Scholarship will help two UAH students achieve goal of career in cybersecurity


UAH students Jessica Eason, who is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Cybersecurity – Business Track, and Victoria Van, who is working toward her Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, each received a prestigious Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship.

Michael Mercier | UAH

One student each from the Colleges of Business and Engineering at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has been awarded a prestigious Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship: Jessica Eason, who is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Cybersecurity – Business Track, and Victoria Van, who is working toward her Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering.

Eason, who says she is "ecstatic to begin a career as a civilian employee serving my country," began her academic career at UAH, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy this past spring. As an undergraduate, she was able to accrue the academic honors and leadership experience necessary to stand out as a scholarship applicant, including serving as vice president of the Student Government Association her senior year. "My selection is a testament to the quality of the education students receive at UAH," she says. "I was fortunate to have mentors, whether faculty or other students, who emphasized being well rounded."

The Huntsville native also credits her parents for teaching her to value education from a young age. "Neither of them had the opportunity to graduate college, so while I was growing up, they both emphasized how important it is to pursue educational opportunities and excel in the classroom," says Eason. "I am so grateful to my parents and to all the adults in my life who have taught me to chase any and every opportunity available to me. To me this scholarship and career opportunity is a culmination of that mentality."

Like Eason, Van had her sights set on a rewarding academic career long before enrolling at UAH. As a high school student, she interned with the U.S. Army’s Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center as a participant in the Redstone Arsenal’s Army Education Outreach Program, which later led to an internship with Northrop Grumman. It was also during this time that she learned about UAH’s CyberCorps Scholarships for Service program from Dr. Ray Vaughn, UAH’s vice president for research and economic development. "CyberCorps was a major reason why I chose to attend UAH," says Van, whose original CyberCorps scholarship has since been superseded by the Information Assurance Scholarship. "I wanted to pursue cybersecurity through a computer engineering major."

Now a junior, the Madison native is well on her way to fulfilling both her academic and professional goals. "I am excited that I get to continue working for the Department of Defense, and this time in the cyber field," she says, adding that she is especially grateful for the encouragement she has received from both Dr. Vaughn and Dr. Tommy Morris, director of UAH’s Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education. "Overall, I am extremely thankful for the opportunity, and I appreciate them for supporting me through the process!"

As recipients of the two-year scholarship, Eason and Van will both receive full tuition and fees, a cost of living stipend of $22,500 for undergraduates and $30,000 for graduate students per year, a book allowance, a laptop computer, travel expenses to a conference, and a DoD summer internship. The pair has also already been selected for post-graduation employment at a DoD agency: Eason will work for the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff G-6 Office in Fort Meade, Md., while Van will work for the U.S. Army’s Cyber Protection Brigade in Fort Gordon, Ga.


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