Old Dominion University’s School of Cybersecurity inducted eight students into its Cyber LeADERS Scholars Program on Sept. 15 and recognized six students from its 2022 cohort.

This is the program’s third cohort. Students received a certificate and an engraved pen during a ceremony at (where) with family members in attendance. The 2022 cohort members also received medals.

Cyber LeADERS is a partnership among ODU, Tidewater Community College and Virginia Peninsula Community College created in 2021 through funding from the National Science Foundation's CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) initiative.

“We see the value in your family member, the incredible potential and the commitment they have to service,” said Brian Payne, vice provost for academic affairs. “If we don’t feel safe in cyberspace then we can’t move along to where we want to be as a society. So, cybersecurity is a very basic need, and your family members are committing to making society better.”

The scholarship program provides two to three years of support to selected students from the three institutions. This includes a full in-state tuition scholarship, an annual stipend ranging from $27,000 (for undergraduates) to $37,000 (for graduate students) and a professional development allowance.

In exchange, each student must work for the federal government in select cybersecurity positions for the same number of years. The project will ultimately prepare 24 scholarship students for careers with the federal government.

“The applied learning experiences and coursework you complete here at ODU will ensure your preparation and success in a wide range of cybersecurity government careers,” said Teresa Duvall, lecturer in the School of Cybersecurity and keynote speaker for the event. “You will have the opportunity to be an influencer in the protection of our nation’s secrets.”

Three students from the first cohort have graduated and started their service with the federal government. James Read works with the Defense Information Systems Agency, Jaidan Williams is with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Ivan Santiago serves in the U.S. Navy. 

“There are almost 1,400 cybersecurity majors at ODU. With this incoming cohort, our current cohort and our previous graduates, our membership is 21,” said Lana Stafford, director of High Impact Learning Initiatives in the Office of Academic Success Initiatives and Support. “So those are some really exclusive seats you are sitting in.”

The new 2023 cohort:

  • Aiden Everton - Tidewater Community College
  • Aoife Murphy - Old Dominion University
  • Catherine Burroughs - Old Dominion University
  • Elijah Gartrell - Old Dominion University
  • Kobe Coleman - Old Dominion University
  • Bhawnish Sharma - Old Dominion University
  • Danielle Raynor - Old Dominion University
  • Lauren Redd - Old Dominion University

The 2022 cohort:

  • Jacob Slone - Tidewater Community College/Transferred to ODU
  • Mmoleca Ehungwe - Virginia Peninsula Community College/Transferred to ODU
  • Gregory Wilson - Old Dominion University
  • Hannah Bass - Old Dominion University
  • Nathaly Flores - Old Dominion University
  • William Matos Diaz - Old Dominion University

The 2021 cohort:

  • Zobair Wali - Old Dominion University
  • Ivan Santiago - Old Dominion University
  • James Read - Old Dominion University
  • Jaidan Williams - Old Dominion University
  • Drew Brown - Old Dominion University
  • Karen Ann Etulle - TCC transfer student
  • Jacen A. Davis – Thomas Nelson CC transfer student

To learn more about the SFS program, visit the School of Cybersecurity’s CyberCorps Scholarship for Service page