Project Title

Nova Southeastern University CySP Grant

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Yari Levy

Colleges / Centers

College of Computing and Engineering


DOD - National Security Agency

Start Date



The United States (U.S.) has identified cybersecurity as one of the key workforce areas, primarily for federal agencies. Recruitment and retention of cybersecurity talent with strong knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) is essential to enhance the national pipeline, especially within the Department of Defense (DoD). However, the U.S. Census Bureau (2013) reported that only 7.5% of cybersecurity analysts are Hispanics/Latinos. Moreover, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2013), South Florida represents one of the country’s hubs for minorities with over 50% of the population classified as minorities (i.e. Hispanics/Latinos, African-American, & other minorities). Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (2013) as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). “Nova Southeastern University (NSU), a highly rated provider of degree opportunities for Hispanic/Latino and other underrepresented students, particularly for those pursuing post baccalaureate degrees. NSU is nationally ranked in the top 25 institutions for awarding master’s degrees (#4), first professional degrees (#2), doctoral degrees (#3), and bachelor’s degrees in Biology (#17) to Hispanic/Latinos.” (US Department of Education, 2013, p. 5) Moreover, NSU is also designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education (CAE/IA-CDE) since 2005, and is a recognized regional and national leader in cybersecurity education. This proposed 2019-2020 DoD Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) at NSU includes a total of 10 current students at the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC), including two Hispanics and four African-American students. Moreover, out of the 10, one is a Ph.D. student in Information Assurance (IA), three in MS in IA and Cybersecurity, four in MS in Management Information Systems (Three in the IA and Cybersecurity Management concentration), and two in MS in Information Technology in the IA and Cybersecurity Management concentration. As part of our NSA/DHS CAE curriculum revision, all of our MS students are required to take the ISEC-615 Fundamentals in Cybersecurity course, which mapped to the four Knowledge Units (KUs) required by CAE designation curriculum path. Furthermore, the ISEC615 course is using the TestOut LabSim virtual simulation that includes hands-on development of KSAs that prepares to the CompTIA Security+ certification. This proposed program includes only the Recruitment/Basic Scholarship for the 10 students, support for the PI, and one administrative assistant, who will assist in the application process, documentation, and tracking of current student progress. The PI will oversee and conduct the project activities including serving as the POC with DoD, plan and conduct recruitment events, oversee students paperwork, coordinate internships, and monitor student progress, along with overseeing the proper timely invoicing with DoD. Finally, this program includes personal mentorship and relationships that the PI will develop with the DoD CySP students to ensure their success during their academic phase, internships, and professional cybersecurity career at DoD.

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