Norwich University named member of the National Science Foundation’s Cyber Corps
by Daphne Larkin, Norwich University Norwich University officially entered the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Cyber Corps on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, when Professor Peter Stephenson presented a certificate of participation issued by NSF to Norwich President Richard Schneider.
This distinction identifies Norwich as a center of excellence in computer information assurance education, and qualifies the Vermont college to receive scholarship dollars in a NSF program called Scholarship for Service.
In the program, students receive full tuition, housing and books in return for a commitment to work full time for the federal government. Two Norwich students from approximately 125 in the computer security major have already benefitted.
Stephen Resto and Meghan Rioux, both juniors in the Computer Security and Information Assurance program and concentrating in forensics, have been hired by a federal agency outside Albany, N.Y. They will be working at a federally funded research facility called Multi-State this summer, with the opportunity to win full-time employment after graduation.
Their work will be an extension of their academics at Norwich, focusing on digital forensics and involving malware forensics and incident response.
“I'm thankful because I feel Multi-State does meaningful work, which was a huge thing for me,” said Rioux. “I wanted to make a difference. Or at least, have the chance to.”
The day before, Computer Science Professor Jeremy Hansen spoke to the Vermont State Senate Education Committee about a similar scholarship, the Information Assurance Scholars Program (IASP). He was accompanied by Norwich senior and scholarship recipient Cadet Dale Stevens.
State Senator Bill Doyle, R-Washington, had requested Hansen testify about the scholarships, which both offer a year of college for a year of service.
While Scholarship for Service is administered to the university, Stevens’ scholarship, IASP (which is administered through the U.S. Dept. of Defense), is an individual national competition. Both scholarships are awarded to students studying fields either in or related to computer security.
Hansen suggested the state might benefit from a similar Vermont incentive to college students. It would make a college education more affordable and keep educated young people in the state after graduation during key years when people tend to put down roots. The scholarship could be applied to early childhood education or whatever fields the state needs to stimulate employment in addition to computer security, he added.
“This is a reasonably inexpensive incentive program to keep college grads in state, and it’s guaranteed employment,” Hansen said.
At the State House, Stevens told lawmakers – who generally posed questions about cost and benefit – about his summer employment with a division of the U.S. Navy.
“I'm really excited about the opportunity I've been able to have,” said Stevens, a member of the Corps of Cadets who may pursue the Navy Reserves. “The scholarship is a really fantastic opportunity for students to serve their country in other ways.”