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4.2 Million NSF Award for Cybersecurity Scholarship for Service Project

at The University of Arizona

Cybersecurity Scholarship-for-Service at The University of Arizona

PI: Dr. Hsinchun Chen, McClelland Professor of Management Information Systems, The University of Arizona
Co-PIs: Dr. Paulo Goes, Dr. Mark Patton, Dr. Salim Hariri; The University of Arizona

In this project we aim at recruiting from across the state, with particular emphasis on minority recruitment and retention. The ultimate goal is to help broaden representation in science and technology and increase interest in and technological competence for government service. The proposed program is budgeted to support 40 participants, and encompasses several important areas of activity, in addition to recruitment: eligibility verification and selection; student mentoring and development (including independent research study integrated into the program); coursework; assessment of student progress; internship and post-graduation placement assistance; and program assessment and evaluation. Each area is addressed in detail in the project description.

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance are critical to ensuring the integrity and availability demands of a modern, globally-networked infrastructure. The growing need for and demands upon security professionals are highlighted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Association for Information Systems (AIS) information systems curriculum guidelines of May 2010 that specifically address these emerging needs. The biggest challenge facing employers is finding employees with the right security skills, including operations security, information security risk management, and security management practices (Goodwin 2010), thus proving the SFS program timely, relevant, and beneficial.

Our approach to managing the program is deliberately cross disciplinary and intended to support the broadest definition of cybersecurity, including information assurance, network security, trustworthy computing, risk management for IT, etc. In addition to faculty from MIS, Dr. Salim Hariri of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department will also serve as Co-PI. Dr. Hariri is Co-Director of the NSF Center for Autonomic Computing and brings a wealth of experience in cyber- and network security. Faculty members from Computer Science have also signed on as faculty mentors.