Tech holding cyber bootcamp to train future professionals

Joseph Slater, dean of the College of Engineering, addresses students at the fourth annual CyberCorps SFS New Scholars Bootcamp.

COOKEVILLE – Approximately 65 students from across the nation are on Tennessee Tech’s campus for a two-day workshop to prepare themselves for their new roles as CyberCorps SFS scholars.

Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) is hosting the fourth annual CyberCorps SFS New Scholars Bootcamp. The event began Thursday and will wrap up Friday.

“The bootcamp provides these students an important starting point for their CyberCorps SFS career,” said Eric Brown, CEROC’s assistant director. “We receive numerous ‘thank yous’ from our attendees when we meet at the SFS Job Fair in January. They tell us that the camp is part of their success story.”

Under the leadership of Ambareen Siraj, CEROC’s director, the bootcamp provides essential training for rising CyberCorps scholars in a variety of research and related soft skills to help them be successful in their cybersecurity education journey.

“Watching these future cyber professionals light up when they begin to understand what career paths are available and how important their role will be in the future defense of their country’s critical infrastructure makes all of our efforts worthwhile,” said Siraj.

Skills training includes communication and technical writing skills, ethics, etiquette, time management, personal finance, service-learning and federal resume writing. Participants are introduced to the expectations and norms of academic research, allowing them to contribute to cybersecurity research as they prepare for their future cybersecurity careers.

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear and interact with speakers from a variety of local and federal agencies, including the Office of Personnel Management, gaining insight into the cybersecurity needs at the federal level and a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an SFS scholar.

The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program has been in existence since 2000. The program/grant is jointly managed by the National Science Foundation and the Office for Personnel Management. Through this program, grants are offered to qualifying four-year institutions to provide scholarships for rising college juniors. The scholarships provide full tuition, books, professional development funds, and health insurance stipend. 

CEROC is no stranger to these types of events. Throughout the year, the center engages over 1,000 students and external researchers and program managers during programs such as the GenCyber Summer Camp, GenCyber on Wheels, on-site presentations, career fairs, and visiting focus groups.

More information about CEROC and its programs can be found at by sending an email to

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