Norwich University receives $3.5 million cyber security grant

Local News

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University has received a $3.5 million grant for cyber security scholarships from the National Science Foundation.

The grant is part of the Scholarship for Service program, which provides students full tuition, a $22,500 cash stipend, books, and a paid internship. In return for scholarships, students commit to working full-time for government or federally-funded research and development centers upon graduation.

Norwich University has been part of the Scholarship for Service community since 2002, and the grant will ensure they remain in the program through the 2022-23 school year. Since 2002, 43 Norwich students have received scholarships. 

Phil Susmann, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Norwich University, said the scholarships help fill a need for cyber security employees nationwide.

“We have a significant shortfall of workforce in cyber security in the nation and this is a unique and innovative workforce development activity,” Susmann said. “It’s going to give our students the ability to graduate with competencies and capabilities in cyber security. When they graduate, they’ll be ready to jump right out on the ground and go to work.”

This year, cyber security students will be in a new building, complete with new computer labs and state-of-the-art technology. Huw Reid, a senior professor, said the workspace will have graduates ready for the ever-changing world of cyber security.

“We have two dedicated cyber labs. One is known as the ‘War Room,” Read explained. “There, students will engage in cyber hack-a-thons, doing things like penetration testing, red team blue team attack and defend type scenarios, as well as taking part in national competitions.”

John Quinn, the state’s secretary of Digital Services, said the program has made it easier for him to hire staff.

“We recently hired a graduate fresh out of the Bachelor’s program. Our deputy is a Master’s degree graduate out of Norwich, and this summer we had two interns from Norwich University, both doing the scholarship, and it worked out very well for us,” Quinn said. “Norwich has been an excellent strategic partner.”

Norwich University is ranked second in the nation by the Ponemon Institute for cyber security in the U.S., and is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

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