HAMPTON, Va. - Hampton University officials, students and representatives from the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) met with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., to discuss how Hampton can continue to best serve the US government and veterans.
Kaine listened intensely as Hampton’s cyber security and information assurance students presented their research. Courtney Hayslett and Charles Jones, both senior Computer Information Systems majors and Marcellus Williams a second-year student in the Master of Science in Information Assurance program expressed their thoughts about the increasingly important concern for government agencies, defense contractors, bio-tech research firms with regard to this aspect of Homeland Security.
“The meeting was an awesome opportunity for Hampton faculty and students,” said Dr. Jean Muhammad, chair of the department of Computer Science. “Sen. Kaine provided insight on the need for cyber security skills in both state and federal governments. He acknowledged the need for underrepresented minorities in stem and in particular cyber. The students had the prestigious opportunity to discuss their research and both current and future career opportunities in the field of cyber security. We were honored for the experience.”
Kaine commended the students for their achievements and understanding of computer network security principles, human behavior, systems, cyber forensics, and the strategies and agencies (federal and state) that are needed to secure the nation from cyber attacks. Kaine also stressed the importance of cultivating more students to get into the field.
One resource has been the Scholarship for Service Program (SFS) Program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, provides generous scholarships for students interested in careers in cyber security and national service. All three students taking part in the meeting are a part of the SFS program.
“Finding talented students and encouraging them to get into fields that are connected to security and cyber security especially, helping them with stipends, being able to afford their education; this is an area of work we are excited about,” said Kaine. “We have to have more of you in this field.”
Bill Thomas, Hampton Associate Vice President for Governmental Relations, also spoke to the senator with regards to the rising number of Virginians being diagnosed with cancer and potential research opportunities that can be done in Hampton Roads. Thomas asked Kaine to assist Hampton in further developing a strategic partnership with the Hampton VA Medical Hospital with the goal to provide veterans with the best form of health care, specifically cancer treatment available in Virginia.
“I believe that these federal legislative initiatives would immediately provide cancer therapy to veterans while leveraging the strong research capabilities already available right here at NASA, Jefferson Lab and HUPTI,” said Thomas.