10 UAH students get NSF cybersecurity scholarships in second year of program

cybersecurity scholarship awardees

UAH Scholarship for Service Cyber Corps awardees, from left: Back –Josh Jones, Joseph Drummond, Isaac Daniel and Nick Christensen. Front – Jimmy Robertson, Hope Walker, Todd Hastings and Andrew Hendrix.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Ten students at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) are getting full cybersecurity scholarships from a five-year, $4.2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) funded scholarship program that's in its second year at the university.

The new scholarship recipients in the UAH program include its first female, Hope Walker, and its first doctoral awardee, Josh Jones. The students will matriculate at UAH as part of the NSF's Scholarship for Service Cyber Corps and then work for the government as a cybersecurity expert.

UAH is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research.

Student recipients and their degree programs are:

  • Ji Choi, cybersecurity;
  • Nick Christensen, modeling and simulation;
  • Isaac Daniel, computer engineering;
  • Joseph Drummond, cybersecurity;
  • Todd Hastings, information systems;
  • Andrew Hendrix, computer engineering;
  • Josh Jones, computer science;
  • Jimmy Robertson, cybersecurity;
  • Chase Sweeney, computer engineering;
  • Hope Walker, information systems/cybersecurity.

"These scholarships will pay for full tuition, up to $2,000 reimbursement for health care insurance, up to $1,000 reimbursement for books related to class work, up to $3,000 for professional development travel, and stipends of $20,000 for bachelor's degree students, or $32,000 for graduate students during the academic year," says Dr. Ray Vaughn, UAH's vice president for research and economic development. "These students will serve the government - federal, state, local or tribal - upon completion of their degree. This is an excellent source of talent for the many Dept. of Defense and federal government organizations in the Huntsville community."

Scholarships are awarded for two academic years (four semesters) for undergraduates and master's degree students and for three years (six semesters) for doctoral students. A single student cannot receive more than one SFS scholarship.

Students can get a leg up on cybersecurity hiring through the scholarship as they serve a paid internship during the summer semester in a government cybersecurity related position and fulfill a post-graduation scholarship obligation of one year of government service in a cybersecurity related position for each year of scholarship.

Dr. Vaughn was the principal investigator for the NSF proposal awarded in 2014, along with co-principal investigators Dr. Sara Graves, Computer Science Department professor and director of the UAH Information Technology and Systems Center; Dr. Jatinder (Jeet) Gupta, associate dean of the UAH College of Business Administration; and Dr. Seong-Moo (Sam) Yoo, associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.



Dr. Ray Vaughn

Jim Steele