K-State grad students awarded Science Foundation grant

By The Mercury

Two Kansas State University graduate students are the first recipients of Scholarship for Service cybersecurity awards made by the university through a National Science Foundation grant.

The Center for Information and Systems Assurance, housed in the university’s department of computing and information sciences, has awarded a CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service to Scott Bell, doctoral student in computer science, Manhattan, for $30,000, and to Keith McVey, master’s student in computer science, Woodstock, Ga., for $25,000. Bell and McVey were selected based on their high academic performance and demonstrated interest in cybersecurity and related fields.

In addition to the annual stipend, the scholarships also cover expenses such as tuition, fees, books, travel to conferences, professional development and more. In return, Bell and McVey are obligated to secure a job in federal, state, local or tribal government upon graduation that focuses on cybersecurity or a related field. The scholarship program is designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government’s critical information infrastructure.

“For students in those fields, a job in a government agency is one of the best career paths available, and this scholarship program gives recipients the opportunity to set themselves apart from their peers,” said Simon Ou, associate professor of computing and information sciences and director of the Center for Information and Systems Assurance.

The scholarships were made possible through a National Science Foundation grant to Kansas State University, which was designated by the U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research, or CAE-R. The designation made it possible for the university to compete and win the Scholarship for Service grant from the National Science Foundation.

The center’s mission is to conduct fundamental and applied research in information assurance and computer security, advance the knowledge base of our students — from bachelor’s to doctoral — in this area, and engage the professional community in collaborative efforts that support the understanding, operation and development of secure computing systems that pervade society. More information is available at

Applications are currently being accepted for the next round of scholarships to be awarded starting in January 2014. The Scholarship for Service program is open to all Kansas State University students who are interested in pursuing an academic focus and career path in information assurance or cybersecurity. Application information can be found at Applications will be accepted through Oct. 15.

For more information about the scholarship program, contact Ou at or Russ Feldhausen at

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