SALT LAKE CITY — In partnership with the Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation (CDF), Western Governors University (WGU) has awarded two full years of tuition to two students pursuing their master’s degrees in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance at WGU. Daisy Fullmer and Benito Garcia will be awarded the WGU-CDF scholarships April 19th at the CDF’s reception during the RSA Conference in San Francisco.
This scholarship—and WGU’s online, competency-based cybersecurity degree programs—aim to train IT professionals to detect system vulnerabilities and protect data while increasing graduates’ earning potential and opportunities for leadership and advancement. Both Fullmer and Garcia were selected for this scholarship based on their passion for cybersecurity, academic record, and readiness for online study at WGU, among other considerations.
“This scholarship will be a tremendous help to me and my family as I further my cybersecurity education through WGU,” said Fullmer, a systems engineer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Having been successful in information technology for eight years, Fullmer decided to continue pursuing cybersecurity because of its excitement and because of its similarity to “putting a puzzle together.”
Garcia has likewise already experienced success within the field of cybersecurity. As an assistant for the credentialing department at the Naval Medical Center in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Garcia created a dynamic form that captures info and then immediately manipulates, reformats, and embeds the data to ensure security. His work dramatically changed the way the medical center grades its doctors and nurses. Before long, his form was noticed and distributed to the entire Navy.
"We are incredibly grateful to be teaming up with Western Governors University to recognize two deserving students with these scholarships," said Mischel Kwon, Founder of the CDF. "The Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation exists to support diversity and inclusion in the field of cybersecurity from entry level positions through board positions. These scholarships are just one way that we can help make a marked difference on our ever-changing industry. We wholeheartedly congratulate the recipients and we look forward to seeing them flourish."
WGU’s competency-based approach to education is a good fit for busy adults because it allows them to study and learn on their schedules and advance as soon as they have mastered course materials. Students can draw on the knowledge and skills they have gained from previous experience and education, moving quickly through material they already know so that they can take the time they need to learn new material. Students have 24/7 access to their course materials, and faculty members provide one-on-one support. Terms are six months long, and students are charged a low, flat-rate tuition per term, regardless of the number of courses completed. Many students are able to accelerate their studies, finishing their degrees sooner, saving both time and money.
The CDF supports diversity and inclusion in the field of security, with a vision of creating a career field that welcomes, supports, and provides opportunity and access to all — from entry level to business operational and executive and board positions. The foundation promotes action that will make a marked difference from providing scholarship funds to championing corporate pledges to fostering workplace diversity.