KINGSTON, RI – November 4, 2021 – The University of Rhode Island’s Department of Computer Science and Statistics has announced the 2021 CyberCorps Scholarship for service recipients. The announcement was part of the University of Rhode Island’s CyberSecurity Awareness Month in October.
The scholarship offers selected students tuition and tuition fees for up to three years; a $ 25,000 grant (undergraduate / academic year) or $ 34,000 (graduate / academic year) grant; and up to $ 6,000 per year for textbooks and software and travel / registration for job fairs and conferences.
The five recipients are Pranitha Nichanametla of Mittelstadt; Benjamin Dahrooge from Cumberland; Jacob Lussier from Bellester; Kenneth Lu Diaz of Hatillo, Puerto Rico; and Samantha Louise Saldua from Pawtucket.
Nichanametla, Dahrooge, Lussier and Lu Diaz are pursuing URI’s accelerated bachelor to master degree in computer science and cybersecurity. Saldua is a graduate of the master’s degree in Professional Science in Cyber Security.
“The scholarship program got me to continue my education, achieve my goals and have a great future,” said Lussier. “I am incredibly grateful to the University of Rhode Island and the US government for giving me this opportunity to work with a group of incredibly talented students and advisors.”
Saldua said she was interested in a masters degree in cybersecurity because of the increasing role technology plays in society and the many vulnerabilities that have been uncovered in recent years. “I want to get into the cybersecurity industry to find ways to achieve the convenience of technology without sacrificing our privacy,” she said. “When I came across this program, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get into the industry.”
Lu Diaz said he saw the program as an opportunity to serve the community. “I look forward to helping the United States protect the privacy of its citizens from other countries,” he said. “My goal is to learn from the best in the business, both in the public and private sectors. My goal is to lead the field. “
As a condition of the fellowship, CyberCorp Fellows must serve a US government agency for a period of time equal to the time they received their fellowship (typically two years).
“The opportunity to work in government is one of the things that attracted me to the scholarship,” said Nichanametla. “This opportunity is a great start to my career and will help me learn more about the specific path I want to take.”
“I am excited to have the opportunity to apply the skills acquired in the program in future positions in the public sector,” added Dahrooge. “My plan before receiving the scholarship was a software engineering role, but now I’m excited to continue my education here at URI and hold a key, more specialized cybersecurity role for a government agency.”
Funding for the program is made possible by a federal grant of $ 3.4 million from the National Science Foundation to the Computer Science and Statistics Department at the University of Rhode Island. Professor Victor Fay-Wolfe, Chair of Undergraduate Studies, is the principal examiner for the scholarship and coordinator of the URI CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program.
The students are usually funded in the last two years of the accelerated Bachelor’s / Master’s degree (main year of the Bachelor’s degree and the one year of the Master’s degree) or during the two years of the Master’s degree.
For more information on the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service at the University of Rhode Island, please visit: https://web.uri.edu/cs/academics/cybercorps-scholarship-for-service/.
Applications for the next study cohort are possible at the beginning of 2022.