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A cybersecurity grant to fund student internships and purchase equipment for a new research laboratory has been awarded to University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu Assistant Professor J. Burrell.

The $183,000 award is from the Department of Defense/National Security Agency Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP), which is designed to recruit and retain a highly-trained cybersecurity workforce to help secure the U.S. against cyber threats to critical infrastructure and information systems. Its mission is to promote higher education in cybersecurity and increase the number of military and civilian personnel with cyber and information technology expertise.

The grant selection involved a highly competitive process that included 92 National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity.

“The extensive experience of the UH West Oʻahu Cybersecurity and Information Security and Assurance program faculty was a critical factor in the evaluation and selection as a grant award recipient,” said Burrell, principal investigator and director of the UH West Oʻahu Cyber Security Research Laboratory.

Student opportunities

The CySP grant award has two major components that include funding student scholarships and institutional capacity building. The grant will fund 15 paid student internships and the purchase of specialized technical equipment for the UH West Oʻahu Cyber Security Research Laboratory, which has been in operation since January 2021 and currently supports five student interns who are conducting cybersecurity research.

“The internships will provide applied learning experiences for students with faculty directed research in advanced studies,” Burrell said.

Student internships will offer unique opportunities that combine cybersecurity education and applied research to advance knowledge and promote security and resilience for critical information infrastructures and systems at the local, regional and national level.

Additional student opportunities include coordination with the UH West Oʻahu Cyber Security Coordination Center, outreach initiatives involving other UH campuses and professional cybersecurity certification vouchers.

“The combination of the academic programs in cybersecurity and information security and assurance at UH West Oʻahu and the UH community college system, applied research internship experience, and professional cybersecurity certifications will provide students with enhanced employment opportunities and contribute to the civilian and military workforce requirements in the State of Hawaiʻi,” Burrell said.

Burrell noted that faculty members Matthew Chapman and Michael Miranda have been instrumental in developing cybersecurity degree programs and providing unique learning opportunities for UH West Oʻahu students.

For more go to Ka Puna O Kaloʻi.

—By Zenaida Serrano Arvman

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