Aidan Graef, Madeline Chairvolotti, and Aaron Campbell

Students Awarded Cybersecurity Full Ride and Internships

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by Heidie Raine, Student Public Relations Writer

Three Cedarville University students were selected as 2020 Cyber Scholarship Program recipients by the Department of Defense.

Aaron Campbell, Madeline Chairvolotti and Aidan Graef, all junior computer science majors specializing in cyber operations, have been awarded scholarships that include full tuition, course fees, and textbook costs, $1,500 toward a new laptop, and a $25,000 stipend. Additionally, the students were able to retain $5,500 in existing scholarships to put toward room and board expenses.

Applicants to the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program are required to have a 3.5 GPA and to be enrolled in a National Center of Academic Excellence designated program. The scholarship is renewable as long as recipients maintain the GPA requirements.

Cedarville received its designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations in the summer of 2018. The strenuous designation requirements include satisfying 10 criteria, ranging from academic content to faculty qualifications to extracurricular opportunities. The vetting by the NSA included an all-day on-campus visit.

“There are over 300 universities with a CAE designation, but only 21 have the more specialized cyber operations designation,” Campbell said. “We felt this may have helped differentiate us from many of the other student applicants.”

“This scholarship is life changing for these students and their families,” Dr. Seth Hamman, associate professor of cyber operations and computer science and director of the Center for the Advancement of Cybersecurity, said. “I was thrilled when we heard the news that Cedarville had three students selected. As you might imagine, it is a highly competitive application process.”

As part of the Scholarship for Service acceptance conditions, recipients agree to work at a Department of Defense agency for as many years as they accept the scholarship after graduation.

“This job will teach me so much about how the industry handles cybersecurity in a place that exemplifies cybersecurity,” Chairvolotti shared. “I will be able to use up-to-date research and learn so much more about cybersecurity and put it into practice.”

Cedarville is excited to continue connecting its students with similarly beneficial opportunities in the future.

“Providing scholarship opportunities like this is a hallmark of a quality cybersecurity program,” Hamman said. “We hope that many more of our students will be selected in future years.  Such investments in our students advance the goal of the Cyber Scholarship Program, which ultimately is to make our nation more cyber resilient.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.