The Center for Security Studies is designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Education.

Cyber Scholarship Program

The U.S. Department of Defense's Cyber Scholarship Program offers eligible cybersecurity students an opportunity to earn a full scholarship. The fall 2021 application is now open! Learn more about this program and how to apply.

Read about the three winners of the 2020–2021 scholarship—Olubusayo Ladelokum, Jalynn Middleton, and Michael Tillini—whose work focuses on the intersection of digital technology and cybersecurity.

CISA and NSA Participate in National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) participated in K-12 education industry chats during National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, November 9–14, 2020. During the week-long campaign led by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), professionals from all over the nation provided the public with a firsthand look at the diverse skill set needed for cybersecurity careers.

Anastacia Webster, education programs section chief for CISA, and Latasha McCord, cybersecurity education program lead for CISA, read to elementary students from cybersecurity books written by Dr. Loyce Pailen of UMGC. On November 9, Webster read Super Cybersecurity Grandma: Episode 4 Privacy and Identity Theft. On November 13, McCord read Super Cybersecurity Grandma: Episode 6 Clouds vs. the Cloud.

Debora Plunkett, former director of the NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, and Diane Janosek, commandant and training director for the NSA's National Cryptologic School, presented to middle and high school students on November 9. Janosek discussed women in cybersecurity with her presentation, "Seize the Moment! Opportunities for Women in Cybersecurity," and Plunkett presented on the need for more cybersecurity professionals with her presentation, "The Mandate for More: Increasing Capacity in Cybersecurity."

Learn more about cyber week events hosted by NIST.

Webinar: Cybersecurity Careers for Everyone

UMGC's Center for Security Studies, in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education, recently hosted a webinar for Maryland school counselors regarding cybersecurity careers. Sponsored by UMGC's Dr. Loyce Pailen, Senior Director of the Center for Cybersecurity Studies, and Dr. Gregory von Lehman, Special Assistant to the President, "Cybersecurity Careers for Everyone" was an informative look at the many employment opportunities that a cybersecurity degree can provide to students.

The guests included Mark Loepker, Education Program Manager at the Cyber Center for Education & Innovation, and Jeffrey Smith, Targeted Populations Grant Program Manager at the Maryland Department of Labor.

To view a recording of the webinar, please click here. To access a .pdf version of the presentation, please click here.

ISC(2) National Capital Region Scholarships

If you are an ISC(2) National Capital Region member, you may be eligible for two scholarship opportunities offered by the organization.


UMGC now offers NETLAB+, professional development tools for cybersecurity teachers, faculty and curriculum developers. Learn more about this remote-access learning platform for hands-on experience in virtual network environments.

NSA Summer Internships

Students interested in applying for internships at the National Security Agency next summer can do so through October 15, 2019. The NSA offers a variety of summer internships in a range of fields, including computer science and mathematics, mechanical/civil engineering, communications, and business management and acquisition.

For more information, please reference the NSA Internship Period article as well as the Summer Internships Quick Guide provided by the Office of Student Programs. For questions regarding these internships, you can e-mail the NSA internship office directly or visit their Web page.

GenCyber Teacher Camp

UMGC hosted the GenCyber 2019 Teacher Camp for high school teachers who are interested in cybersecurity curriculum development. The weeklong intensive program—sponsored by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation—took place July 8–12. Visit the GenCyber website for more information about other camps and programs.

Loyce Pailen, Faculty

Letter from Loyce Pailen
Director, Center for Security Studies


I am thankful for this opportunity to introduce you to the University of Maryland Global Campus Center for Security Studies. CSS provides educational resources, research activities, networking opportunities, and career training opportunities for working adults pursuing security studies, and works with industry and government to meet the cyber security and homeland security needs of our nation.

At present, CSS has produced more than 11,500 cyber security graduates, with more than 17,300 undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled. Designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Education, the CSS is committed to adhering to the requirements for CAE designation, which include

  • Active applied research
  • Curriculum development (applying the research results)
  • Publications, books, and grant writing
  • Faculty scholarship, professional development, and instructional capabilities
  • Sponsorship of or participation in cyber competitions
  • CAE collaborations
  • Community outreach

Looking back over the years, it has been a pleasure to work with the Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program directors, staff, and faculty to write proposals and to be awarded funds for student scholarship, cybersecurity faculty, and laboratory capacity building.

The center has supported community outreach through DHS presentations, tours and visit, and celebration of Cybersecurity Awareness Month with major conference events from 2015 to 2018. On our website, you can find video excerpts from these events of presentations by an impressive list of public- and private-sector representatives, including CISOs, White House officials, professors, and students. We've welcomed record turnouts of both students and professional at these events and received excellent reviews. The teamwork to make these events successful has been phenomenal.

I appreciate your trust and support as I work to fulfill the duties of this office. I have a strong commitment to the mission of our CSS and cybersecurity programs and a passion for providing opportunities and activities to deserving students who are seeking careers in the cybersecurity arena in such an important area of national concern. UMGC's efforts reach the post-secondary community, and we have expanded our support of being sure cybersecurity is important to our K-12 community in support of the Maryland State Department of Education Computer Science Curriculum Committee and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Our organization is vibrant and strong, not because of any one individual, but rather due to our group of cybersecurity faculty and staff who are willing and ready to serve.

Finally, we are already looking ahead to 2019 and will have much more information to share about CSS activities, labs, scholarships, fellowships, webinars, conferences, partnership opportunities for organizations, scholarship opportunities for students, training, applied research and consulting, conferences and events, and other academic collaborative opportunities.


Loyce Pailen, DM, CISSP
Director, Center for Security Studies
University of Maryland University College

About the Center for Security Studies at UMGC

Read about the center's mission and faculty.

Stay current on security issues and trends through CSS events.

Partner with CSS for grants, training, and more.

Explore cyber and homeland security resources.

Learn More About Cyber Security at UMGC

With innovative online cyber security degrees, industry connections, and an award-winning competition team, UMGC is a leading name in cyber security education. Explore cyber security at UMGC in the Prospective Students section.