CIS student earns cyber security diversity scholarship

Computer information systems (CIS) senior Jenna Waters is one of four female college students nationwide selected to receive a Building Cybersecurity Diversity Scholarship to attend the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) Summit this fall. The FS-ISAC is a global financial industry resource for cyber and physical threat intelligence analysis and sharing. The organization established the scholarship to foster diversity in the workforce in an effort to address the growing and evolving nature of cyber security threats. Waters will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the summit and $5,000 to use toward educational expenses.

Waters plans to work in the field of cyber security after completing her degree at TU. She  currently works as an intern at Tulsa-based information security and compliance consulting firm True Digital Security. One of her bosses encouraged her to apply for the scholarship and attend the summit. “I thought attending the FS-ISAC Summit would be a wonderful learning opportunity and experience,” said Waters. “I also value and support any organization that hopes to build diversity and get more women interested in cyber security.” As she explains, cyber security represents a broad field with multiple disciplines and areas of focus. “By attending the FS-ISAC Summit, I’ll be able to see how cyber security impacts the financial services sector both at home and globally.”

TU’s interdisciplinary CIS program exposes students to each aspect of the business world, including how different business departments operate and work together. “It’s helped to shape my perspective,” said Waters. “I don’t think of cyber security as limited to solely a technical field. It affects everything and everyone, whether you’re a small start-up, a large corporation, or an average at-home technology user. The CIS program has prepared me by giving me a strong technical foundation and also by teaching me how to bridge the gap between technology and people.”

During her internship this summer, Waters will work on a number of different internal and client-facing projects related to cyber security and compliance. “The work is challenging because no company we help or project I contribute to is ever the same, so I feel like I learn something new every day.”

Waters will travel to Baltimore in October to attend the FS-ISAC Summit, where she hopes to learn directly from some of the best minds in the country when it comes to cyber security challenges faced by the global financial services sector. She added, “The summit is also about open collaboration between different organizations and disciplines, so I’m excited to experience how the financial sector is trying to tackle cyber security through collective information sharing.”