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Podhradsky named New America Cybersecurity fellow

October 5, 2017

Ashley Podhradsky is always looking for “what’s next” in her career.

As a faculty member at Dakota State University since 2012, “what’s next” has included developing and teaching courses on digital forensics and information assurance, helping create and coordinate the largest residential GenCyber girls summer camps in the country, co-creating a movement called CybHER to encourage girls to consider cyber careers, and working with professional organizations on cyber curriculum and cyber research.

In 2017, “what’s next” for this associate professor in the Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences is a venture into the world of cyber policies as a fellow with the New America Cybersecurity program. New America is a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. whose purpose is to provide guidance to policy makers on emerging topics within cyber security.

“Applying to be a part of this program really pushed me outside my comfort zone, so that’s why I knew I really wanted to do this,” Podhradsky said. “I want to learn and grow as a professional, and this offered me a great opportunity to do so.”

Last month Podhradsky learned she was one of 30 chosen from across the country to be a policy fellow for New America for 2017-2018 year. “There are incredibly well-known people with impeccable backgrounds in the cohort, so I’m honored to make their list,” she said.

The cohort is made up of a “diverse, selective group of academics, technologists, practitioners, and others [who will] elevate voices that would otherwise go unheard in important policy circles,” reads her acceptance letter.

“This puts me in a community I’ve not been in before, with policy makers at the corporate level and the government level. I hope am able to provide some guidance in that process and have an impact,” said Podhradsky. She and the other fellows will participate in roundtable discussions, New America public events, write op-ed pieces and articles and participate in other collaboration opportunities.

“We are very pleased with the recognition of Dr. Ashley Podhradsky with a fellowship with New America Cybersecurity, an honor which is an indication of the professional prowess of Dr. Podhradsky,” said Dr. Richard Hanson, dean of the Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences.

“In addition, this fellowship will positively impact the Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences and our students as we assert regional and national leadership in computer science and cybersecurity education,” he stated.

Podhradsky agreed. “[Being a New America fellow] gets DSU visibility at the table, and improved opportunities for our students.” 

She said, “we’re a small university in a very rural area, but we’re at the forefront of cyber security, so by working with organizations at a national and international level I am able to showcase our multi-talented faculty.” In addition, “every opportunity to network and create partnerships with organizations is powerful for our students.”

Podhradsky’s one-year fellowship begins this October.