The University of New Haven is the first designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations in the state of Connecticut. The program focuses on producing students with strong hands-on technical skills coupled with multidisciplinary, entrepreneurial and research mindsets. The university also enables students to operate in competitive environments by having them participate in a multitude of cyber competitions. The approach will be extended to cohorts of SFS Scholars. All SFS scholars will undergo a rigorous curriculum augmented with research and experiential opportunities and will be a part of the university's competitive cyber collegiate teams. SFS scholars will also participate in a variety of well-established outreach activities such as the yearly GenCyber Agent Summer Academy, and one-day Girl Scouts of Connecticut Cyber Agent Camp.
The principal aim of this project is to meet the rising need for highly-skilled, out-of-the-box thinking cybersecurity professionals to protect the nation and enter its governmental workforce. The University of New Haven proposes Connecticut's first CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program that will produce the next generation of Super Cyber Operatives (SCOs) that will be ready to enter the government's cybersecurity workforce. By leveraging existing infrastructure and initiatives, the CyberCorps SFS SCOs program will focus on selecting undergraduate seniors (first semester) from the Cyber Operations paths to become undergraduate SFS Scholars. These students will then complete their MSc degrees as graduate SFS Scholars in Cybersecurity & Networks. The students will intern at a federal, state, local, or tribal government organization in a position related to cybersecurity within their first two years as an SFS Scholar. Specifically, the program aims to develop SFS Scholars that: (1) are deeply technical doers yet multidisciplinary thinkers, (2) possess entrepreneurial and applied research mindsets, (3) are competitive yet team-oriented, (4) value diversity and inclusion, and (5) are highly effective technical communicators.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.