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School of computing receives over $2 million

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N1Les Barnett, Dr. Todd Andel, and Dr. Todd McDonaldThe school of computing has received grant worth $2.1 million from the National Science Foundation that will provide scholarship opportunities to computing students concentrating in information assurance.
This program, Cyber Scholars: Scholarship for Service (SFS), will offer up to 20 graduate and undergraduate two-year full scholarships during its five-year period at South Alabama. The scholarships will be worth $20,000 for undergraduate students and $25,000 for students studying for a master’s degree.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to get a fully paid education while learning some very marketable skills that the government is in critical need of,” said Dr. Todd McDonald, an associate professor in the school of computing and the primary investigator for the SFS scholarship grant.
The information assurance track in the school of computing involves courses related to cryptography, software vulnerability, virus and malware defense, forensics,and cyber warfare, which are very important issues to the US Department of Homeland Security.  
In fact, the SFS program is co-sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security for the purpose of helping universities like South Alabama produce federal information assurance professionals that will aid in the protection of sensitive government information.

Recipients of the SFS scholarship also will enjoy mentor programs, summer internship opportunities and aid in securing government positions in the information assurance field.  
Recipients must also attend mandatory conferences, workshops, seminars and fulfill required amounts of service hours. According to the Office of Public Relations’ press release for the grant, these mandatory activities “are aimed at developing a community of practice that will enhance students’ individual and collective skills in an area increasingly important to the security of the United States.”
Students that wish to apply for the SFS scholarship must be in their last two years of a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree program at USA and be a full time student while receiving the scholarship.
Students that want more information about the SFS scholarship can contact Dr. Todd McDonald at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More details about the SFS scholarship program can be found at
Applications for the SFS scholarship are now available from the school of computing and will be accepted until April 15.

Written by Stuart Sox | Staff Reporter

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