Carnegie Mellon University
September 26, 2013

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute Receives Federal Funding for Cybersecurity Scholarships

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

CybersecurityPITTSBURGH—Seventeen Carnegie Mellon University graduate students were recently awarded scholarships in cybersecurity from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security's CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) Program and the Department of Defense's Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP). The SFS awards went to nine students in CMU's Information Networking Institute (INI) and six students at CMU's Heinz College. The IASP awards went to two INI students.

Both programs are designed to increase and strengthen the cache of federal information assurance professionals that protect the nation's critical infrastructures and national defense.

"As future federal employees, the SFS and IASP scholars delve into challenging engineering and information assurance coursework and engage in interdisciplinary cybersecurity research. In addition to the emphasis on the technologies and strategies related to cyber defense and cyber offense, CMU's cybersecurity curricula explore risk management, economics and policy issues related to reducing vulnerability and securing our national information infrastructure," said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, INI director and director of education, training and outreach for CyLab. She is also the principal investigator of the grants.

Increased global cyber attacks make the training and retention of cybersecurity experts a priority of the U.S. government. Both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the United States Cyber Command have designated Carnegie Mellon as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in cyber operations for 2013-2018. The university also has been designated by the National Security Agency as a CAE in Information Assurance Education and a CAE in research.

"Because of those prestigious designations, CMU continually works to provide specialized support and guidance to our federally funded students, first to meet their academic goals and then to meet their career ambitions in the government. We have a commitment to academic excellence and aim to do our part to meet the nation's demand for cybersecurity professionals," Tsamitis said.

Joseph Battaglia, a second year INI graduate student from Buffalo, N.Y., said the SFS program has given him the opportunity to refocus his career trajectory toward national service, and helped him continue his academic and personal growth in ways he had never previously imagined. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," he said.

More than 160 students in the SFS program have graduated from CMU in the past decade. One student in the IASP graduated from the INI in 2012.

Both programs provide full-tuition scholarships and stipends to scholars in exchange for working for the federal government after graduation.