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That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

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CybHER Security Institute

Women in Cybersecurity

The mission of the CybHER Security Institute is to empower, motivate, educate, and change the perception of girls and women in cybersecurity by providing resources for girls from middle school to collegiate programs, and into professional careers.

CybHER allows girls and women to foster positive and encouraging relationships within the cybersecurity industry, through original and curated content. Ultimately, the goal is to increase diversity by introducing more girls to cybersecurity, who will then transition to women in collegiate programs, and highly trained professionals.

CybHER in The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences at DSU

CybHER in The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences are working to empower, motivate, and educate girls in cyber security!

CybHER History

CybHER
CybHER was founded in 2016 by Dr. Ashley Podhradsky and Dr. Pam Rowland. As of Spring 2021, CybHER has reached over 25,000 girls with its collective efforts. One of the most notable projects is the GenCyber Girls in CybHER Security Camp. The week-long camp, supported by the National Security Agency (NSA), is the largest girls-only residential camp in the country, hosting over 125 middle school students every year.

Other outreach efforts to middle and high school female students include presentations at STEM events, social media outreach, the Aspirations Award event, parent-support events, and more.

  • Increase knowledge of cybersecurity in K-12 settings
  • Mentor female collegiate students in personal and professional development
  • Conduct cutting-edge research focused on growing the female population in computing, as well as supporting undergraduate and graduate student research related to technology issues and trends
  • Assist women at a collegiate and professional level to network within the state of SD and to be aware of opportunities within the state. Provide mentoring opportunities for entrepreneurship
  • Continue to develop female faculty members through trainings, workshops, mentoring, and assisting with research efforts

K-12 Outreach

  • Develop strategies for K-12 outreach that map to the SD standards
  • Educate female students in computer-related topics
  • Recruit female students to enter the computing field, specifically within the Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences

 

Collegiate Student Involvement

  • CybHER Club activities - see goals below
  • Mentoring between faculty, staff, and students as well as student to student
  • Undergraduate and graduate research

 

Professional Women Skills Development

  • Meet-ups for professional women to support and train each other through the SD WiCyS affiliate
  • Re-entry classes are for women that have taken a sabbatical for personal reasons
  • Accelerated cybersecurity training is for women that want to learn more about cybersecurity for professional development

 

The Dakota State University CybHER Club is lead by collegiate students and focuses on these areas:

  • Fun and community: leading to support and encourage
  • Professional and personal growth: workshops, speakers, learning opportunities
  • Outreach and service: allowing students to serve and mentor others
  • Networking: growing a network of professional contacts and support

CybHER has focused on building professional relationships across the nation. This has been done through attendance at conferences such as Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS), National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education (NICE), and professional research conferences. We also have relationships with key organizations, such as Facebook and Google.

Ashley Podhradsky

Ashley Podhradsky

VP for Research & Economic Development

Department

Research and Economic Development

Education

D.Sc., Dakota State University
M.S., Dakota State University
B.S., Dakota State University

Biography

Dr. Ashley Podhradsky is the Vice President for Research & Economic Development at Dakota State University. She is also a member of the First Bank & Trust Board of Directors. Dr. Podhradsky has been an invited speaker for agencies and events including Women in CyuberSecurity, InfraGard, and Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS), and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Her research teams have received millions in competitive grants from the NSA and NSF for research and outreach programs. In addition to her academic and professional work, she has a strong passion for increasing gender diversity in cybersecurity. She is the co-founder of CybHER, an cyber outreach program which has reached thousands of people from K-12 to college age and beyond. Some of this is accomplished through the annual GenCyber: Girls in CybHER Security, a free program sponsored by the NSA. Dr, Podhradsky was the recipient of the EmBe 2017 “Young Woman of Achievement,” The 2017 Merrill Hunter Award for Excellence in Research, is a 2017 and 2018 New America Cybersecurity Fellow. She was also named an American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN Ambassador in 2019. Through this program, she is one of 120 women in STEM featured around the country with a life-size statue

Contact

Office Location: MadLabs® Building
Phone: 605-256-5821
Email