TU launches Alan Paller Cyber Scholars program - The University of Tulsa
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TU launches Alan Paller Cyber Scholars program

The University of Tulsa is proud to announce a new prestigious scholarship program to promote interest in cyber careers for undergraduate students who will fill critical roles across the country and advance education and training in the cyber field.

The Alan Paller Cyber Scholars program is a two-year pilot named in honor of Alan Paller, a pioneer in the cybersecurity industry. In 1989, Paller and his wife, Marsha, founded the SANS Institute, one of the world’s leading nongovernmental cyber security research and training organizations.

John Hale

“Alan Paller had two missions in his work: Building a pipeline for cyber talent and working to encourage public and private sectors to adopt best available security practices to protect their computer systems,” said John Hale, chair of the Tandy School of Computer Science in TU’s College of Engineering & Computer Science and head of the Paller Scholarship Committee. “We are immensely grateful to the Mann-Paller Foundation and SANS Institute for generously supporting TU students and their development as future cyber security leaders.”

Twenty-one inaugural Alan Paller Cyber Scholars were selected in 2023-24. Each is eligible to receive nearly $25,000 a year in support thanks to the gift.

Reflecting on this first class of scholars, Marsha Paller, president of the Mann-Paller Foundation, remarked, “The commitment to developing and supporting future cyber security stars was more than a professional duty for Alan. Our entire family was enlisted in the cause. We know that Alan would be excited about and proud of the first Paller Scholars, as are we.”

These sentiments are echoed by Franklin S. Reeder, who co-founded with Alan Paller the Center for Internet Security: “Alan Paller was a staunch advocate of rigorous cyber security education grounded in sound practice, such as the ‘teaching hospital’ approach pioneered by TU. This first class of Paller Scholars will doubtless become important contributors and add to Alan’s legacy.”

The Alan Paller Cyber Scholars program has three main objectives:

  1. To serve as a bridge to TU’s graduate-level Cyber Corps program
  2. To increase the participation of undergraduate students, including members of underrepresented groups and community college graduates and transfers, in Cyber Corps activities involving academics, research, service, and summer internships
  3. To further advance Cyber Corps’ innovative approach to providing real-world training and to promote that model at other post-secondary institutions
Photograph of Sujeet Shenoi
Sujeet Shenoi

“Thanks to this new initiative, TU’s Cyber Corps is uniquely positioned to address the nation’s urgent need for motivated, highly trained, technically skilled cyber security professionals,” said Sujeet Shenoi, director of the program and the F.P. Walter Chair in Computer Science.

Alan Paller Cyber Scholars are eligible to receive annual scholarships of $10,000, which they may use to cover tuition, room and board, fees, books, and other associated educational costs. Each scholar may also access up to $10,000 in SANS training and GIAC certifications (previously Global Information Assurance Certification), and $4,500 to enable attendance at the Alan Paller Cyber Scholars event in Washington, D.C., and to travel to onsite cyber research projects and/or conferences.