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By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist
Jan. 10, 2011
The University of Texas at San Antonio has been selected to receive a
four-year, $1.25 million grant from the National Science Foundation
(NSF) Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service program to support
UTSA undergraduate, master's and doctoral students committed to pursuing
careers in computer and information security.
UTSA students selected for the program will receive up to $56,000 during
their last two years of study to cover the cost of tuition and fees,
room and board, books and additional expenses. In exchange, they must
agree to work as employees in the federal security sector for two years
Established in 2006, the Scholarship for Service program seeks to
generate a pipeline of qualified professionals to meet the
cyber-security needs of the federal government. UTSA is one of 34
institutions participating in the program.
"Ninety-nine percent of the students who go through this program find
immediate placement in federal jobs following graduation," said
Kleanthis Psarris, professor and chair of the UTSA Department of
Computer Science, who will oversee the program and its graduates along
with Greg White, associate professor of computer science and director of
the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS). "We
expect this program to have an extremely positive impact on the San
Antonio security sector."
Because many UTSA students come from the surrounding region, Psarris and
White realize students may not want to relocate to Washington, D.C., to
secure federal employment following graduation. To support students who
want to remain in San Antonio after graduation, the professors will work
with local government agencies to identify qualifying federal jobs in
the Alamo City.
"We will provide many opportunities for students in this program, so we
expect it to be very competitive," said White. "Students will have
access to job fairs, mentors and training, and research and federal
internship opportunities. These are the students that could go on to
work for the FBI, CIA or Department of Defense. We are looking for the
very best students to fill these spots."
UTSA is recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of
Homeland Security as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information
Assurance Education (CAE). The CAE program reduces vulnerability in the
U.S. information infrastructure by promoting higher education and
research in information assurance and by supporting a growing number of
professionals with information assurance expertise. UTSA also is one of
the few schools to hold the prestigious CAE-R designation. The CAE-R
program in information assurance aims to increase the understanding of
robust technologies, policies and practices through research to enable
the United States to effectively prevent or respond to a catastrophic
Beginning with a fall 2011 cohort, UTSA will recruit seven computer
science students to join the program each semester. Students will pursue
a degree with a concentration in cyber or information security and must
maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Scholarships for Service applicants must be
U.S. citizens who can pass a background check and are eligible for
To learn more about the program or to apply, visit the NSF Scholarship
for Service website or contact Greg White at 210-458-2166.
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