Two students from the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University have been selected for the Department of Defense’s Cybersecurity Scholarship Program. The competitive program is designed to promote the education, recruitment and retention of top students pursuing degrees related to information assurance, information technology and cybersecurity in order to meet the DoD’s increasing dependence on the security of its information infrastructure.
Sean Kreps, a computer science and electrical engineering major from Clear Spring, Maryland, and Tanner Gantzer, an electrical engineering graduate student from Wheeling, were selected for the prestigious scholarship, which includes a full-tuition waiver and a $25,000-a-year stipend.
“Cybersecurity is a very important and growing industry that many companies have just recently started investing in,” said Gantzer. “Many companies can improve their security greatly by taking simple steps such as updating software or upgrading to chip readers for credit card scanners. I chose this career path in order to help people and I hope that I will be able to make an impact on both companies and individuals by encouraging them to take their security more seriously.”
In addition to the monetary awards, CySP participants partake in immersive summer internships related to cybersecurity at DoD headquarters across the country. Students will work closely with a DoD representative in the spring to find an internship placement that aligns with their interests and career goals.
“I am most looking forward to working on cyber defense projects for Navy aircrafts, ships and submarines,” said Kreps. “Scholarship recipients receive a top level security clearance, which will allow me to make sure that cyber threats are kept out of the systems that I will one day be assigned to guard.”
The internships are intended to provide valuable work experience that will help participants become familiar with the organization before becoming full-time employees after graduation. As a contingency of the scholarship, recipients must complete one year of civilian employment with the DoD for each year of scholarship assistance.
“One of the best things about the scholarship is that it provides you with a sense of financial relief while also easing the stress of finding a job after graduation,” said Gantzer. “I look forward to working in the cybersecurity field after graduation with an organization that has a tremendous reputation.”
DoD scholarships are renewable for up to two consecutive years.
For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources:
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