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Empowering tomorrow’s cybersecurity leaders through new scholarship program

Group photo of BRONCO SHIELD Program Coordinator Anna White, Director and PI Gaby Dagher, and Co-PIs Tim Andersen, Don Winiecki and Ed Vasko

Students seeking to lead cybersecurity excellence and innovation now have an opportunity at Boise State through the Bronco Shield CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program.

Through the U.S. National Science Foundation, Boise State received over $3.5 million to fill the need for committed cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI) experts. This program will empower students through financial support, technical training and networking experience to strengthen the cybersecurity workforce at government organizations.

The scholarship not only offers full tuition and fee coverage to students awarded but also provides them with yearly stipends of $27,000 for undergraduates and $37,000 for graduate students. They also will receive an annual professional development allowance of $6,000 and a health insurance allowance. Following graduation, scholarship recipients commit to contributing their expertise to federal, state, local or tribal government cybersecurity roles.

“This program plays a vital role in mitigating the shortage of cybersecurity and AI professionals in Idaho and the nation,” said Gaby Dagher, an associate professor of computer science and the principal investigator of the award. “By awarding scholarships to undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students, the program fosters inclusivity and diversity within the cybersecurity workforce while having the potential to establish Idaho as a leading hub for innovation in AI and cybersecurity.”

Throughout the program, scholars will engage in hands-on research projects through the Institute of Pervasive Cybersecurity, competitions and internships, and contribute to advancements in cybersecurity knowledge.

This practical experience enhances scholars’ skills and prepares them for real-world challenges in the field. It also supports the professional growth of scholars through workshops, seminars, internships and networking events where scholars establish connections within the cybersecurity community and stay updated on industry trends.

Interested students can apply or learn more about the program on the Bronco Shield website.