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Two students chosen as scholars at national conference

November 3, 2021

Klosterman, Kulm are next-gen cyber professionals

Alexis Kulm and Annabelle Klosterman
Alexis Kulm and Annabelle Klosterman

Annabelle Klosterman and Alexis Kulm have another honor to add to their lengthy résumés.

These two Dakota State University students have been chosen as security scholars for the upcoming national RSA Conference. The conference will take place in February 2022, in-person in San Francisco, and digitally.

The two were nominated for this honor by Dr. Ashley Podhradsky, Vice President for Research and Economic Development. She learned about the program through her experience as a New America Fellow.

“Each year I nominate two students who excel academically, give back to the community, and demonstrate leadership skills,” Podhradsky said. “Because of these qualities, these two are an exact fit for the RSA criteria for security scholars.”

The RSA website explains “we like to surround ourselves with all kinds of brilliant people—including the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Through carefully curated experiences, RSAC Security Scholar connects the hand-selected brightest up-and-coming cybersecurity students to thought leaders, industry luminaries, peers, and conference attendees.”

Both students have attended many cybersecurity conferences during their time at DSU and found new opportunities at each one.

“Every conference is unique,” said Klosterman, which she finds advantageous because “cybersecurity needs diversity, and at these conferences, you meet people of diverse backgrounds and opinions, and you see how different people think about cyber security.”

Conference experiences can make lasting impressions, said Kulm, recalling a presentation she saw about an individual using technology to help underprivileged kids. This was not only inspiring but was also heartwarming, she said.

RSA is a United States-based organization that creates encryption, network, and computer security products. The company has held this conference for 30 years, and hosts over 42,000 attendees. The company name is an acronym of the company co-founders, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, Leonard Adleman.

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