That’s what 43 college students had a chance to do during the second annual CyberCorps Scholarship for Service BootCamp at Tennessee Tech.
Rising CyberCorps scholars were trained recently in a variety of research and related soft skills to help them be successful in their cybersecurity education journey. Skills training included communication and technical writing skills, ethics, etiquette, time management, personal finance, service learning, federal resume writing and even dining etiquette.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for these students to get viewpoints from professionals in the field ranging from government agencies, industry and academia to fully understand this great new world they are going into in their cybersecurity career,” said Eric Brown, assistant director of Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center. “What started out two years ago as a side conversation has turned into an event for students from Hawaii to New York.”
The camp is the work of Ambareen Siraj, CEROC’s director. It is the only camp of its type in the nation, supporting college students who are recent awardees of CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program.
“I am thrilled. I’ve been waiting for this,” said Caleb Currie, a senior computer science major at Tennessee Tech. “I like that I get to know more people in the program and see where other students are coming from and make contacts around the country. I hope to get a better understanding of what I’m in for the rest of the Scholarship for Service program.”
Participants also had the opportunity to hear and interact with speakers from a variety of local and federal agencies, gaining insight into the cybersecurity needs at the federal level. Aside from a group of speakers and subject matter experts at Tennessee Tech, scholars heard from representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National CyberWatch Center, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and retired military leaders working in the cybersecurity sector.
The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program is a partnership between the National Science Foundation and the Office of Personnel Management. CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service is a unique program designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government’s critical information infrastructure. The program provides scholarships that may fully fund the typical costs incurred by full-time students while attending a participating institution, including tuition and education and related fees. Additionally, participants receive stipends of $22,500 for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate students. The scholarships are funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation.