Thursday, February 18, 2021

Trusted CI Announces The 2021 Fellows


Trusted CI, the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, is excited to announce the Trusted CI Open Science Cybersecurity Fellows. Eight individuals with professional interests in cybersecurity have been selected from a nationally competitive pool.  During the year of their Fellowship, they will receive recognition and cybersecurity professional development including training and travel funding to cybersecurity related events.

The 2021 Trusted CI Open Science Cybersecurity Fellows are:

Deb McCaffrey

Research Computing Facilitator at Michigan Medicine

Deb McCaffrey is a Research Computing Facilitator at Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan's health system and medical school. She fell backwards into facilitation after completing a PhD in physical chemistry at UC Berkeley and has never looked back. She loves being involved in all the different research projects on campus and learning something new every day. Her long-term career goal is to get NIH and NSF to collaborate on cyberinfrastructure and provide NSF-like programs researchers with sensitive data."



Amiya Maji

Senior Computational Scientist at Purdue University

Amiya works as a Sr. Computational Scientist at Purdue University, where he collaborates with researchers from various scientific domains to streamline their scientific processes and reduce application ‎and data bottlenecks. He also leads the software build automation and testing efforts for Purdue's HPC clusters. Amiya’s research focuses on reliability and security of distributed computing systems; more specifically on vulnerability analysis and testing of mobile and cloud applications, and of IoT devices. Amiya and his colleagues have discovered several vulnerabilities in Android mobile applications and more recently in Wear OS. Amiya is also passionate about emerging socio-technological issues such as ethical AI and spread of misinformation in social networks.

Dr. Elie Alhajjar

Research Scientist at the Army Cyber Institute (ACI)

Dr. Elie Alhajjar is a research scientist at the Army Cyber Institute (ACI) and jointly an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, NY, where he teaches and mentors cadets from all academic disciplines. His research interests include mathematical modeling machine learning and network analysis, from a cybersecurity viewpoint. He has presented his research work in international meetings in North America, Europe, and Asia. Before coming to West Point, Dr. Elie Alhajjar had a research appointment at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. He holds a Master of Science and a PhD in mathematics from George Mason University, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Notre Dame  University.  


Matthew Peterson

Senior Faculty Research Assistant at Oregon State Univ.

Matthew is a Senior Faculty Research Assistant at Oregon State University's (OSU) Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, where he is responsible for managing REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) platforms, assisting with health-related data management in the Cloud, and developing software pipelines for computational processing of genomics laboratory data. This past year, he has also been responsible for secure data management for the OSU TRACE-COVID-19 study that examines the prevalence of the novel coronavirus in communities. Matthew holds an M.S. in Applied Information Management from the University of Oregon and a Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching from OSU. He is passionate about teaching and serves as an instructor for high performance computing and programming courses.


Mauricio Tavares

System and Network Administrator at RENCI

Mauricio Tavares has worked in the credit card and medical industry, which led to an interest in the behavioral aspect of data security and privacy.  He has published in topics ranging from aerospace engineering to computer automation and data privacy.  At RENCI he is a member of the FABRIC security working group helping craft the policies and procedures and advise IT staff to effectively protect this multinational research project."


Richard Wagner

Systems Integration Engineer at University of California, San Diego

Rick is part of the UCSD Research IT team, where he helps design and build cyberinfrastructure solutions for highly complex research projects that cut across the campus and beyond it. His career began with using cyberinfrastructure as a tool for research in astrophysics, solving data challenges in cosmology and supersonic turbulence. From there he worked in HPC at the San Diego Supercomputer and with Globus at the University of Chicago.

Shuyuan Mary Ho

Associate Professor at Florida State University

Shuyuan’s research focuses on trusted human-computer interactions, investigating issues of computer-mediated deception, disinformation, cyberbullying, hate speech, cloud forensics, cyber insider threat, and interactive cyber defense. She adopts heuristic approaches to coaching the next-gen cybersecurity workforce. Shuyuan is a sociotechnical behavioral scientist designing human-centered computing experiments that simulate complex trust interactions in cyberinfrastructure. Novel methodologies are invented to computationally model the defense of cyberspace, while addressing information ethics and privacy.

Michael Kyle

Scientific Applications Consultant at University of Delaware

Michael’s background is in Meteorology and has several years of experience as a scientific programmer. He currently works at the University of Delaware (UD) in the Information Technologies Research Cyberinfrastructure unit. In this role, Michael works directly with UD’s researchers and its partnering organizations to assist them in the best use of UD’s HPC resources. He is currently working on a Master’s in Cybersecurity at UD and wants to combine his passions for cybersecurity and research cyberinfrastructure to continue developing a safe, and secure computing environment for all types of research.

The Fellows will receive training consisting of a Virtual Institute, providing 20 hours of basic cybersecurity training over six months. The training will be delivered by Trusted CI staff and invited speakers. The Virtual Institute will be presented as a weekly series via Zoom and recorded to be publicly available for later online viewing. Travel support is budgeted (during their first year only) to cover fellows’ attendance at the NSF Cybersecurity Summit, PEARC, and one professional development opportunity agreed to with Trusted CI. The Fellows will be added to an email list to discuss any challenges they encounter that will receive prioritized attention from Trusted CI staff. Trusted CI will recognize the Fellows on its website and social media. Fellowships are funded for one year, after which the Trusted CI Fellows will be encouraged to continue participating in Trusted CI activities in the years following their fellowship year. After their training in the Virtual Institute, Fellows, with assistance from the Trusted CI team, are expected to help their science community with cybersecurity and make them aware of Trusted CI for complex needs. By the end of the year, they will be expected to present or write a short white paper on the cybersecurity needs of their community and some initial steps they will take (or have taken) to address these needs. After the Fellowship year Trusted CI will continue to recognize the cohort of Fellows and give them prioritized attention. Over the years, this growing cohort of Fellows will broaden and diversify Trusted CI’s impact.

 About the Trusted CI Fellows Program

Trusted CI serves the scientific community as the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, providing leadership in and assistance in cybersecurity in the support of research. In 2019, Trusted CI establish an Open Science Cybersecurity Fellows program. This program establish and support a network of Fellows with diversity in both geography and scientific discipline. These fellows will have access to training and other resources to foster their professional development in cybersecurity. In exchange, they will champion cybersecurity for science in their scientific and geographic communities and communicate challenges and successful practices to Trusted CI.

Fellows come from a variety of career stages. They demonstrate a passion for their area, the ability to communicate ideas effectively, and a real interest in the role of cybersecurity in research. Fellows are empowered to talk about cybersecurity to a wider audience, network with others who share a passion for cybersecurity for open science and learn key skills that benefit them and their collaborators.