Project Title

2020 DoD CySP Nova Southeastern University

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 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 Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) since 2005, and is a recognized regional and national leader in cybersecurity education. This proposed 2020-2021 DoD Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) at NSU includes a support for eight (8) current students at the College of Computing and Engineering (CCE), four Hispanics and one African-American students. Moreover, out of the eight, three in MS in Cybersecurity Management, two in MS in IA and Cybersecurity, two in MS in Computer Science, and one in MS in Management Information Systems. This proposed program includes the Recruitment/Basic Scholarship, and two Capacity Building projects: (C1) DoD Partnership titled “Defense Enterprise Network Cybersecurity Organizational Readiness (DefENsOR) at NSU” and (C2) Outreach to Minority Institution titled “Cyber Staff Training And Range (CyberSTAR) at NSU”. The Recruitment/Basic Scholarship will support eight students. The proposed DefENsOR (C1) project will provide complimentary services for US owned and operated organizations, primarily in Florida, who are either currently defense contractors or interested in becoming a DoD and/or defense vendor pertaining to their cybersecurity and information assurance readiness. As part of the train-the-trainer approach, students will provide training sessions, assist in the preparation and review of DoD’s DFARS cybersecurity standards compliance, and help create threat-intelligence newsletters for information sharing for small organizational owners to collaborate on related cybersecurity readiness topics. The CyberSTAR (C2) project will provide support for training NSU and Broward College (recognized minority serving institution), staff and faculty members on the use of Cyber Range, and support for student clubs in both academic institutions such as cyber hackathon and ‘meet the cyber-expert’ events. Finally, all three programs include personal supervision of the PI and collaboration with DoD on these projects.

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