Norwich University awarded National Science Foundation Federal Cyber Service Scholarships

Funds to benefit students in university's Information Assurance program

(l-r) Neil Larson & Ryan Muller, scholarship winners
(l-r) Neil Larson and Ryan Muller, scholarship winners

Norwich University has been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to receive $2.4 million in scholarship funding through the NSF Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service program. This program provides funds to universities to award scholarships to students studying in the fields of information assurance or computer science. The goal of the NSF program is to increase the capacity of US higher education institutions to educate qualified professionals in the fields of information assurance and computer science who can help meet the needs of an increasingly technological society.

In order to qualify for the NSF Scholarship for Service program, an organization must be an accredited American university that has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education or have an Information Assurance program that meets the criteria equivalent to those necessary for such a designation. Norwich University, a leader in the field of information assurance education, received NSA recognition in 2001.

With the NSF funding, Norwich will be able to offer scholarships over the next four years to ten juniors and ten seniors enrolled in one of its undergraduate course of study that offers training in information assurance issues. The scholarships will pay for tuition, books, fees, as well as provide students an $8,000 stipend to cover the cost of room and board. In return, each graduating student will be required to serve one year as a civilian employee at a non-Department of Defense government agency for each year he or she received the scholarship award.

Vermont's senior Senator, Patrick Leahy (D-VT), was instrumental in securing the NSF funds for Norwich and has been a strong supporter of the important work being conducted by the university's Information Assurance faculty and students.

"With the emergence of cyber crime and cyber terrorism, cyber security has become a major concern for those managing major public and private information systems," said Sen. Leahy. "Norwich University is rapidly emerging as a leader in the field of information assurance. This award builds upon the strengths of Norwich's program by helping to attract and train top talent for work in cyber security. Norwich today is helping to train the specialists who will play crucial roles tomorrow in defending our national information infrastructure."

"Norwich University has worked very hard to include training in the area of information assurance across our curriculum in order to offer students the best possible education and training in an area that has become a critical component of multiple sectors of our society. When students graduate from Norwich with expertise in information assurance, they are not only prepared for their individual futures but for the future of our country," said Norwich President Richard W. Schneider. "The NSF: Scholarship for Service award is another example of our success in meeting our objective to be the leading educational institution in the area of information assurance. This award offers a unique opportunity for continued growth and improvement for the university. I especially want to thank Senator Leahy for his ongoing support and the important role he played in bringing these NSF scholarships to Norwich. I also want to congratulate our faculty, staff and students who have made these funds possible."

Two Norwich students have already been selected for Scholarship for Service awards. Neil Larson, a senior Electrical Engineering major from Barre, VT, and Ryan Muller, a junior Computer Science major from Danville, VT, will receive scholarship funding beginning with the Spring 2003 semester.

dmudgett@norwich.edu, January 2003

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