing sexism and/or racism, as an example or through outreach.
- As a mother, Becky cared for a child with several medical conditions (autism, leukemia). A recipient might be shouldering responsibility for family while working towards a degree, helping others with medical conditions or disabilities, or have them herself.
It’s hard to believe that one cybersecurity pioneer was all that. Becky was.
More information about Becky can be found at https://www.cerias.purdue.edu/site/blog/post/time_passes_and_we_lose_friends/.
Help us grow this scholarship by sending your check to:
Applied Computer Security Associates, Inc.
Attn: Rebecca Gurley Bace SWSIS Scholarship
P.O. Box 1607, Olney, MD 20830-1607
Checks should be payable to Applied Computer Security Associates, Inc. ACSA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization so donations are generally tax deductible. Consult your tax advisor for details. Read about Kimberly Ruth (2017-18), Dorcas Kosgei (2018-19), and Jamila Crawford (2019-20) recipients of the Rebecca Gurley Bace SWSIS Scholarship.
The Stephen L. Squires SWSIS Scholarship honors the memory of Stephen L. Squires and recognizes his extensive contributions to advancing computer science in the interests of national security.
In selecting a scholarship recipient, we consider the following:
- Stephen was devoted to family, science, and country. A recipient might demonstrate interest in be interested in a future career in defense or the intelligence community.
- Stephen benefitted from strong and early mentoring. A recipient might be involved in mentoring others and/or have a compelling story of how mentorship changed their life.
- A recipient might have a history of being an “outsider”, for example, exhibiting alternative styles of learning, overcome bullying, or overcome adversity.
- Applicants must be women studying information security
- Scholarship recipients must be undergraduates in their junior or senior years, or in a masters’ program. Therefore, applicants should be expecting to be in that status in the upcoming academic year.
- Scholarships are only available to students enrolled in a US campus of a US university
- Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents
- More details under FAQ
For the SWSIS Application, applicants must provide:
- An essay describing her interest and background in the information security field.
- A current official or unofficial transcript.
- A resume or CV.
- Letters of reference (typically from faculty members).
- University name and class status.
* If the applicant is in her first semester at her current university, she should submit her class schedule and transcript(s) from prior universities. Official transcripts may be required for scholarship recipients, but not for application.
**The scholarship may be renewable for a second year if eligibility conditions are still met, given proof of satisfactory academic progress and availability of funds.
Questions can be sent to email@example.com
CRA-WP leads the selection process, assisted by a selection committee. The selection committee makes recommendations to ACSA, which finalizes the decisions.
CRA-WP Evaluation Committee:
Terry Benzel, University of Southern California
Marina Blanton, University at Buffalo
Diana Burley, American University
Tadayoshi Kohno, University of Washington
Zachary Peterson, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Mariana Raykova, Google
Elaine Shi, Carnegie Mellon University
Bhavani Thuraisingham, University of Texas at Dallas
Rebecca Wright, Barnard College
Jeremy Epstein, National Science Foundation (ACSA director of scholarship programs)
Ann Marmor-Squires, The Sq Group
Cristina Serban, AT&T Security Research Center
Mary Ellen Zurko, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
SWSIS Award Ceremony
Bryn Shunney, West Virginia University
Bryn Shunney is a Junior pursuing a B.S. in Biometric Systems Engineering with an Area of Emphasis in Cybersecurity as well as a minor in Computer Science. This summer she will be working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an IT Specialist intern. She fills her time at WVU working in the Biometrics Lab as well as participates in STEM outreach and career enhancement through Alpha Omega Epsilon sorority. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in government or government contracted work.
Gwendolyn Vongkasemsiri, Dakota State University
PrinSWSIS Scholarship Recipient
Gwendolyn is a first-year honors student at Dakota State University. She is pursuing a dual major in Cyber Operations and Network & Security Administration while also playing on DSU’s varsity women’s volleyball team. She currently works as a CybHER Leader for DSU’s CybHER Security Institute, an organization that empowers, motivates, and educates girls in cybersecurity. She also serves as an officer for the CybHER Club on campus, in addition to serving as leader of the CTF Cyber Club and member of the Student Senate, Malware Club, and Kappa Sigma Iota Honor Society. Additionally, she is a high-ranking cadet officer in the Civil Air Patrol (the official civilian auxiliary of the US Air Force), a licensed private pilot, and a member of the 2022-23 National US Cyber Team. This upcoming summer, she will be interning in Florida as a Reverse Engineering/Vulnerability Research intern for Raytheon Intelligence & Space.
Isabelle Brown, University of Alabama, Birmingham
Isabelle Brown is a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham studying Computer Science. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Digital Forensics and Mathematics. After graduation, she hopes to continue her studies and pursue a PhD. She is especially interested in doing research in the areas of encryption algorithms and applying machine learning to cybersecurity.
Katherine Izhikevich, University of California, San Diego
Stephen L. Squires SWSIS Scholarship Recipient
Katherine Izhikevich is a first-year Computer Science and Engineering Master’s student at UC San Diego. She plans to pursue a PhD in computer security starting in Fall 2024. Katherine is currently working on various research projects, including studying how and when data breaches occur and how to detect unauthorized access to enterprise accounts and machines. Outside of enterprise security, Katherine also studies the security of satellite networks.
Nimra Khan, Loyola University, Chicago
Nimra Khan is a first-generation student at Loyola University Chicago studying Mathematics and Computer Science. She developed an interest for cybersecurity while on the Application Security team during her internship with Discover Financial Services. She has furthered her interest by working in a research lab on campus, focused on understanding how misinformation spreads on social media. After graduating in December 2023, she hopes to continue working in cybersecurity.
Elsy Prempeh, University of Cincinnati
Elsy Prempeh is a third-year student working on her B.S. in Cybersecurity and M.S. in Information Technology at the University of Cincinnati while working as an Information Technology Support Desk Intern at Government Acquisitions. She is also the Event Co-Ordinator for University of Cincinnati’s IT Student Association. This summer she will be working at Fifth Third Bank with the Information Security Team, focusing on Identity and Access Management. Throughout college and after graduation, she wants to inspire other minority students as well as first generation college students to continue their interests in Information Security to promote more diversity and inclusion in the field.
Jay Connolly, University of Pennsylvania
Rebecca Gurley Bace Scholarship Recipient
Jay Connolly is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at University of Pennsylvania – School of Engineering with a major in Cybersecurity. Jay has served several AI and Cybersecurity internships with NASA and the Department of Homeland Security. Jay has given a TEDx talk, has been featured as a big wave surfer in a surf magazine, and frequently speaks to young women and to students with disabilities regarding the opportunities in STEM.
Bessy Argueta Tercero, Georgia Institute of Technology
Tatiana Argueta is a Graduate Student at Georgia Institute of Technology, where she is pursuing a Master of Science in Cybersecurity under its Policy Track with especial interest in researching the evolution of cybersecurity policies and evaluation criteria of information systems; the role of quantum cryptography addressing Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability principles; and game theory planning, formulation, implementation and assessments when securing information systems.
With an academic and professional background combining Political Science, International Affairs, Marketing, Web Design and Interactive Media, she started a professional career in the Oil and Gas industry in 2015 and transitioned from Web and Marketing into Business Automation, and eventually into Information Security, becoming a Certified Information Systems Security Professional® in 2022. Currently, she is a Network Security Technical Analyst for a major Oil refiner corporation in the United States.
After graduation, Tatiana would like to pursue further education and continue research in Cybersecurity, and volunteering in mentorship programs to promote the enrollment of minorities into cybersecurity curricula.
Fernanda Molina, Carnegie Mellon University
Fernanda Molina holds a B.S. in Information Systems and is now a second-year graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing an M.S. in Information Security Policy and Management. Her passion for Cyber Security began in high school when she attended cybersecurity hackathons. This coming summer she will be interning at Microsoft as a software engineer in Azure Cloud Security. She hopes that after graduation she can pursue a career in Cyber Security.
Nitya Sunil, Indiana University-Bloomington
Nitya Sunil is currently pursuing a joint J.D./M.S. in Cybersecurity Risk Management at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Indiana University – Bloomington. Previously, she graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with degrees in Psychology and Political Science, as well as a minor in Business. After graduating from Indiana University, she plans to pursue a career in the intersection of law and technology.
Anastasia Sizensky, University of California-Berkeley
Anastasia Sizensky is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information and Cybersecurity at the University of California, Berkeley. She also works full-time as a Security Engineer at SAP, where she develops automation software to help protect cloud data and infrastructure. She plans to pursue a career in cryptography focusing on useable encryption in the corporate environment.
Veronika Kyles, University of Arizona
Veronika Kyles is an undergraduate junior studying Cyber Operations with an emphasis in Cyber Engineering and a minor Computer Science at the University of Arizona. After graduation, Veronika plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Strategic Cyber Operations and Information Management. This summer, she will intern at the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS CISA) in Washington, DC. Last summer, she completed an internship with the University of Arizona Tech Core developing AR technology for business applications. Outside of academics, she plays the snare drum in the Pride of Arizona Marching Band and drum set in the Pride of Arizona Pep Band. She has been studying cybersecurity and computer programming since middle school, and believes that diversity in the workspace is crucial for successful team operations, especially in the cybersecurity sector.
Laurynn-Renee Caldwell, University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
Laurynn-Renee Caldwell is a undergraduate student at the University of Cincinnati studying cybersecurity. After graduating, Laurynn plans to get her graduate degree and inspire other black women into joining the technology field.
Two award recipients would like to remain anonymous, however they are still recognized for their achievements!
Soraya Ali, Northeastern University
*Rebecca Gurley Bace Scholarship Recipient
Soraya Ali Is the 2021-22 SWSIS Becky Bace Scholar. She is a graduate student at Northeastern studying Cybersecurity. After graduation, she aspires to become a security or privacy engineer while helping other first-gen college students navigate infosec careers.
Mariam Amini, Tufts University
Mariam Amini is a graduate student at the Tufts Fletcher School and Tufts Engineering, studying Cybersecurity and Public Policy. After graduation, Ms. Amini wants to help improve private-public cooperation in cybersecurity & advance the ethical use of AI.
Taylor Collins, Jackson State University
Anokhy Desai, Carnegie Mellon University
Anokhy Desai is a Master’s student studying Information Security Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University and a law student focusing on data privacy at the University of Pittsburgh. As a student ambassador for both programs, she serves as a resource for prospective students looking to study law, information security, or both. Before returning to school, she worked in the fields of cybersecurity, information management, and privacy, and hopes to continue similar work while promoting technology literacy as an attorney
Amanda Esposito, Clemson University
Amanda Esposito is a Junior at Clemson University pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Cyber Security. Her passion for Cyber Security began in a high school, when she took a networking class. In college she has researched the privacy and security of smart home devices and has an internship with Clemson Universities Cyber Security Operations Center. This coming summer she will be joining IBM as a security services specialist intern. She hopes that after graduation she can pursue a career in Cyber Security.
Ashley Faciane, University of San Diego
Ashley Faciane is a cybersecurity professional with 18 years of experience in Tactical Radio/Network Communication Systems, Information Systems Technology, and over 11 years focused towards Risk Management Framework (RMF) for DoD Networks. She is an advocate for information security and a defender of protective privacy for personal data. Ashley holds an Associates degree in Computer Science from Hawaii Pacific University, a Bachelor’s degree in Networks and cybersecurity from University of Maryland Global Campus, and is completing her Masters in Cybersecurity Engineering from the University of San Diego.
Amanda Goodridge, Indiana University Southeast
*Parisa Tabriz PrinSWSIS Scholarship Recipient
Amanda Goodridge graduated from Indiana University Southeast with her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and minors in Business and Honors in May of 2020 . She is currently a graduate student at Indiana University Bloomington where she is pursuing her master’s degree in Cybersecurity Risk Management. During her time at IU Southeast she set a goal for herself to inspire women to enter STEM. She founded and became president of an organization she felt her campus was missing: Women in Computing. In high school, she was frequently teased and ridiculed for attending a local trade school for computer programming as she was the only female in her class of 52 males. Facing adversity, she proved herself academically in order to gain respect from not only her classmates, but her professors as well. However, this experience led her to struggle with imposter syndrome for nearly four years as she frequently felt as if she needed to prove herself all while discrediting her accomplishments despite her unmatched effort and deservingness. It is because of this, she has devoted her academic career to not only bettering herself academically but also supporting females in information security as she fears they will encounter the same experiences she did that may deter them from this field. Her goal is to give females a support system so that they can hopefully find the same immense joy she does in pursuing information security. She often credits her father, who is in information technology at UPS, for her support as there were numerous evenings where she would come home with feelings of defeat that ended with motivational talks that kept her going.
However, these last couple years have really allowed her to turn the page and enter a whole new world of mentors as throughout her internships, student conferences, and graduate classes, she has had the opportunity to meet female cybersecurity professionals that inspire her as they are mothers, friends, and cyber professionals. To close, being a PrinSWSIS Scholar is truly an honor for Amanda as it reminds her of where she once was, who she is now, and who she is becoming all while remaining true to herself. She considers herself a “modern day princess” with an immense passion and love for the profession of cyber security. She is devoted to combating systemic inequality in order to level the playing field for future generations.
Molly Isaac, Washington University in St. Louis
Molly Isaac is an undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis graduating in December 2021. Molly’s main interest is national security, and will be interning at Lockheed Martin this summer. Molly is also interested in foreign languages, is currently pursuing a minor in Arabic and will be taking the first level of Hebrew in the fall. Molly’s interest in national security is what stared an interest in computer science. After graduation, Molly hopes to spend a semester travelling, before pursuing a full time position in the defense industry.
Emily Kiehl, University of Cincinnati
Emily Kiehl is a third year at the University of Cincinnati studying Information Technology with a concentration in networking and cybersecurity. Outside of classes, she plays tuba in the UC marching band, mentors at the Ohio State School for the Blind, is a member of the Theta chapter of Tau Beta Sigma, and serves on the boards of the Ohio Association of Blind Students and See3d, 3D printing for the blind. She currently works as a security systems administrator and hopes to someday use her degree to fuel her passions in accessibility, music, and collaborative innovation.
Jessica Lonsberry, University of the Cumberlands
Jessica Lonsberry is a first-year graduate student in the Master of Science in Information Systems Security degree program at the University of the Cumberlands. Previously, she served the U.S. Department of State as a third-party contractor researching and evaluating the impact of technology on established technical security practices. Jessica is inspired by and committed to supporting fellow women in the information security field. She believes cybersecurity workforce diversity is critical to private and public sector development and success. After graduation, she will continue her work in national security.
Xhulia Lumi, Johns Hopkins University
Xhulia Lumi is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity at Johns Hopkins University – Whiting School of Engineering. Born in Albania and raised in Italy, she attended the University of Milan. She moved to the United States and earned a BS degree in Computer Science from Central Connecticut State University. She works as a Cybersecurity Engineer. She loves flying airplanes, riding motorcycles, traveling, and learning new things.
Fiona McCrae, Northeastern University
*Stephen L. Squires SWSIS Scholarship Recipient
Fiona McCrae is a third-year undergraduate student at Northeastern University studying Cybersecurity with a minor in Political Science. In her time at Northeastern she has completed an internship at ALTR on the driver team and a co-op at MITRE in the Cyber Resiliency department, and has been a TA for Discrete Structures, Foundations of Cybersecurity, and Object Oriented Design. She is also a member of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition team, has been on the executive board of the Computer Science Mentoring Organization, and has been involved with the Women in Cybersecurity chapter. Fiona is a NSF CyberCorp Scholarship for Service recipient, and hopes to contribute to the development of cybersecurity technology in the public sector and intelligence community after she graduates. She is passionate about supporting other students and women in STEM, building a strong technical background, and also potentially contributing to cyber law and policy in the future.
Hadassah Solomson, Georgetown University
After graduating from Barnard College, Columbia University, in May 2020 with a B.A. in Economics and a dual-minor in Mathematical Science and Political Science, Hadassah Solomson is currently pursuing a joint J.D./M.A. in Security Studies at the Georgetown University Law Center and the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She also works full-time as a Supply Chain Business Intelligence Analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she supports government clients working to secure the cyber supply chain. She plans to pursue a career at the intersection of national security and cybersecurity law and policy.
Carla Varela Rosa, Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico
Carla A. Varela Rosa is a Master’s student at Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico interested in cybersecurity and machine learning. After graduation, she plans to serve in the cyber defense workforce and continue to empower & motivate women in the field.
Brenasia Ward-Caldwell, Carnegie Mellon University
Brenasia Ward-Caldwell is a first-year graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing a Master of Science in Information Technology with a concentration on Information Security and Assurance. She began her collegiate career at the Community College of Baltimore County where she received her Associate’s degree Information Technology, followed by receiving her Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is currently a Disaster Recovery Consultant at PNC Financial Services but has a strong interest in understanding the intersection of the cloud, security and blockchain.
Elizabeth Anne Cerrone, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Beth Cerrone is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Technology, Cybersecurity, & Policy from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her interest in cybersecurity began with a student request for the creation of a cybersecurity course. This student, as part of a school project, created the course outline and received approval for the course implementation from the district. Ms. Cerrone has now been teaching Intro to Cybersecurity for the last two years and hopes to add new courses in the cybersecurity high school program. As a teacher at the Innovation Center in Longmont, CO, she is excited to pass along this knowledge to students and to help create the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
Jennie Christensen, University of California-Santa Barbara
Jennie Christensen graduated from Notre Dame Law School in May 2020 with a concentration in Technology Law. During her time at Notre Dame, she served as a Content Developer for Notre Dame’s Journal of Emerging Technologies; researched the legality of biometric scanning as a Summer Legal Intern at JetBlue Airways; participated in Notre Dame’s McCloskey Business Competition; provided legal research and drafting assistance for a case reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court (Tabrita v. Cummings); founded the Association of Midwest Privacy Professionals (AMPP); and received multiple writing awards for papers written on the topics of digitalization in the legal field, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and biometric scanning at U.S. airports. This fall, Jennie will begin a Masters program in Information Security Policy & Management at Carnegie Mellon University where she plans to gain experience in network security, python, and cryptography.
Julianne Cox, Volunteer State Community College
Julianne is a senior undergraduate student at Tennessee Technological University studying Computer Science with a focus in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. She is a member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the President of her school’s Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) Student Chapter, and completed a summer internship with Deloitte in 2019. Upon graduation, Julianne hopes to obtain a job that will be both challenging and rewarding, as most of her university experience has been.
Meron Kebede, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Meron Kebede is a second year Master’s student at the George Washington University studying Cyber Security Strategy and Information Management. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in technical and professional writing. Passionate about building humanistic applications, Meron also has a background in software development. Using her liberal arts background, and technical skills as an integration specialist, Meron hopes to work as a cybersecurity consultant and strategists.
Swathi Krithivasan, University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Swathi is a third-year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County majoring in Computer Science on the Cybersecurity Track and minoring in World Politics. She is passionate about network security and hopes to help build a more secure cyber space in an increasingly interconnected world. Swathi is currently an undergraduate research assistant focused on network security and artificial intelligence, recently publishing a paper on security models for smart home environments. She is also a Cyber Scholar in the Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) and Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) member at her university and is dedicated to helping others and increasing the representation of women in STEM fields.
Morgan Livingston, University of California-Berkeley
Morgan is a Senior at UC Berkeley studying Technology Policy and minoring in Data Science. Her passion is bringing technical privacy guarantees into conversation with law and she is committed to fostering an interdisciplinary and diverse community in cybersecurity. She currently assists research with Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society and interns with the Wilson Center, focusing on 5G and emerging technology policy. She has previously worked in Congressional and City government, supported GDPR compliance for cybersecurity company Nozomi Networks, been accepted to intern with the NSA and founded a local women in tech club.
Angela Ma, University of Maryland, College Park
Angela is a senior at University of Maryland College Park studying Information Science. Her passion is helping people understand the importance of cyber security in her community. She worked as a System Administration intern and a part-time employee at KBR, Inc. Angela became a mentor at an all women and non-binary hackathon while taking on the responsibilities as an officer for a UX organization at her university. She hopes to inspire young women to work in the cyber security field and create a community for them to support each other. Angela is always seeking to learn more about the different aspects of the field and how it evolves everyday. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in cyber security and be part of a company that strives to be the best as individuals and as a team.
Peggy Sue Mathis, University of Alabama in Huntsville
*Rebecca Gurley Bace Scholarship Recipient
Peggy is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Alabama in Huntsvile studying Cybersecurity Engineering. Because her father was in the military, she needed to learn how to overcome adversity and adapt to constant change. She plans to complete her Bachelor’s Degree as well as pursue a Master’s. Upon graduation she is looking to pursue a career in Cybersecurity in hopes of stregthening our nation’s security.
Sara Elizabeth Robinson-Camarena, Cochise College
Born in Mexico and raised in Arizona, Sara Robinson-Camarena is pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Cyber Operations, in the Defense & Forensics Track and the Law & Policy Track, at the University of Arizona. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security from Cochise College in Arizona and is a Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship recepient. Sara plans to complete a master’s degree while employed with the State Department, and in the meantime, she is focusing on learning new languages and developing new skills in the IT field.
Sarah Lynn Sha, Indiana University-Bloomington
Sarah is currently pursuing a master’s degree in information security policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University after earning her bachelor’s in computer science from Indiana University. Drawing on her prior experience working in outdoor education, she has helped curate a cybersecurity workshop targeted towards younger students as an introduction to passwords and privacy. In the summer of 2020, Sarah will be interning with Connect Wolf, a pediatric telehealth start-up based in Pittsburgh, working in the field of risk & compliance. Upon graduation, she hopes to attain a career in product security to help ensure and maintain user trust in technology.
Annette Stawsky, Cornell University
Annette is a Master’s student studying Privacy Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She earned her BA in Mathematics and Computer Science from Cornell University. Annette strives to ensure that taking advantage of technological innovations does not have to compromise the users’ privacy. She was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and she is committed to diversifying the Information Security field. Most recently, she was part of a cryptography research project where she successfully categorized commutative subgroups of a braid group with three strands.
Sara Stehlik, Dakota State University
*Parisa Tabriz PrinSWSIS Scholarship Recipient
Sara is a Senior at Dakota State University majoring in Network & Security Administration. She serves as an Outreach Coordinator for DSU’s CybHER Institute, an organization that aims to close the gender gap in cybersecurity by introducing more girls to the field. She also serves as Vice President of the on-campus CybHER Club. Over the past two years, Sara has led and presented at many outreach events, and has personally impacted over 8,000 students. She is continuing her outreach by representing CybHER at the 2021 Miss South Dakota Competition with the initiative to “Empower and Educate Girls in Cybersecurity.” Sara also conducts research for DSU’s PriLab, where she is studying state data privacy laws with the goal of presenting at a major conference. She has worked as a cybersecurity intern at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, an IT Intern at a prominent St. Louis law firm, and was selected to be a summer intern at Deloitte working on the Cybersecurity Strategy, Governance and Compliance team. Sara’s passion lies at the intersection of cybersecurity and law, and she plans to pursue graduate education in both of these fields.
Samra Vithlani, University of Southern California
Samra is an incoming senior at the University of Southern California studying Intelligence & Cyber Operations with a minor in Business. She previously interned with the Los Angeles Unified School District in IT Security, and wrote cybersecurity policies and designed complex training programs for students and parents while working on the Governance, Risk, and Compliance sector of Information Security. In the upcoming summer of 2020, she will be interning with EY’s Next Generation Security Operations team and focusing on Threat Detection and Response. In the future, she hopes to work in cybersecurity consulting and work on increasing female representation in technology.
Alyssa Ballesteros, University of South Florida
Alyssa is a second-year Master’s student at the University of South Florida studying Cybersecurity with a concentration in Digital Forensics. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, and upon graduating, she hopes to work as a Digital Forensic Investigator at a law enforcement agency.
Shradha Chaulagain, University of Dallas
Shradha Chaulagain is a graduate student obtaining a Master of Science in Cybersecurity through the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Though she has been working as an information security professional for a few years, she plans to continue utilizing her intelligence, compassion, experience and interpersonal relationship skills to spread her business and security knowledge. Shradha is also captivated by the extremely competitive cybersecurity culture that women tend to face when entering the field. She welcomes the challenge to push forward the boundaries for diversity and inclusion in the workforce. While thriving on opening her path towards leadership, she aspires to ensure that businesses are people-focused, as she intends to do her part in helping to make this world a better place.
Jamila Crawford, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
Jamila Crawford has worked as a law enforcement officer in the State of Georgia since 2015. She is a graduate student working towards a Master’s in Cybersecurity at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Her professional goal is to work in the FBI’s Cybercrime Division as a Computer Forensic Examiner conducting proactive investigations in Human Trafficking and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC). She hopes to identify and mitigate the risks of illicit trade and the commissioning of criminal acts impacting the field of Information Security and Law Enforcement. Jamila is also a member of the National Cybersecurity Student Association and hopes to become apart of the Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) under the United States Secret Service.
Dorcas Kosgei, Columbia Basin College
Dorcas is an undergraduate majoring in Cyber Security at Columbia Basin College. She is looking forward to completing her Bachelor’s and pursuing her Master’s. Dorcas is the winner of the Rebecca Gurley Bace Memorial scholarship in memory of Becky Bace, mentor, inventor, and entrepreneur.
Marilu Duque, New York University
Marilu Duque is a Senior at New York University NYU – Tandon School of Engineering receiving her BS in Integrated Digital Media – a major focused on Web Development and UI/UX based Computer Science. She is a first-generation college student born as the daughter of Cuban and Dominican immigrants. In hopes of getting underrepresented communities such as her own involved in this growing field Marilu has been a constant supporter of STEM Education through her volunteer service in teaching community coding classes and conference speaking engagements. Her interests span from National Security Policymaking and Cyberwarfare studies. With this her past experience includes being a Naval Research Enterprise Intern at the United States Marine Corps Warfighting Lab Association of Research Libraries Data Security Intern and U.S. Department of State’s Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) eIntern. She will be going onto graduate school in order to expand her understanding of the future of the evolving warfighting environment. She hopes to one day pursue a career working to help navigate the next generation of security specialists servicemen and policymakers.
Andrea Greene-Horace, Brown University
Andrea Greene-Horace will attend Brown University beginning in the fall, 2019 in the Executive Master’s Program in Cybersecurity. Andrea served as a Senior Manager and advised Federal agency and State Marketplace IT leadership, on privacy and cybersecurity matters for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) State Marketplace Program. Most currently she supported, as Senior Advisor, cybersecurity and privacy work for the new Enhanced Direct Enrolment initiative at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Prior to that work Andrea served as the senior manager of IRS’ IT Program Oversight Office, where she lead all audits for the IRS IT Modernization Program including cybersecurity audits. She also served as co-chair of the Plan Management Committee for the State of Maryland to ensure that the key stakeholders including Health Insurers, Agents, Brokers, Consumer Advocacy Groups and other health providers could have key input into future legislation, as considered by the Governor and legislators, when developing the Health Exchange legislation for the State of Maryland. Andrea has a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Cornell University, Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and Cybersecurity/Risk Management Certification from Harvard University.
Stacy Hayes, University of Colorado at Boulder
Stacy Hayes is a Junior in Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder where she is also in the process of getting a business minor. She is an officer of the local Tau Beta Pi chapter and is actively involved in Women in Computing. Stacy has had a passion for cyber security ever since she began studying computer science and hopes to use her degree for the sake of national security. Stacy interned at Lockheed Martin last summer as a software development intern and will be returning again this summer; she hopes to work for Lockheed Martin after graduation in order to continue using her degree for the sake of national security.
Elizabeth Hymer, New York University
Elizabeth Hymer is a first-year Masters student studying Cybersecurity at New York University Tandon School of Engineering. She earned her Bachelors degree in Management Information Systems from The University of Alabama Honors College. Elizabeth previously completed an information security internship at Encompass Health Corporation and is currently an Information Security Intern at Major League Baseball.
Andrea Kim, Western Governors University
Andrea Kim is pursuing her Masters of Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Degree at Western Governors University. She is a graduate of the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy and works as an IT Security Analyst in Chicago. She volunteers her time as the Communications Director of the Chicago Cybersecurity. Andrea is passionate about digital accessibility and helping others learn cybersecurity.
Jaqueline Lagassee, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Jacqueline Lagasse is a first year Master’s student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in the same field. Jackie is conducting research in hardware security, specifically to better understand the effects of combining known hardware-based countermeasures against power analysis side-channel attacks. She has taken classes Security Engineering and Reverse Engineering and is developing laboratory experiments for a new undergraduate security course at UMass. Jackie is a recipient of the Ellen & Paul Ferraro scholarship for female engineering students at UMass and has also presented her work at the New England Security Day (NESD 2019). She plans to pursue full time work in the field of hardware security upon obtaining her Master’s degree and wishes to mentor other women in her field.
Amina Mahmood, University of Maryland at Baltimore County
Amina Mahmood is a Junior at UMBC (the University of Maryland, Baltimore County), majoring in Computer Science on the Cybersecurity track. She is currently focusing on Reverse Engineering with an interest in Malware Analysis. Amina is also a CWIT (Center for Women in Technology) Affiliate, dedicating her spare time in increasing the representation of women in the STEM fields. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Master’s degree while working in the cybersecurity industry.
Lauren Neely, University San Diego
Lauren is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Cybersecurity Operations and Leadership from the University of San Diego. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and will be working as an intern in the Governance, Risk, Compliance and Readiness department at Warner Bros. Technology in the summer of 2019. Lauren is also devoted to diversifying the tech industry and creating opportunities for those underrepresented in the field and serves as the Grants Lead for Women in Security and Privacy (WISP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, advancing and mentoring women in security and privacy.
Jennifer Peyrot, University of Colorado at Boulder
Jennifer Peyrot was taking her first graduate level cybersecurity course for only a couple of weeks before she decided to pursue a Master’s of Science in Technology, Cybersecurity and Policy at CU Boulder. Jennifer first fell in love with this topic as a signals intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army and decided to bring cybersecurity education to the school district where she is employed as an Instructional Technology Coordinator after attending a GenCyber camp in 2017. Through her own learning she is better able to support high school teachers piloting cybersecurity courses in grades 6-12 and in contributions to team developing a cybersecurity curriculum framework for a high school course.
Christie Ruales, University of Florida
Christie Ruales is a Sophomore at the University of Florida where she majors in Computer Science and minors in Engineering Innovation. She is interested in mobile security and ethical hacking. She will spend the summer of 2019 working as a software engineer intern at Google where she will work on Google Hotels and apply what she has learned about network security. After graduation she intends to pursue a career in Cyber Security to help create safer, more secure applications for everyone.
Sara Schwarz Iglesias, University of Puerto Rico
Sara Schwarz is an undergrad studying Computer Science in University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. She has a growing passion for cybersecurity, research, and interdisciplinarity. She hopes to study more to learn about technology and the ways it is being abused and corrupted. She has worked as mentor in a Cybersecurity camp for high school students and is currently leading a Cybersecurity Interest Group to train for capture the flags competitions and learn about current Cybersecurity real life scenarios. Sara also believes in the need for diversity, and thus is a member of the association Include Girls. Sara hopes to proceed to graduate studies to become more refined in cybersecurity and thus find ways to protect people and to help them become more aware of the need of security.
Dianelys Soto, University of Puerto Rico
Dianelys is an undergraduate research assistant focused on Network Security and an active member of the Computer Science department at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. Currently serving as Secretary of the school’s ACM chapter and board member of Include Girls, an association birthed in the department with the purpose of empowering women and minorities in STEM. Aside from encouraging kids to consider Computer Science as a career choice by exploring the different opportunities that await them. In the not so far future, Dianelys hopes to broaden her horizons by attending graduate school and specializing in Information Security. After finishing her studies she aspire to work for a United States government agency.
Rawan Al-Shaer, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Rawan Al-Shaer is a Computer Science major and math minor with a concentration in cybersecurity (junior level) at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She received the Future of Computing award highlighting the importance of gender diversity in Computer Science, and is the first place winner of the Technology Talk Competition, analyzing privacy risks in Health Informatics. Rawan also received the first place prize for a UNC Charlotte Hackathon in March 2018. Rawan’s research area of interest includes data science for security, logic based reasoning for attack detection, and malware analysis. She is working on several projects such as the Cyber Hunting project, and Advanced Persistent Threat Research. She is also active in student organizations such as ACM-W encouraging women to enter the field of Computing. Rawan plans to continue her research and is excited to pursue a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity.
Kingberli Capellan, Kean University of New Jersey
Kingberli Capellan is a Junior in Computer Science at Kean University minoring in Cybersecurity and Mathematical Science. She is currently the president of the Association for Computing Machinery-Women (ACM-W) chapter where she has found the inspiration to continue supporting and celebrating diversity in the field. She was given the opportunity to be part of the execution team in the Cybersecurity Awareness Day at Kean and awarded to attend the 2018 Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) conference in Chicago. She plans to enroll in a graduate program related to Cryptography as soon as she finishes her bachelor’s degree, and she loves reading fiction..
Maria C. Chukwuma, George Washington University
Maria Chibuanurim Chukwuma is a first year Master’s Student studying information Systems and Technology at George Washington University, Washington DC.Maria has a passion for Cyber Security and hopes to pursue a doctorate study in that field. She has been in IT training and Networking for a couple of years and delights in encouraging the young ones especially the female folks to develop their skills in Information Technology.
Dorcas Kosgei, Columbia Basin College
Dorcas is an undergraduate majoring in Cyber Security at Columbia Basin College. She is looking forward to completing her Bachelor’s and pursuing her Master’s. Dorcas is the winner of the Rebecca Gurley Bace Memorial scholarship in memory of Becky Bace, mentor, inventor, and entrepreneur.
Andrea Ndubizu, Boston University
Andrea is a senior and honors student at Rider University majoring in information systems who will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration in May of 2018. She will be attending Boston University for her Master’s in Computer Information Systems with a Concentration in Security. During her senior year, as an undergraduate, she conducted academic research for her honors thesis on the topic of Cyber Security and the Internet of Things (IoT). Andrea plans to use her master’s degree to pursue a career as an information security analyst. She also hopes to one day establish a foundation to help encourage more women to enter into the field of cyber security.
Jenna Pardi, State University of New York at Albany
Jenna Pardi is a junior at the University at Albany majoring in Digital Forensics and double minoring in Spanish and Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security & Cybersecurity. She serves as President of the Digital Forensics Association, as well as being involved in other organizations such as the Dean’s Leadership Council, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. She currently is interning with the New York State Intelligence Center and aspires to work for the government doing intelligence work or cyber crime investigations.
Amanda Perkins, Norwich University
Amanda Perkins is going into her second year as a Junior at Norwich University’s online Cyber Security program. She is interested in Computer Forensics and applying what she is learning to her current career as a Software Quality Analyst and later when she will work to transition her career to the Cyber Security field. She is excited to use the skills she learns in Cyber Security and Computer Forensics to help others.
Yulini Persaud, Carnegie Mellon University
Yulini Persaud is an incoming graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, pursuing her M.S. in Information Security Policy and Management. She earned her B.S. in Computer Networks and Cyber Security at Monroe College. She serves as a mentor for the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot competition for high school students and works as an Information Systems Engineer for a small IT consulting company. Upon graduation, Yulini hopes to work for a United States government agency to develop cybersecurity policy, while continuing to mentor younger students in the field.
Keaira Philogene, University of Tampa
Keaira is a Senior at The University of Tampa studying Cybersecurity with a minor in Management Information Systems. At UT Keaira is a member of Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi International organization, Black Student Union, Women in Technology club, and the Student Government representative of the Cybersecurity Club. Keaira found interest in Cybersecurity because there is always something new happening in the Cyber world that allows Cybersecurity professional to continue to learn and work in a changing environment. Keaira would one day like to work as a Cybersecurity Consultant, where she is able to be technical and business savvy.
Ayesha Rizvi, City University of New York
Ayesha Rizvi is a senior at John Jay College majoring in computer science and information security and minoring in Mathematics. She plans to spend her summer of 2018 at Brookhaven National Laboratory for 10 weeks conducting research on the inspection of packets to detect patterns of intrusion and prevent cyber attacks. Ayesha hopes to pursue her Master’s in a field of cyber security, and she is particularly interested in the role of a Certified Ethical Hacking.
Carolyn Solimine, University at Albany
Carolyn Solimine is a junior at the University at Albany majoring in digital forensics and criminal justice, and minoring in Emergency Preparedness/Homeland Security and French. Carolyn is a member of the University Honors College, the Digital Forensics Association, and actively volunteers for the campus EMS agency. Carolyn will be pursuing a career in cyber security and law enforcement after graduation.
Alyssa Jo Tice, Pennsylvania State University
Alyssa Jo Tice is a junior at Pennsylvania State University majoring in Computer Science. She has a passion for safe and secure systems development. Alyssa is involved with Penn State’s Engineering Ambassadors, where she gives tours and participates in outreach trips to encourage women to pursue an engineering education. During her senior year, she will conduct research and write a thesis about a topic in systems security to graduate with honors through Schreyer Honors College.
Shaya Wolf, University of Wyoming
Shaya Wolf is a first year Masters student for Computer Science. She received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the University of Wyoming. She enjoys spending her time in the CEDAR (Cybersecurity EDucation And Research) center researching distributed systems and secure-by-design communication protocols.
Madeleine Barowsky, Wellesley College
Madeleine Barowsky is a junior at Wellesley College studying computer science and mathematics. She has a passion for all things cybersecurity and is particularly interested in cryptography. Madeleine plans to pursue research in mathematics and cryptography in graduate school.
Brooke Bullek, Bucknell University
Brooke Bullek is a junior at Bucknell University majoring in computer science & engineering. This past year, she’s conducted research within the intersection of data privacy and human-computer interaction through involvement with the CREU program, and will present peer-reviewed original research at the ACM SIGCHI international conference. In her ongoing research, she plans to cultivate privacy literacy by further contributing to a holistic understanding of privacy definitions. Brooke aspires to integrate her passions for software development and usability upon graduation, while at the same time motivating other women to pursue interests in computer science.
Robin Burkett, George Mason University
Robin Burkett is a second year Master’s student in Computer Forensics at George Mason University. She has a BS in Management Information Systems from Florida State University and her first career was in Information technology. She took the opportunity to pursue a life-long dream to start a photography business where she became an award-winning professional photographer. She ran her photography business for over a decade. Craving a new challenge, when she learned about information security, she decided to go back to school to get a certificate in cybersecurity at Northern Virginia Community College and then went on to pursue her Master’s Degree. She was a speaker at BSides Las Vegas in 2016 and participates in Capture the Flag individual and team competitions. She was chosen to participate in the DHS Secretary’s Honors Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative and now works full-time at a security research lab.
Caroline M. Cox, Washington College
Caroline Cox is going into her junior year at Washington College, in Maryland, where she is double majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science, with minors in German and Dance. At Washington College, she is the president of the computer club, a member of the Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society, Media Intern for the Admissions Office, and the Treasurer of Dance club, among many other clubs and activities. While finishing up her undergraduate degree, she hopes to further her knowledge and interest in the cyber security field.
Loan Hanlon, University of Maryland University College
Loan Hanlon is a graduate student at University of Maryland University College working toward her Master of Science in Cybersecurity. She received a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from George Mason University. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in cyber security and help people/organizations to protect against cybercrime.
Hannah Kabir, University at Albany
Hannah Kabir is a senior at University at Albany who will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in May of 2017. She will be attending Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering to pursue a Master’s in Cyber security. She has attended the Workshop for Minorities and Women at the Cyber Huntsville conference and been chosen to be featured in a blog called “Reigningit” supporting women in STEM. Hannah plans to use her Master’s degree to be a leader in the cyber security field and also create out-reach programs to inspire young girls and women to pursue education and carers in STEM. She starts a full time job at KeyBank as a Cyber Security Analyst this summer.
Scarlett Levine, University at Albany
Scarlett Levine is a sophomore at University at Albany majoring in Digital Forensics and minoring in Criminal Justice. She is pursuing a career in cyber security and law enforcement. Scarlett is a member of the Digital Forensics Association and Presidential Honors Society, yet her passion is the Albany Bowling Club.
Catherine McLean, Northeastern University
Catherine McLean is an undergraduate honors student at Northeastern University pursuing both her Bachelors in Computer Science and Cyber Operations and Masters in Computer Science. She is currently completing an internship as a Cyber Engineer at Raytheon. At Northeastern, she works as a Teaching Assistant for an introductory computer science class, mentors incoming freshmen, and participates in the Women in Technology club. Catherine is passionate about supporting the next generation of women in the security field.
Yin Mei, NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Yin Mei is a graduate student at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Computer Science department, working towards a Masters in Cyber Security. She is a graduate of the NYU CS Bridge Program and was selected into the NYU Cyber Scholars Program for researching topics surrounding journalism and security as part of the non-federally funded interdisciplinary scholarship program. After obtaining a B.A in Psychology at UC Berkeley, she has worked in international cities spanning San Francisco, Paris, Beijing and New York. With a media and public relations background, she has lead the organization of global, multi-lingual communities around innovation such as Barcamp Beijing and TEDxBeijing. Having worked full time as a software engineer since 2013, she hopes to combine technical skills with interdisciplinary knowledge to strengthen the application of information security. Yin also looks forward to supporting the leadership of more women in the field.
Victoria Mondragon, University at Albany
Victoria Mondragon is currently a junior at University at Albany studying Digital Forensics and Cyber Security. She is greatly involved with clubs on campus including The DFA (Digital Forensics Association). She also donates much of her time to volunteering and giving back in her community. Victoria has received many great opportunities to further her knowledge in the field of Cyber Security including attending WiCyS in Tucson, AZ this past year. After graduation she hopes to use her knowledge and passion for Cyber Security as well as the criminal justice field as a whole to focus on becoming a homicide detective. She is honored to be a recipient of SWSIS scholarship and is looking forward to making great contributions within the Cyber Security and Forensics fields.
Ivy Oeltjenbruns, Dakota State University
Ivy Oeltjenbruns is a junior studying Cyber Operations at Dakota State University with a focus in computer forensics. She is very involved on campus as the current President of Computer Club (Association for Computing Machinery Student Chapter), secretary of CybHer Club (Women in Cyber Security), and a member of Defensive Security Club. After graduation, she plans to get a master’s degree in Applied Computer Science.
Nicole Price, New Mexico State University
Nicole Price, a senior at New Mexico State University, is majoring in Information Engineering Technology and minoring in Security Technology and Music. She currently works as an undergraduate research assistant for Young Women in Computing, where she designs/instructs courses in Cyber Security, Encryption, Robotics, and more Computer Science related subjects. She is also an Information Security Analyst intern for an insurance company, and will be interning with Google IT during the summer of 2017. In addition to this, Nicole is a part of the Network Security Group at school where she competed in the Southwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Her plans for the future include pursuing a Master’s degree in Information Security, Computer Science, or a closely related subject.
Angela Rice, Western Governors University
Angela Rice found her passion for cyber security while taking courses for a business related degree. She is currently majoring in IT Security at Western Governors University, where she plans to continue and complete a Masters. Angela enhanced her abilities in the security field during an internship where she was immersed in IT security policy, standards, and compliance work, updating the IT Security Plan for a government agency. She is excited to pursue a career in cyber security, and looks forward to growing her expertise in the field.
Kimberly Ruth, University of Washington
Kimberly Ruth is a sophomore studying computer engineering at the University of Washington. She has been actively involved in security research, with her current focus being security for augmented reality systems; she has also been a security intern at Google. Kimberly is excited to pursue a PhD followed by a research-based career in computer security. In addition to being a SWSIS Scholar, she is the first winner of the SWSIS Rebecca Gurley Bace Scholarship.
Rachel Cohen is a senior at University of Maryland, Baltimore County studying Computer Science. At UMBC, she is a member of the Cyber Scholars Program and involved with the Center for Women in Technology. She is a native of Columbia, Maryland where she attended Atholton High school.
Sarah Earle is currently an Associate Principal for a high school technology program in Charleston County School District, Charleston, SC where she is working with a variety of organizations to build a state-of-the-art information security pathway for high school students. Her passion for security developed while working with her students and noticing strong need for balance between policy and practice. She will attend University of Maryland University College to obtain a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy. In addition to pursuing a career in information security, Sarah plans to continue working to encourage underrepresented students to choose a variety of computer science avenues. Sarah is currently working to increase her technical knowledge by studying for several industry certifications. She enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family.
Kaitlyn Kelly is currently a junior at SUNY Albany double majoring in Digital Forensics and Financial Market Regulation. She grew up in Millbrook, NY. She helped found a new club as secretary of the Cyber Defense Organization, which is committed to providing a platform for students interested in cyber security to learn and practice their technical skills, while also competing in competitions in the local area and beyond. She has also interned at the US SEC Regional office in NYC and will be an intern at the Department of Defense in Washington DC this summer. After graduation she hopes to start a career in cyber intelligence and attend graduate school. She is honored to be a recipient of the SWSISscholarship and looking forward to providing solutions to the emerging issues found in the changing landscape of cyber security.
Michelle Lam is a third year Computer Science major at Cal Poly SLO, focusing in computer security. She has taken coursework in cryptography, network security, and web security, and is returning to Apple for a second security internship, after having interned at Northrop Grumman. She is the president of her school’s chapter of Association for Computing Machinery and has also been an officer of Women Involved in Software and Hardware as well as White Hat Computer Security.
Kelsey McKinley is an Information Security major at Ferris State University. She plans on using her degree to pursue cyber terrorism and forensics with the federal government. In addition to her studies, she is a two time All-American Scholar for the Ferris State Women’s Golf Team.
Sarah Miller, Carnegie Mellon University
Sarah Miller is entering her second year at Carnegie Mellon University in Fall 2016 to complete a Master of Science in Information Security Policy and Management. Sarah has received a Master of Arts in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA from McDaniel College after double-majoring in English and Psychology. Sarah hopes to advocate for women in other fields to consider cyber security as a career.
Mary Anne Smart is a junior from Bloomington, Indiana, studying math, computer science, and Spanish at Indiana University. For the past two years, she has enjoyed working as a peer-led team learning leader at IU’s School of Informatics and Computing.
Dralia Tulley-Patton became passionate about working at the intersection of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Security, after she attended several related talks at Grace Hopper. Specifically, she plans to advance research in the area of insider threat detection, exploring the use of NLP and ML in analyzing the differences between the language of a typical employee and the language of an insider who poses a security threat.
Jessica Wilson is a current Honors student from Eastern Michigan University majoring in Information Assurance and minoring in Computer Engineering Technologies. She is an active member of the information security community, leading the Information Assurance Student Association, as well as founding the Women in IA group at her university. She has also interned at Virta Labs working on security testing for health care and medical devices including side channel analysis.
Evelyn Brown, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Evelyn Brown is currently a sophomore at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University studying Cyber Security and Intelligence. She grew up in Kingman, Arizona and was home schooled, graduating from both high school and Mohave Community College with an Associate’s Degree in 2014. She is very grateful to be a SWSIS scholarship recipient and looking forward to her career in Cyber Security!
Priya Chawla, University of Cincinnati
Priya Chawla is an actively involved student at University of Cincinnati studying Computer Science. This year, she founded a student chapter of ACM-W for her university. The chapter has received generous amounts of support and funding from many top engineering firms. She is also currently enrolled in the ACCEND program, a dual-degree program for students to receive their Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree at the same time. Priya’s Master’s thesis research will be focused in the area of data mining. After graduation, Priya looks forward to developing innovative solutions that will help safeguard our nation’s information.
Shelby Cunningham, Carnegie Mellon University
Shelby Cunningham is a first-year master’s student at Carnegie Mellon University studying information security policy and management. A life-long resident of the Pittsburgh area, she also received a B.S. in psychology from Carnegie Mellon in 2014.
Alejandra Diaz, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Alejandra is a rising junior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County majoring in Computer Science with a focus on Cyber Security. As part of the Cyber Security Scholars, she has had great opportunities to expand her skills as a student. After graduation, she is looking forward to pursuing a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Cyber Security.
Fumi Honda, Stony Brook University
Fumi Honda is a senior from Stony Brook University majoring in Computer Science with a focus in information assurance. She also double major in Psychology and minor in Business. She hopes her interdisciplinary background will help her become a better security consultant on problems of security trade-offs.
Ashley Huffman, Northern Kentucky University
Ashley Huffman is a dual major at Northern Kentucky University studying Computer Science and Computer Information Technology. She is actively involved with the schools cyber-defense team and information security club along with the schools Women in Informatics group. She hopes to go into the field of information Security after she graduates and is particularly interested in application security and malware analysis.
Cindy Jong, DePaul University
Cindy Jong is studying Information Assurance and Security Engineering at DePaul University. Cindy is originally from Taiwan and she hopes to pursue a career in either application security, or network security. She enjoys reading cyber security books on different topics during her free time; she also enjoys playing video games.
Madison Oliver, Pennsylvania State University
Madison Oliver is a Security and Risk Analysis Major at Penn State’s main campus and has been here throughout her entire undergraduate degree. Madison is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She plans on taking the LSATs this upcoming October to pursue a career in Intellectual Property Law. For fun, she likes to play video games and board games with friends.
Mary Sharp, Marshall University
Imani Sherman, Kentucky State University
Imani is a graduate student at Kentucky State University working towards her Masters in Computer Science Technology with a concentration in Cyber Security. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton. After graduation she plans to pursue a Technology and Public Policy doctoral degree.
Angela Sun, Michigan State University
Angela Sun is a student at Michigan State University studying smartphone systems and security. She has previously interned for Google. In addition to information security, she also has strong interests in business and product management.
Kebra Thompson, University of Washington
Kebra Thompson was a high school math teacher for eighteen years before deciding to return to school and study some exciting applications of math. She is just finishing up an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering and starting on a Masters degree in Computer Science with a focus on Cyber security. She is very interested in math and its applications in cryptography and hopes to use those skills in industry after her graduation.
Stefanye Walkes, California State University, Dominguez Falls
Stefanye Walkes is currently a senior at California State University, Dominguez Hills for a Bachelor’s degree in their Computer Technology, Homeland Security track. After getting her Bachelor’s, she will attend graduate school for a cyber security-related Master’s degree. Career-wise she hopes to do research for the United States’ intelligence community.
Gena Welk, University of Colorado at Boulder
After spending most of her professional career as a stay-at-home mom, Gena is venturing out into the world of technology in pursuit of making computers and data more secure for the humans they serve. She is passionately interested in privacy issues and laws, telecom policies in the US and abroad, and the way the brain is adapting to screen technology and the negative effects it could be having on our children.
Gena is pursuing a Masters Degree in ICTD from the University of Colorado.
Leah Xu, University of Maryland, College Park
Leah Xu is a junior Computer Engineering major at the University of Maryland, College Park who is deeply interested in intersection between technology, humanity, and other industries. She has been conducting cyber security research in an interdisciplinary lab with criminologists and computer scientists for the past two years. She will be spending her summer interning as a program manager at Microsoft on the Azure team and her fall at Google interning as a software engineer on the data infrastructure team at Nest.
Brooke Young, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Brooke is a rising senior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County majoring in Information Systems, with a concentration in Cyber Security. Brooke has an Associate’s Degree in Information Systems from Montgomery College. She was President of the Computer Science Club, DC-CAP College Representative, and an Intern at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Information System Security Branch Office. At the USDA, Brooke became fascinated with Cyber Security and the process of applying security measures to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and security of data. After graduation, she hopes to start a career in network security and risk management and attend graduate school. Brooke is a native of Washington, D.C. She attended The Field School and McKinley Technology High School.
Kira Ullman, Columbia University
Kira is a senior at Columbia University majoring in Math and Computer Science. She grew up in Washington, DC, and attended Sidwell Friends High School. She is hoping to get a job in cyber security and is thrilled to be an SWSIS awardee!
Veronica (Nick) Manfredi, Wellesley College
Nick Manfredi is a senior at Wellesley College, majoring in computer science with a focus in information security. After graduation, Nick plans to attend graduate school.
Nicholette Fortune, Rochester Institute of Technology
Nicholette is a rising senior at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is a double major in Information Security and Forensics, and Criminal Justice. After graduation she hopes to find employment doing either Cyber Security or Digital/Network Forensics. Although originally from Trinidad in the Caribbean, she is a native of Brooklyn, NY where she attended Midwood High School at Brooklyn College.
Katareena Geller, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Victoria Lentz, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Victoria Lentz is a senior at University of Maryland, Baltimore County studying computer science with a concentration in information assurance. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in digital forensics. She is a native of Ellicott City, MD where she attended Howard High School.
Trang Nguyen, Columbus State University
Trang Nguyen is a graduate student at Columbus State University, where she is working towards her Masters in Computer Science, with a focus in information assurance. Her bachelor’s in biochemistry was received from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After graduation, she is looking into working in industry or pursuing a PhD where she could focus on biometric cyber security. She’s a native of Columbus, GA, where she went to Columbus High School.
Sherri Pearlman, National University
Sherri Pearlman is a senior at National University where she is majoring in Cyber Security with a focus in Information Assurance. After graduation she plans to get a job in the industry, where she hopes to work in Network Security.
Jessica Pease, California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo
Jessie is a Senior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is majoring in Computer Science with a focus in security. This fall she will be studying abroad at KTH in Stockholm, Sweden in the School of Computer Science and Communication. After graduation, she plans to work in industry where she hopes to work on privacy engineering. She’s a native of Elk Grove, CA where she went to Laguna Creek High School. Jessie is a Senior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is majoring in Computer Science with a focus in security. This fall she will be studying abroad at KTH in Stockholm, Sweden in the School of Computer Science and Communication. After graduation, she plans to work in industry where she hopes to work on privacy engineering. She’s a native of Elk Grove, CA where she went to Laguna Creek High School.
Abisola Togunde, Eastern Michigan University
Abisola Togunde is a senior at Eastern Michigan University. She is majoring in Information Assurance, with a concentration in Management. After graduation, she plans to get a job in industry, where she hopes to focus on network security and risk management. She’s a native of Ithaca, NY, however she attended Eaton Rapids High School in Eaton Rapids, MI.
Christa Cox, Bradley University
Geneva Capos, California State University, Northridge
Geneva Capos is a senior at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She’s majoring in Information Technology and minoring in Sociology. Her hometown is Granite Bay, California where she went to Granite Bay High School and competed in varsity swimming and water polo. She was recruited to CSUN to play water polo. Interests in crime, computers and helping people lead her to the Information Security world. She is the president of the computer security club Layer 8 on her campus. Geneva is rejoining the water polo team after a 2-year retirement taken primarily to focus on schoolwork and studying computer security. That time off allowed her to become more involved with the Layer 8 club. With Layer 8 she has attended several security conferences and conventions, competed in several security competitions such as picoCTF, NCL (National Cyber League), CCDC (Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition) qualifiers, CCDC invitational, and attended the USCC (US Cyber Challenge) San Jose Summer Camp. Currently she is an intern at the Aerospace Corporation in the Information Security Department. After graduating from CSUN, she plans on going to graduate school to expand her security knowledge. Following that, she hopes to pursue a career in cyber security and help protect people against technological threats.
- 16 Women Across the Country Were Awarded a Scholarship for their Work in Cybersecurity October 23, 2019
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- SWSIS Scholarships: Where are They Now? Featured Scholar: Kebra Thompson December 1, 2017Kebra Thomspon received an SWSIS scholarship from 2015 to 2016 while she earned a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Washington - Tacoma. She is currently an Information Specialist at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, Washington.
- Student Researchers Ask How Secure We Feel About Internet Security June 12, 2017Originally posted by Bucknell University BY MATT HUGHES You’ve probably noticed how well your internet browser has gotten to know you. Ever-advancing advertising algorithms serving up targeted ads, not to mention data breach after data breach, have made many internet users more attuned than ever to how little privacy we often have on the internet. […]
- What does the Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security mean to me? August 26, 2016Each year in co-sponsorship with Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and the Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), CRA-W/ACSA presents the Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS) to 10-15 women in their undergraduate or Master’s studies. This year a SWSIS 2016 recipient shared her experience in the Information Security field and what it means to receive this scholarship. […]
- New America Foundation Blog Series – Humans of Cybersecurity July 8, 2016The New America Foundation has started a new series of blog posts about women in cybersecurity. Among the first are two SWSIS winners, writing about their careers and how they've become interested in cybersecurity. Read about Priya Chawla and Jill Jermyn. The blog is called Humans of Cybersecurity.
- What the SWSIS Scholarship Means to Me December 18, 2014Receiving the SWSIS Scholarship means more to me than just the financial support. Receiving the recognition and support of the ACSA makes me feel even more determined to complete my degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in Security. This fall, I have the opportunity to study abroad in Stockholm, Sweden where I will also […]
- SWSIS scholarship helped me to start my career in cyber security March 11, 2014I was selected for the SWSIS scholarship during an unsettled time in my life. I just started graduate school at Columbia University after a career change, and although I was greatly interested in information security, I didn’t quite know how I wanted to apply it to my future plans. I received a great deal of […]
- How the ACSA Scholarship has helped me March 6, 2014After learning that I was receiving the SWSIS from ACSA in 2012, I was ecstatic and very grateful. I was studying to complete my Bachelor in Computer Science with a Concentration on Computer Security at Towson University in the next year. I had experience with an internship with a defense contracting firm, however I was […]
- Welcoming past SWSIS winners! February 24, 2014Welcoming past SWSIS winners! It’s my pleasure to welcome posts from past SWSIS winners. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see postings from some of the talented young women who were helped in their education by SWSIS scholarships. Join me in congratulating them – and I hope you’ll join them in applying for SWSIS scholarships! — […]
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
When are applications for the SWSIS scholarships due?
Applications are accepted by a February 1 deadline of each year, for scholarships to start the following academic year. The application site opens in early December for a mid-December to February 1 application window. Decisions are finalized in mid-April.
It is my first semester in this graduate program, so I technically do not have any class records in my transcript for this campus.
Please include a copy of your class schedule, to show that you are an enrolled student, even though you don’t have a transcript yet.
I hope to enroll in a masters program next year, but I have not yet been accepted. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, so long as you meet the other criteria. Before an award is made, we will verify that you will in fact be in a suitable masters program. Please include a statement about your plans in your essay, and list the programs to which you have applied.
Can a student in a two year master’s program apply in their second year, having already completed the first year of the program?
If you will be in your second year of your two-year Master’s program in the upcoming Academic Year, then you are eligible. If you will be finished with the second year by the time the scholarship is awarded, then you are not eligible to apply.
I am a first-year undergraduate in computer engineering, I don’t know yet whether I am interested in security – could I get a scholarship?
Probably not – you need to be a junior or senior or in a Master’s program next school year, plus already have security coursework in your studies, have held a security-related job, or otherwise exhibit security interest (e.g., through a club).
I have a BS in another field, now I am back at community college taking classes in Linux and Cisco so that I can get some certifications. Would I be eligible to apply for this scholarship?
Probably not – our goal is to encourage security education, not training, and certifications fall in the “training” category.
I am earning an Associate Degree. Am I eligible?
No. You must be earning a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree to be eligible.
I’m pursuing a BA, not a BS. Am I eligible?
Yes, any Bachelors’ program, including BA, BS, BEng, etc., is acceptable for a SWSIS scholarship, assuming that you meet the other qualifications.
I’m pursuing a PhD. Am I eligible?
No. This program is only for undergraduates and masters students.
I am enrolled in an Information Security Certificate program – am I eligible to apply for a SWSIS scholarship?
Most likely not, as we do not support students in certificate programs, unless they’re also degree programs (Bachelors’ or Masters’ degree).
What topic areas constitute “information security”?
We have a broad interpretation of the field. Some relevant areas include:
* Software security / software assurance
* Intrusion detection
* Network security
* Security usability
* Operating systems security
* Database security
* Applications security
* Formal methods
* Privacy engineering
Who selects the scholar who will recieve the award?
CRA-WP leads the selection process, assisted by a selection committee. The selection committee makes recommendations to ACSA, which finalizes the decisions.
How are applications evaluated? Are letters of recommendation important?
Letters of recommendation are one of the factors we consider, along with essays, transcripts, and resumes (e.g., clubs, honors, internships), along with diversity factors. There is no fixed weighting among the inputs, but all are important.
I am participating in an online program, not an on-campus program. Am I eligible?
Students in online degree programs offered by US institutions are eligible, so long as all of the other eligibility criteria are met.
What do selected scholars receive?
Funds are paid directly to your account at your university for tuition, books, etc. Selected scholars will be invited to attend security conferences held by ACSA and HP (expenses will be paid for winners who choose to attend) and will have opportunities to participate in career mentoring programs organized by the CRA-WP. Some selected scholars may also be offered summer internships with HP.
What are your essay requirements? How long should my essay be?
The essay should be no more than one page or 500 words. It should include information about your past interest and involvement in the field of cybersecurity, including academic, employment, or extra-curricular involvement in the field, and your career goals, including educational and professional plans relating to the field. Explain why you are interested in the field, and any specific areas within the field that are of interest to you.
* For other Questions: Please contact SWSIS
If you’d like to support future female researchers in cybersecurity, you can send your contributions to:
Applied Computer Security Associates, Inc.
c/o David Balenson
P.O. Box 1607
Olney, MD 20830-1607
*Mr. Epstein participates in his personal capacity. His participation does not constitute an endorsement by the National Science Foundation or the United States Government.
Sr. Program Associate