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DSU students attend world's largest security conference

February 6, 2020

Katie Shuck (left) and Kanthi Narukonda are attending the world’s largest security conference this month, through a new partnership between DSU and the RSAC Security Scholar Program.

Two Dakota State University graduate students have been chosen to attend the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Feb. 24-28.

Kanthi Narukonda and Katie Shuck will be among the more than 40,000 people attending RSA, which is the world’s largest security conference. 

Narukonda is an information systems doctoral student in the College of Business and Information Systems; Shuck is a cyber defense master’s degree student in The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences. 

The opportunity came about through the efforts of DSU faculty, Dr. Pam Rowland and Dr. Ashley Podhradsky, who secured a new partnership for DSU to be included in the RSAC Security Scholar Program. This will provide Narukonda and Shuck with airfare, hotel, conference pass, and some expenses. The two will join students from Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Boston University, Berkeley, and Stanford. 

“RSA is one of the world’s largest cybersecurity conferences and when CybHER at DSU was invited to participate in the elite RSA Conference Security Scholar program, we were thrilled to have DSU representation at the event,” said Podhradsky.  CybHER is a program that works to empower, motivate and educate girls in cyber security. 

“Our students will meet other scholars from 40 different universities and will receive private professional development training along with attending the conference. This will no doubt impact their future career trajectory along with connecting them with a great crowd,” Podhradsky said. 

Shuck is looking forward to these networking opportunities. She follows several industry professionals through social media and is excited to see some of these individuals in person. “These are people doing great things in the industry,” Shuck said. 

Rowland stated, “The growth of professional contacts is invaluable, and RSA will provide Kanthi and Katie the opportunity to learn about emerging technology and topics.” There are 15-20 sessions offered in each time slot of the four-day conference, on topics such as hands-on labs, professional growth, personal development, and industry-specific, said Narukonda. 

She is looking forward to one particular session on emerging security threats, a session lasting almost eight hours. “We see so many articles every day on these threats, but we never have the time to talk about them in-depth, about what they do, and where they’re originating from,” she stated. 

“We are excited for Katie and Kanthi to bring back these new ideas and discussions to the DSU community,” said Rowland.

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