LSU Doubles Federally Funded Effort to Educate, Graduate Cyber Talent for National Security

October 09, 2023

Serving the Nation

With $600,000 in additional support from the National Science Foundation, LSU is rapidly expanding its Scholarship for Service, or SFS, CyberCorps program to grow a bigger, better cyber workforce for the state and nation. 

This fall, LSU Baton Rouge doubled its current cohort of SFS students from 12 to 25. All students in the program receive free tuition and generous scholarships in return for some government service after graduation. LSU’s SFS program has quickly grown to become one of the largest in the country.

New to the LSU SFS program this year is Lillian Beck from Austin, Texas. A junior and computer science major, Beck is a golfer and “die-hard Tiger” who takes pride in coaching classmates on vector calculus and other advanced topics in math.

“The need for cyber professionals is crucial in this digital age. That’s why I’m so eager to contribute and make an impact,” said Beck, who has already made the President’s Honor Roll and the Dean’s List. “SFS is an amazing opportunity, and I’m so excited to be working for the government on homeland security.”

Fellow student Brandon Lara from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recently completed an internship at Los Alamos National Lab, of recent Oppenheimer fame, and is now interning at MITRE, a national-security-focused research lab, as part of the SFS program.

“SFS students go on to do great things,” said Lara, who switched to cybersecurity after a professional dance career and appearance in Pitch Perfect 2. “I can’t imagine a life for myself where I’m not working on the hardest problems I can find.”

Meet cybersecurity student Lillian Beck, new to the LSU Scholarship for Service program.

Meet cybersecurity student Lillian Beck, new to the LSU Scholarship for Service program.

“LSU’s CyberCorps program is focused on teaching students specialized cybersecurity skills, including memory forensics, malware analysis and machine learning. The significant expansion of LSU’s program in recent years magnetizes talent, reinforcing the workforce development needed to safeguard our nation’s digital world and cyber infrastructure.”

Li Yang, director of the National Science Foundation’s CyberCorps program