Monday, November 11, 2019

Student Program at the 2019 NSF Cybersecurity Summit

In October we hosted our annual NSF Cybersecurity Summit for Large Facilities and Cyberinfrastructure in San Diego, CA. The Summit included training workshops, plenary talks, and networking opportunities for members of NSF Large Facilities and the CI community.

As Summit attendance and funding grows so has our ability to provide learning opportunities for new members to the community. Two years ago we launched a student scholarship program to follow through on our goals of outreach and broadening impact. Students apply to the program by writing a brief essay sharing their security interests and what they hope to gain from attending the Summit.

This year we were able to fund the attendance of ten students to the Summit. Their names and schools they attend are listed below (see: photo, left to right):
  • Emma He - MS Computer Science - University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Shuvra Chakraborty - PhD Computer Science - University of Texas San Antonio
  • Merlin Cherian - BS/MS Computer Science - Drexel University
  • Cameron Ogle - Bachelor Computer Science - Clemson University
  • Minh Nguyen - PhD Student Computer Science - CUNY
  • Alexis Reyes - MS Software in Software Engineering - University of Texas at El Paso
  • Desiree Lester - Bachelor Information Assurance - Norfolk State University
  • Tre' Jeter - Bachelor Computer Science, Bachelor Computer Engineering - Claflin University
  • Roncs Etame-Ese - BS Information Technology - Marymount University
  • Luis Gonzalez - BS Information Technology - Florida International University
We also paired the students with volunteer mentors (two students per mentor). We thank them for helping make the students feel welcome at the Summit. Their names and organizations are listed below:
  • Florence Hudson; Trusted CI
  • Steve Barnet; Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center
  • Susan Ramsey; Amazon
  • Celeste Matarazzo; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  • David Halstead; National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)
We asked the students to share some insights into their Summit experience. We list a selection of their statements below.

Shuvra Chakraborty
As a doctoral student, my research works focus on the investigation of novel access control methodologies; development and deployment. I have attended a couple of conferences before: this Summit was a bit different for me. Apart from the usual knowledge hunting, I have got great networking opportunities here. I would specifically mention my colleagues in the student programs and mentors. My mentor was superb: I felt really inspired after meeting her. I liked the training program most: the hands-on training was useful and informative.
Cameron Ogle
By far my favorite thing from the Summit, was the chance to interact with others who share the same passion for technology and learning. I gained some of the most valuable information from speaking with the attending industry experts. I especially appreciated the advice the mentors offered in finding a career and what lessons they had to share. The other students were a blast to explore San Diego with, and I can’t wait until we have the chance to lead the cybersecurity field.
Desiree Lester
The student program was very informative. It exposed all the students to industry work, lab, and research projects. It showed me that the industry it not all about coding, but about fixing a bigger problem. It was about networking with people from all over the world and learning from their experiences. After hearing stories, I have considered applying to a fellowship program. I just would like to that TrustedCI for this amazing opportunity and hope to network in the future.
Tre' Jeter
For me, I learned so much! I got actual experience with security tools in a real world setting in the Web Security Automated Assessment Tools session. I enjoyed speaking further with Dr. Miller about graduate school and I actually scheduled a visit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Furthermore, I appreciated being treated like a professional in the field although I am still a student. Being asked the difficult questions and being forced to put things into the perspective of a real world event on the spot was intriguing, challenging, and inspiring. It also showed me that I have much to learn in every aspect of this field! I am much more confident in my degree choices now because I attended this summit and got real feedback and honesty when it came to me asking the right questions, giving the right answers, and even thinking in the correct way in order to be successful in this field. Everything I wanted to get out of this summit was achieved!
Roncs Etame-Ese
This year’s conference was a memorable experience for me as it was my first time out on the West Coast. Prior to arriving at the conference, the thing I was looking forward to the most was meeting other students. The new friendships I made and the bond we all established in that week, are memories that I can never forget. They were all incredibly smart and I was pretty impressed by their academic, professional, and extracurricular achievements. I’m looking forward to all of us succeeding in our endeavors and being the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
Luis Gonzalez
Being able to attend this summit was a wonderful experience and I would recommend any student interested in Cyber Security to attend. The staff at IU and Trusted CI were very welcoming and gracious. Along with being wonderful to me, they were extremely organized and punctual throughout the summit. You will be able to network with many research individuals in the cybersecurity field. The training session was only 3.5 hours. long each but the presenters did a great job of overloading us with great information and allowing us to do many hands-on exercises in the process. If you have the opportunity to attend this event. I greatly encourage it.
We were more than impressed with the Student Program this year. Their participation and enthusiasm was a rewarding affirmation of our commitment to community building. We look forward to seeing where their careers take them and sponsoring more students in the future.

The students and mentors