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Warner and Kaine Announce $1 Million in Scholarships for ODU Cybersecurity Students

By Noell Saunders

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine recently announced the approval of $1 million in federal funding from the National Science Foundation to help support high-achieving students with demonstrated financial need in Old Dominion University's cybersecurity program.

The National Science Foundation project is led by Chunsheng Xin, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Wu He, associate professor in the Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences; Brian Payne, Old Dominion's vice provost for Academic Affairs; Hongyi "Michael" Wu, director of the Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research and; Shana Pribesh, associate professor in the Department of Education Foundations & Leadership.

The funding will provide up to 18 scholarships as well as mentoring and program activities. Each student will be supported for four years.

Old Dominion President John R. Broderick said, "This will help ensure Old Dominion attracts the best and brightest students to an important field with significant growth potential."

Hongyi "Michael" Wu, added: "The success of the project will substantially strengthen ODU's cybersecurity program, attract top students and boost the student retention rate, leading to transformative changes in the state of cybersecurity workforce preparedness."

In a joint statement, Warner and Kaine said: "Ensuring students have the support they need to pursue careers in cybersecurity is critical to building our federal workforce and defending the nation's economic and national security. We are thrilled that ODU and the National Science Foundation are partnering to help make that a reality for more students."

Warner is vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-founder of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, where he's called for the protection of consumers' personal information and timely disclosure of data breaches. He also has written legislation seeking to hold credit reporting agencies accountable for breaches.

Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, co-chairs the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus and has advocated policies to prepare students for careers in cybersecurity and increase scholarships for them.

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