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Board 353: On ACCESS Program Support for Students’ Academic Successin the Cybersecurity Field

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Katerina Goseva-Popstojanova West Virginia University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Katerina Goseva-Popstojanova is a Professor at the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. Her research interests are in software engineering, cybersecurity, and data analytics, as well as in higher education focused on these areas. She has served as a Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator on various NSF, NASA, DoD, and industry funded projects. She leads the B.S. in Cybersecurity program and serves as Academic Coordinator of the M.S. in Software Engineering Program at West Virginia University. She has served on program and organizing committees of many international conferences and workshops.

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Erin Carll University of Washington

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Erin Carll is a research scientist at the University of Washington Center for Evaluation and Research for STEM Equity. She earned a PhD and MA in Sociology as well as a certificate in demographic methods and a concentration in social statistics from UW. She also earned an MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Columbia University, a BA in Political Science and Russian Studies from Central Connecticut State University, and an AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Three Rivers Community College.

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Robin A.M. Hensel West Virginia University Orcid 16x16

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Robin A. M. Hensel, Ed.D., is a Teaching Professor in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University and an ASEE Fellow member. As a mathematician and computer systems analyst, she collaborated in engineering teams to support energy research before entering higher education where she taught mathematics, statistics, computer science, and engineering courses, secured over $5.5M to support STEM education research, led program development efforts, and served in several administrative roles. She has been recognized for her teaching, advising, service, and research and as an Exemplary Faculty Member for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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The goal of the NSF S-STEM funded program "Attracting and Cultivating Cybersecurity Experts and Scholars through Scholarships" (ACCESS) is to increase the cybersecurity-related degree completion of high-achieving undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need and thus help address the tremendous unmet need for highly skilled cybersecurity experts. The ACCESS program has successfully awarded scholarships to three cohorts of students and has achieved its goal to increase the annual enrollment of students in the B.S. and Area of Emphasis in Cybersecurity at West Virginia University. Specifically, the enrollment has more than doubled in only two years (from 2020 to 2022). Furthermore, the ACCESS scholarship recipients have greater diversity than their peers enrolled in the cybersecurity field at West Virginia University. Over the last three years, the ACCESS program provided numerous co-curricular activities and student support services and has strengthen its partnerships with employers from the public and private sectors. Students’ feedback, which was provided via anonymous surveys and focus groups discussions conducted by an external evaluation team, was overwhelmingly positive and highlighted numerous benefits of the ACCESS program to students’ education and future professional careers.

Goseva-Popstojanova, K., & Carll, E., & Hensel, R. A. (2023, June), Board 353: On ACCESS Program Support for Students’ Academic Successin the Cybersecurity Field Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42991

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