Cybersecurity students polish skills at Tech’s CyberCorps Bootcamp

Tennessee Tech CyberCorps students Andy Brown and Shelby Hope-Buxton were able to polish some of their cybersecurity skills this week at the Third Annual CyberCorps Scholarship for Service BootCamp at Tech.

COOKEVILLE – Prepare for cybersecurity success is what 44 college students from around the nation had a chance to do this week during the Third Annual CyberCorps Scholarship for Service BootCamp at Tennessee Tech.

For two days, rising CyberCorps scholars were trained in a variety of research and related soft skills to help them be successful in their cybersecurity education journey. Skills training included communication and technical writing skills, ethics, etiquette, time management, personal finance, service learning, federal resume writing, and even dining etiquette.

“We got a lot more clarification of what is expected of us,” said Andy Brown of Knoxville, Tennessee, who was recently accepted into Tennessee Tech’s CyberCorps program. “I definitely learned some things I will be able to take with me for the next three years.”

The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program is a partnership between the National Science Foundation and the Office of Personnel Management.  It is a unique program designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government’s critical information infrastructure. This program provides scholarships that may fully fund the typical costs incurred by full-time students while attending a participating institution, including tuition and education and related fees.

“It’s been great,” said Shelby Hope-Buxton, a rising senior at Tennessee Tech, and member of the CyberCorps program. “The program has a lot of extra responsibilities, so this is really preparing us to take that on.”

Rob Owens, Tennessee Tech’s assistant vice president of student affairs, speaks to CyberCorps students on equitable communication and treatment during the Third Annual CyberCorps Scholarship for Service BootCamp at Tech.

The camp is the work of Ambareen Siraj, the director of Tech’s Cybersecurity, Education, Research and Outreach Center. It is the only camp of its type in the nation, supporting college students who are recent awardees of the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program.

Participants of the camp had an opportunity to hear and interact with speakers from a variety of local and federal agencies, gaining insight into the cybersecurity needs at the federal level.  Aside from a group of speakers and subject matter experts at Tennessee Tech, scholars heard from representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National CyberWatch Center and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

“It’s an awesome opportunity for these students to get viewpoints from professionals in the field ranging from government agencies, industry and academia to fully understand this great new world they are going into in their cybersecurity career,” said Eric Brown, assistant director of Tech’s CEROC. “What started out three years ago as a side conversation has turned into an event for students from all over the country.”

CyberCorps undergraduate students receive stipends of $22,500 while graduate students receive stipends of $34,000. The scholarships are funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation.”

For more information on the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program, go to


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