Students Expand Knowledge about Cybersecurity during Summer Residential Program


The Women’s Institute for Summer Enrichment (WISE) awarded grants to two of the San José State University (SJSU) School of Library and Information Science’s graduate students. Kate Dillon and Erin Clark, students in the SJSU information school’s ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science degree program, will study cybersecurity during the week-long summer residential program hosted at Cornell University.

The goal of the WISE program is to bring together women interested in cybersecurity with current practitioners in the field at a Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST) campus so that they can learn about the important social, economic, and political implications of this technology.

Both Dillon and Clark showed a strong interest in the issue of cybersecurity when they completed the SJSU information school’s Cybersecurity course with Dr. Tonia San Nicolas-Rocca during the 2013-2014 academic year.

According to San Nicolas-Rocca, in the Cybersecurity course, “students gain conceptual knowledge of cybersecurity, conduct research on a cybersecurity topic of their choice, complete lab assignments where they are exposed to a collection of applications used by cybersecurity professionals, and complete a risk assessment project.” She added that both students will be able to extend their knowledge of cybersecurity in the summer program, because “WISE will provide [Dillon and Clark] another opportunity to hear how the topics covered in my course are applied in industry, government and academia.”

Dillon believes that a deep knowledge of cybersecurity will be extremely important in her career in information science. She explained, “I’m very interested in learning about the research that is being done regarding cybersecurity and hand-held, mobile technologies. Because these technologies are consistently dominating the market, they will impact my career, no matter where I am….The exposure I’m getting through the Cybersecurity course and the WISE grant puts me on the cutting edge of research developments, which, in turn, will drive technology innovation.”

Dillon and Clark were recommended for the grant by San Nicolas-Rocca, and upon learning that her students had received the WISE grant, she said, “I’m excited for them, and I know they will learn a lot from the experience.” The WISE program runs from June 15-19, 2014.