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2013.05.30 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Students Earn $200K in National Science Foundation Grants
NSF Provides Three Year, $1.6M Extension to Decade-Long Partnership

Omaha - In partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) has named five students from Nebraska and Iowa as recipients of over $200,000 in grant funding for the next two academic years. The funding marks the beginning of a three-year, $1.6 million grant extension by the NSF.

The following students will receive two years of funding, starting with the Fall 2013 semester, to assist in their pursuit of degrees through UNO’s Information Assurance program:

From Nebraska:
Ryan Grandgenett and Derek Jansen of Omaha
Christopher Daniels and Alyssa McGhee of Bellevue

From Iowa:
Michael Hefley of Fort Dodge

“We are excited to offer even more students engaging opportunities to pursue careers in cybersecurity and information assurance,” said Hesham Ali, dean of the College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T).”

In late 2012, the NSF provided a $1.6 million grant to extend its Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at UNO. This extension will provide financial support for six new students each year for the next three years, beginning with the Fall 2013 semester.

Undergraduate students are paid $20,000 per academic year over two years, $25,000 per year over two years if they are graduate students and if they are doctoral students, or are in the integrated undergraduate/graduate program, they are paid $30,000 per year over three years. In return, the students are asked to participate in summer internships at a federal, state or tribal agency and to work for an agency for a period of time after graduation.

“A well trained, professional cyber security workforce is essential to our nation’s economic welfare and national security,” said Scott Snyder, associate vice chancellor for research and creative activity at UNO. “Students in the SFS program will be trained by UNO professors conducting cutting edge cyber research and will emerge from the program as leaders in the protection of our critical cyber infrastructure.”

The SFS program and NSF partnership provides a continuation of UNO’s long-term commitment to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

Grandgenett, Jansen, Hefley and McGhee are all current undergraduate students. Daniels will be pursuing a Master’s degree beginning this fall.

The SFS program began a decade ago at UNO on the heels of the establishment of the Nebraska University Center for Information Assurance (NUCIA) in 2001. The program was designed to provide tuition assistance and stipends for students actively pursuing a degree in an information assurance-related area of study.

Over these last 10 years, the SFS has helped 35 students graduate with information assurance-related degrees, many of whom have gone on to jobs at the National Security Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Strategic Command, among others.

During that time, UNO has also expanded its information assurance program. Starting with the Fall 2012 semester, the College of IS&T launched a new Masters in Science degree in Information Assurance, and a five-year integrated undergraduate/master’s degree was approved this past April.

For more information on UNO’s College of IS&T or Information Assurance degrees, contact Amanda Rucker, College of IS&T communications specialist, at 402.554.2070 or by email at arucker@unomaha.edu.

For media requests, contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at cdreed@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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