Hampton University Receives almost $4 Million Scholarship Grant for Cybersecurity Students

HAMPTON, Va.  – The Hampton University Department of Computer Science has just received a renewal grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the CyberCorps: Scholarships for Service program in the amount of $3.98 Million for the next five years.

“Congratulations to the Computer Science department for successfully renewing this distinguished scholarship that will empower many students to study and excel in areas such as cybersecurity and other STEM fields,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.

With this renewal, there is one big change to the program. In the past, this scholarship was intended for rising senior Computer Science undergraduate students and Master of Science in Information Assurance (MS in IA) students, but going forward, this scholarship will include rising juniors. “We made some adjustments so that we could include students who can start their junior year. So students can complete their junior and senior years with us or they complete senior and two-year masters or just two-year master’s degree,” said Chutima Boonthum-Denecke, Professor for the Hampton University Department of Computer Science, and Principal Investigator for this grant. This scholarship is also intended for students who want to transfer from another institution, as well as current Hampton University students.

The grant renewal states, “This program will allow Hampton University to continue to produce highly skilled cybersecurity workers and address the lack of students (particularly from underrepresented communities) that are pursuing graduate degrees. The goal of the scholarship program is to support the development of cybersecurity professionals, both undergraduate and graduate levels at the Information Assurance and Cyber Security Center at Hampton University (IAC@HU).” The IAC@HU is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE/CDE) by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) through 2021.

The CyberCorps: Scholarships for Service (SFS) program supports Computer Science (CSC), Computer Information Systems (CIS), and Cyber Security – Computer Science (CYS) undergraduate students for two years (starting their junior year) as well as the two-year MS degree in IA. “This scholarship covers full-tuition, textbooks and travel expenses for professional development.  Each SFS scholar will also receive a stipend of $22,500 per year for undergrad and $34,000 per year for graduate students,” said Boonthum-Denecke. In return, students make a commitment to work for the federal government for a specific amount of years (one-for-one year commitment) following the completion of their respective degree programs. As a part of CyberCorps: SFS program, each scholar must be enrolled full-time, maintain the GPA requirement, provide community outreach, and conduct, as well as present, cybersecurity related research.

As the Computer Science department expands their recruitment efforts to junior and community colleges, the SFS scholarship can be offered to qualified and committed students.  “This scholarship will allow a student attending community college to matriculate to Hampton University, Department of Computer Science, and receive full-funding to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees in Cyber Security,” said Dr. Jean Muhammad, Chair of the Hampton University Department of Computer Science and who served as Co-Principal Investigator for this grant.  “Dr. Danny Barnes, Cyber Security professor, serves as the recruitment liaison between Hampton University, the Department of Computer Science and Hampton Roads Community Colleges. We are excited about this outstanding future collaboration with our local community colleges,” said Muhammad.

The application deadline for this scholarship is June 1. For more information about the program and how to apply, go to http://iac.science.hamptonu.edu/page/CyberCorps-Scholarships-for-Service.