Grant helps finance computer students

Due to the lack of scholarship funding, the Florida A&M University’s Computer and Information Sciences department has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for recruitment and improvements.

The African-American Woman in Computer Science grant is funded by the National Science Foundation and is limited to female students, said Jason Black, an associate professor in the CIS department. He also said the grant will fund CIS for the next four years.

“To apply for this scholarship you have to be a female, enrolled at FAMU, a U.S. citizen or foreign national and an undergraduate enrolled in CIS, computer- engineering or engineering math,” Black said.

The deadline for the fall semester is Aug. 1 and Dec. 1 for the spring semester.

Students said they are happy about the grant because the money will help student recruitment, as well as increase visibility of assurance in courses, research and service to FAMU campus and the local community.

“This stipend is used to help students with tuition,” said Lacretia Rolle, a graduating senior from Nassau, Bahamas. “In the past, some students couldn’t apply to the program because there was a lack of funding. Now, this grant will encourage females to enroll in the CIS program.”

According to the FAMU press release, the Information Assurance (IA) has become one of the most popular tracks of study in the CIS Department. Since the beginning of 2004, 80 students have completed the track and received professional certificates recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the Committee for National Security Systems (CNSS).

“This money is important because it will raise capability for the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education,” said Edward L. Jones, chairman of the CIS department. “We received this grant because the faculty who developed the program did an excellent job.”

IA addresses concerns things like individual privacy and information protection in commerce, entertainment, social interaction, and national security.

Project goals include the creation of a FAMU Center for Secure Computing and Information Assurance (FCSCIA), an increase in CIS graduates who receive IA certificates and pursue IA-related advanced degrees and careers and to enhance and strengthen student and faculty research in IA.

“This program and Information Assurance is popular amongst the students,” Jones said. “This grant will help better service students and the state of the art facilities will enhance students experiences.”