Five Embry-Riddle Students Awarded Defense Department Cybersecurity Scholarships

Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship winners Garett Atkins, Elizabeth Chwialkowski, Amalie Hansen, William Noujaim and Tyler Schreffler
The Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship program offers winners full funding for their college tuition, as well as internships and mentoring opportunities. From left to right: Garrett Atkins, graduate student, second year; Elizabeth Chwialkowski, undergraduate student, senior; Amalie Hansen, undergraduate student, sophomore; William Noujaim, undergraduate, senior; and Tyler Schreffler, graduate student, second year. (Photo: Embry-Riddle)

Cyber Intelligence and Security (CSP) senior William Noujaim, one of five students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott Campus who recently won full-ride funding from the Department of Defense (DoD) Cybersecurity Scholarship program, said he was in a complete state of shock when he got the news of his award.

“I am eternally grateful to receive this scholarship,” Noujaim said. “My favorite aspect will be learning from those who do what I love for a living. Not everyone can say they worked with Department of Defense cybersecurity experts.”

The scholarship will provide full tuition and books, fees, a laptop and a stipend to cover room, board and other expenses — as well as advanced educational opportunities through security clearance, internships and mentoring. Scholarship recipients are eligible for full-time employment as civilians at DoD agencies and agree to work at least one calendar year for each academic year of funding received.

Embry-Riddle's Prescott Campus, since being designated a National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense in 2019, has won 10 DoD Cybersecurity Scholarships: two in 2020, three in 2021 and now five in 2022.

“This year’s statistic and this year-by-year trend indicate that our cyber programs are providing the Department of Defense what they are looking for in their future workforce,” said Dr. Krishna Sampigethaya, associate professor and chair of the Department of Cyber Intelligence and Security (CIS).

Scholarship winner Elizabeth Chwialkowski, a senior in Cyber Intelligence and Security, became interested in cybersecurity in high school and started participating in cyber competitions.

“I loved the idea that cyber is used in almost every field, so you get to learn a little bit about everything,” Chwialkowski said. Two other first-time winners are sophomore Amalie Hansen and second-year master's student Tyler Schreffler, both of whom are studying Cyber Intelligence and Security.

Garett Atkins, who was first awarded a DoD CySP grant in 2021, was selected again this year. Working on his master’s degree in Cyber Intelligence and Security, Atkins said his time in the scholarship program has gone fast, adding that, “the best aspect of the CySP scholarship is it provides me the opportunity to explore different areas of interest” within the field.

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