GMU Wins Grant from Information Assurance Program

Posted: December 11, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Faced with a shortage of experts in information security, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have established a new Information Assurance Scholarship Program to encourage the study of security issues in the United States by its citizens, and George Mason will be one of the first universities in the country to participate.

The Center for Secure Information Systems (CSIS) within the School of Information Technology and Engineering won a $120,000 grant from the new program. CSIS is one of only 20 Centers for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education in the country, as designated by NSA, and the scholarship program is available only to students in one of the centers.

The grant will finance a full scholarship for a graduate student, fund a fellowship in security research, cover costs for security course development, and pay for equipment and software used in the program, says Sushil Jajodia, director of CSIS and principal investigator on the grant.

“Although this is a one-year grant, it’s expected to be a continuing program,” Jajodia says, “and I’m sure we will be able to identify other students for scholarships in the future.” In light of recent events, Jajodia says, there is an urgent need and he hopes many other students will apply.

The student selected for the scholarship, Dan Ellis, has been accepted for enrollment in January. He will receive full compensation for tuition, books, and other related expenses, as well as a stipend. As part of the terms of the scholarship, he will be required to complete paid internships with DoD during academic breaks and work for DoD as a full-time, permanent employee for a year after he completes his studies.

For more information on the scholarship program, view the web site.

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