September 2, 2021
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Mary O’Brien, USAF, deputy chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, delivers the keynote address Wednesday at Women in AFCEA’s Women in the Workforce: A Journey in STEM 2021 conference. Photo by Elizabeth Moon

While attitudes and practices that empower women in the workplace have certainly improved over the past several decades, it’s still not enough—especially when it comes to ensuring girls aspiring to careers in math and sciences have the opportunities and support to reach those goals.

Such was the consensus Wednesday during an afternoon of speeches and panel discussions at the second annual AFCEA Women in the Workforce: A Journey in STEM conference addressing the challenges professional women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) face, and the solutions to break down those barriers.

June 1, 2021

AFCEA’s education offerings include discounts with our educational preferred providers, instructor-led and online courses, and sessions that qualify as CompTIA, GIAC and/or CertNexus continuing education for certification maintenance. Each of these categories of education includes online opportunities to study for certification exams or maintain certifications so reexamination is not required.

May 11, 2020
By Beverly Cooper
Convincing children to focus on education in a quickly created home schooling environment is challenging. But today’s global pandemic also present a unique opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of STEM studies and guide children on a STEM career path. Credit: Shutterstock/Sam Wordley

Regardless of technical expertise, organizational skills or resources, parents around the world are struggling to keep their children engaged as they settle into a routine of home schooling. The conflicting educational requirements, distractions of home life and stressed family dynamics make both teaching and learning a challenge in the stay-at-home world

May 4, 2020
Time is running out to apply to be a cybersecurity professor at the U.S. Marine Corps University’s Krulak Center. Credit: Pixabay

The U.S. Marine Corps University’s Krulak Center is searching for a professor of cybersecurity.

The primary responsibility is to serve as the full-time university cybersecurity expert.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens with expertise in cybersecurity issues, including offensive and defensive policies and procedures to inform teaching and research. They also must possess, or obtain within one year of employment, an earned terminal degree in a related field from an accredited college or university in a discipline related to cybersecurity.

July 1, 2019
By Chief Warrant Officer 4 Judy M. Esquibel, USA
Maj. Gen John C. Harris Jr., ANG (c), the adjutant general, Ohio National Guard, observes training while the Cyber Mission Assurance Team (CMAT) conducts network assessments during exercise week of Cyber Shield 19 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The National Guard is standing up the teams to help secure the critical infrastructure that services U.S. Defense Department installations. U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. George B. Davis

As emerging technologies and capabilities permeate and dominate the military and critical infrastructure, a different skill set is required to secure the increasingly complex cyberspace realm. The Internet of Things will be both an asset and a liability in the future when the military incorporates it into operations, and urban environments will complicate these efforts.

Cyber warfare continues to evolve with ever-changing innovation and technology, increasing critical infrastructure defense. In addition, with the onset of smart cities, the U.S. military in general, and the U.S. Army in particular, is exploring gaps in training and education related to operating in dense, super-connected urban areas.

November 1, 2018
By Terry Halvorsen

As I have said in previous articles, I believe it is important to national security and the success of the country that we consider how to get young people more involved in STEM. Diversity also is important. While nearly as many women hold undergraduate degrees as men overall, they make up only about 30 percent of all STEM degree holders.

I thought it would be interesting and educational to get the perspective of a young woman majoring in engineering at Vanderbilt University, where 31 percent of engineering students are women, slightly above the national average.

September 13, 2018
By Ali Cybulski
A researcher from the American Chemical Society—an NSF INCLUDES award recipient—works at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. The society received a $400,000 alliance award. Credit: Biomedical Communications­–St. Jude’s Research Hospital

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued new awards in its program called INCLUDES—Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science. The awards will support the program’s next step, which is to develop a national network that will enhance U.S. leadership in STEM by broadening participation in those disciplines.

September 1, 2018
Lt. Gen. Otto Guenther, USA (Ret.) (c), presents the AFCEA “Sparky” Baird Award for Research Excellence in June to Maura K. Styczynski for her paper “Blockchain: Buzzword or Breakthrough” at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy alongside the school’s commandant, Maj. Gen. John Jansen, USMC.

Innovation in the defense and technology fields is one of AFCEA International’s foremost goals. Nothing encapsulates that aspiration more than the research awards the association sponsors at the armed forces’ institutes of higher learning all around the country.

Research papers are chosen for awards based on their academic rigor and ability to communicate ideas. Subjects vary, but they primarily focus on cutting-edge topics in defense technology and intelligence. They explore defense applications in fields where AFCEA members are leading innovation, such as artificial intelligence.

August 1, 2018
Staff Sgt. Jenna Saenz, USAF, American Military University (l), receives a 2017 War Veterans Scholarship from her commanding officer, Lt. Col. Jonathan Dietrich, USAF, 661st Aeronautical Systems Squadron.

AFCEA’s commitment to supporting both STEM education and military personnel comes together in the AFCEA War Veterans Scholarship. Biannual merit-based $2,500 scholarships are awarded to active-duty service members and honorably discharged veterans of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan who are enrolled in undergraduate courses in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) fields.

The scholarship is facilitated by the AFCEA Educational Foundation in partnership with AFCEA’s Northern Virginia Chapter. Applications are due in March and November.

May 14, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The Army, and in particular, the Communications-Electronics Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, needs talented STEM graduates, shares Larry Muzzelo, deputy to the commanding general at the command.

Science, technology, engineering and math education and skills are necessary for the Army and the country to remain competitive, experts say. Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), known as the "home of innovation" for the Army, needs these so-called STEM graduates in its ranks to successfully go forward, an expert says.

April 6, 2018
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: American Corporate Partners

A common thread in the issue of U.S. cybersecurity today is the need for talent. Everyone—including industry and government—is struggling to keep up.

Timothy Cochrane and the team at American Corporate Partners (ACP) have developed a secret sauce to help combat the shortage of cybersecurity workers. And they have the stats to back it up.

Founded in 2008, ACP is a national nonprofit assisting post-9/11 veterans in their transition from the military to the civilian workforce. ACP focuses on mentoring, career counseling and professional networking.

April 1, 2018
By Szu-Moy Toves
Boerne-Samuel V. Champion High School students (l-r) Gifford, Salas, Medina and Sara Owen conduct a lab on sedimentary rocks using new supplies purchased with a grant funded by the Alamo Chapter.

The Alamo Chapter recently awarded a $1,000 STEM Teaching Tools Grant to Amanda Pelletier of Boerne-Samuel V. Champion High School in Texas. She began the school year with a brand-new class and curriculum, Earth and science, but budget restraints meant that Pelletier had to spend her own money to build the program. She believes in sharing science with young people, so she set aside funds for the new class.

“Teachers don’t make a whole lot of money, but I really do believe in this program and getting the students interested in STEM,” Pelletier said.

August 30, 2017
Defense Collaboration Services will offer training sessions this fall for DOD superusers.

Defense Collaboration Services (DCS) will offer superuser training several times over the next few months, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced on August 30. The training is designed to help frequent DCS users to improve their collaboration expertise across the Department of Defense. 

The training is available to anyone in the DOD, including contractors. The class will be offered four different times: September 5 at 3 p.m.; October 3 at 9 a.m.; November 7 at 11 a.m.; or December 5 at 3 p.m. (Eastern time).  

Upon completion of the training, DCS will issue a certificate designating the employee as a DCS superuser. 

June 7, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Attending conference sessions like this one from the 2016 DCOS can help you earn certifications. Photo by Michael Carpenter

CompTIA has sweetened the pot for participants of an inaugural five-hour mini-boot camp offered next week at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) in Baltimore.

Participants of the entire mini-boot camp, which showcases CompTIA’s newest security certification, the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+), will receive a free 30-day CSA+ Practice Lab evaluation license.

February 16, 2017
By Julianne Simpson

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded 33 scientists $16 million through its 2017 Young Investigator Program (YIP). The winners’ research holds strong promise across several naval-relevant science and technology areas. Typical grants are $510,000 over a three-year period.

The candidates were selected from more than 360 highly qualified applicants. Awardees come from 25 academic institutions nationwide, in disciplines ranging from robotics and lasers to nanomaterials. They will use the funds to support laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships, and other expenses critical to ongoing and planned investigational studies.

January 24, 2017

Northrop Grumman Corporation is now accepting applications for its engineering scholars competition, which will provide $192,000 in college scholarships this year to promising high school seniors graduating from Maryland schools interested in studying engineering, according to a news release. Additionally, the company will award 26 scholarships to students who live near company campuses in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Utah and Virginia.

September 1, 2016
Mansur Hasib, chair of the graduate cybersecurity technology program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, presents the 2015 AFCEA STEM Major Scholarship for Diversity Students to Kiara Jones, a graduate.

The AFCEA Educational Foundation’s motto, “Dedication to Excellence in Education,” is as relevant today as when the organization was established in 1979. The foundation’s program of scholarships, grants and awards continues to support students, teachers, military personnel in training and future scientists and engineers in the hard science and technology disciplines.

July 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Natalie Givans, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, says businesses and other organizations must appeal to the passions of young women who are well-qualified for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs to draw them to these disciplines.

Employers today face a scarcity of qualified candidates for coveted jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM—jobs widely regarded as vital to U.S. economic and military strength. One key reason for the lack of skilled workers is gender inequities, which share as much of the blame for the dearth of diversity in these fields.

July 1, 2016
By Maryann Lawlor
Engineering always fascinated Mylene Frances Lee, a technical team lead at ASM Research. After trying a couple of other fields, she landed a job in technology 21 years ago and has watched the woman-led company go from 40 employees to more than 400.

For some women, following the dream of a computer-programming career takes a pretty indirect route. Consider Mylene Frances Lee, who landed at ASM Research despite earning a seemingly unrelated degree in family life and child development. But maybe that is not such a bad background for someone who ended up working with a bunch of screen junkies.

Lee considered many careers. A native of the Philippines, she always was interested in computers. But when the time came to choose a major, she discovered that the University of the Philippines’ engineering college, although open to all, was entirely male. Instead, she decided to major in accounting. 

February 18, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. military veterans can seek reimbursements for Amazon Web Services (AWS) information technology and technical certification exam costs under an agreement forged with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans covered under a GI Bill with an education provision can submit reimbursement requests for exams completed after December 10, 2015. The VA will cover exam fees up to $2,000.

AWS certifications recognize information technology (IT) professionals with the technical skills and expertise to design, deploy and operate applications and infrastructure on AWS. The company offers exams in multiple languages at testing centers around the world.

February 1, 2016
The Copernicus Award program recognizes individuals from the sea services who have made a significant, demonstrable contribution to naval warfare in command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I), information systems and information warfare.

One of the AFCEA Educational Foundation’s important functions includes administering the Copernicus Award program. Each year since 1997, the sea services (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) have recognized individuals who have made a significant, demonstrable contribution to naval warfare in command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I), information systems and information warfare by the presentation of the Copernicus Award. These awards are cosponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute and the AFCEA Educational Foundation.

January 1, 2016
STEM teacher Ray Johnston and his Chem-Science Club students at Hancock Middle/Senior High School in Maryland show his $1,000 Gravely Grant.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Grants program for the AFCEA Educational Foundation is named in honor of the foundation’s first executive director, Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely, USN (Ret.). Adm. Gravely became the first executive director of the foundation in 1983. He initiated the science and technology teacher tool grants program that has become a key incentive for kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms.

September 1, 2015
By Lawrence Reeves and Javier Chagoya
Attending the NPS ceremony recognizing AFCEA academic award winners are Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.) (front row, left), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Keith Alexander, USA (Ret.) (front row, right), former director of the National Security Agency.

Gen. George C. Marshall, Army chief of staff during World War II, was no stranger to the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, California. In 1917, he organized and led training there for 1,200 officers. Education has been a part of life at this famous resort since it opened on June 10, 1880. It has hosted a Navy preflight school and became home to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in 1951.

July 1, 2015
As the top graduate of iCollege’s Advanced Management Program, the FBI’s David Lubinsky (l) receives an AFCEA award from Gen. Dubia.

Since the inaugural academic award for excellence was presented to a graduating cadet at the United States Military Academy in 1947, the AFCEA Educational Foundation has sponsored awards at the nation’s service academies and other military educational institutions. In addition, the top commissioning ROTC cadet in each service and midshipman are similarly recognized with an AFCEA Honor Award.

June 1, 2015
Alexandria Elizabeth Camp of the University of Memphis (r) receives an AFCEA STEM Teachers for America’s Future Scholarship from Lt. Col. Kristina M. Whicker of the Tennessee Air National Guard.

According to the National Math and Science Initiative organization, 60 percent of new jobs will require skills possessed by only 20 percent of the current work force. It is expected that the United States may be short by as many as 3 million highly skilled workers by 2018. Worldwide, the United States ranks 17th in the number of math and science degrees awarded at American universities, as indicated in a 2010 study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

May 1, 2015

Avaya Government Solutions is committed to helping the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals with a $25,000 gift to the AFCEA Educational Foundation’s STEM scholarships and grants programs for 2015.

February 11, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Aaron Nicely, of RE2, manipulates the High Dexterity Robot to retrieve candy from a bag at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is going back to high school—sort of. The research arm of the Defense Department launched a challenge for all high school students called Robots4Us, a video contest on societal implications of robotics.

Students are to focus on how robots could make a difference for society in the future. Students are to make a two- to three-minute video that shows the kind of robot-assisted society they would like to see.

The contest opened today, February 11, and the video entry deadline is April 1, no fooling.

February 1, 2015
Lt. Gen. John A. Dubia, USA (Ret.), former executive vice president of AFCEA International, presents Kimberly Nicole Denny of Jacksonville, Florida, the first AFCEA Lt. Gen. John A. Dubia, USA (Ret.), Scholarship in November 2014. Cadet Denny is a junior at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, and participates in the ROTC program at nearby Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia.

The legacy of five prominent AFCEA leaders continues on through ROTC scholarships named in their honor. Lt. Gen. James Rockwell, USA; Vice Adm. Jon L. Boyes, USN; Lt. Gen. Ron Iverson, USAF; Lt. Gen. John Dubia, USA; and Mort Marks have made significant contributions in developing, promoting and fostering the concepts, aims and goals of the AFCEA Educational Foundation. The scholarships that bear their names are presented annually to deserving sophomore or junior cadets of the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs. ROTC cadets who earn such recognition are selected based on exemplifying the dedication, persistence, patriotism and selfless service of these honored AFCEA leaders.

December 19, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The Advantage Business Media Young Mind Awards challenges middle school, high school and college students to design, build and present an innovative solution that solves a problem utilizing a wireless technology. Applicants must identify and describe a problem or process that needs improvement, build the product solution and demonstrate how their solution helped resolve the problem or improve the process.

Students are required to submit their designs and a short video demonstrating their finished product. A panel of judges comprising industry-recognized professionals will review the submissions based on four principles: creativity, comprehensiveness, clarity of expression and demonstration. 

December 2, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

On the heels of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy, a new tradition is making its way into the headlines: #GivingTuesday. The global initiative, celebrated today, December 2, encourages people to celebrate generosity and give back—with time, money or support—to a cause, organization or individual.

October 9, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

It’s fall and for many this time of year means apples, pumpkins and long drives to take in the changing colors of the autumn foliage. For some parents of high school seniors, however, this time of year also means scouring and Fastweb searching for answers (and applications) to the question, “If my son/daughter gets into the college of his/her choice, how will we pay for it?” Simultaneously, they are pulling together the information for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms.

August 19, 2014
By Rita Boland

It's very easy to fall into the trap of viewing simulated training as a game. With the prevalence of military-themed video games available to the general public, many people, including troops, grow up, or adapt to, playing virtual war. Despite the fact that I know training is different than playing, and despite the fact that I’d already talked at length with sources who drove home this point, when I went to experience Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS 3) in person, I expected to have fun playing with my avatar.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Bechtel BNI are joining forces to a new class of cyberdefense professionals to protect the nation’s critical digital infrastructure. The Bechtel-Lawrence Livermore-Los Alamos Cyber Career Development Program is designed to allow the national labs to recruit and rapidly develop cybersecurity specialists who can guide research at their respective institutions and create solutions that meet the cyberdefense needs of private industry, which owns about 80 percent of the nation’s critical digital infrastructure and assets.

June 9, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

In a new twist, middle and high school participants of the fourth annual SeaPerch National Challenge were able to monitor their underwater robots as they navigated obstacle courses thanks to technology sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Foundation, according to press releases.

June 11, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The headline may just be a fancy way of saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” but during this season of graduations, it’s a cliché worth contemplating. Most grads don’t recall the wisdom their commencement speaker shared during a ceremony they had worked so hard to attend. Even most parents are so proud—and relieved—to be in the graduation audience that, short of an Oprah giveaway, the words fall on deaf ears.

May 2, 2014
George I. Seffers

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) will open spaces on its campus for local researchers from academia, industry and other government agencies to foster in-person interactions for deeper insight into the service’s technological challenges.

May 2, 2014
By George I. Seffers

High school students and teachers get to learn about the world of cybersecurity through Sandia National Laboratories' Cyber Technologies Academy (CTA), which offers free classes for those interested in computer science and cybersecurity.

April 25, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

High school students from Hampton, Virginia, not only carried off top honors Friday in the Exploration Design Challenge but will work with the NASA and Lockheed Martin spacecraft integration team to have their anti-radiation concept approved to fly into space.

The students of Team ARES, from the Governor’s School for Science and Technology, will work to get their equipment approved and then installed onto Orion’s crew module, according to a press release.

April 23, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

A high-tech workshop giving hobbyists and professionals alike access to millions of dollars of gadgetry, from computers to woodworking tools and other equipment they might otherwise not be able to afford, opened in Virginia and offers enthusiasts a place to literally build their dreams—or at least a cutting board for Mother’s Day. Membership for most who join TechShop comes with a cost but is free for military veterans, as TechShop has partnered with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, and the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation.

April 17, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Defense Department will award $167 million in research funding to academic institutions as part of the department’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI). During the next five years, 24 awards will be issued through the program to support multidisciplinary basic research, which will be conducted by teams of investigators that intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline. More than 60 academic institutions are expected to participate in the 24 research efforts.

April 8, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. Army leaders of the Brigade Modernization Command (BMC) at Fort Bliss, Texas, supported middle and high school students vying for top spots in the fields of science and technology during a recent competition. Brig. Gen. John W. Charlton, USA, commanding general of the BMC, lent support by providing soldiers from his command to help judge the first 5-STAR Innovation Cup science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competition.

April 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

High school students from six schools across the nation will split $50,000 in scholarships after competing in the CyberPatriot VI competition, a culminating tournament in which participants tested strategies to defend computers and networks against cyber attacks. CyberPatriot kicked off in November, with roughly 1,600 students from all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Defense Departments Dependents Schools in Europe and the Pacific vying for a chance to prove their concepts the best at the National Finals Competition, which wrapped up March 29, 2014.

The 2014 winning teams are:

Open Division:

March 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Middle and high school student teams from 14 states will gather next week for CyberPatriot, a culminating competition in which they will be tested defend computers against cyberattacks.

After months of preparation, the CyberPatriot event on March 28 will test students on their defensive measures and skills to trounce cyber and computer vulnerabilities, a much-needed emerging skill in the cybersecurity industry.

January 21, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Army recently encouraged science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education by sponsoring a robotics contest for Texas middle and high school students. The VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) held in San Antonio comprised more than 50 teams from Texas schools.

January 16, 2014
By Helen Mosher

A competition for student programmers will recognize the importance of other disciplines and focus areas than the ones commonly associated with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), such as art (design), diversity and digital literacy. “Dream it. Code it. Win it.” is organized by MIT and TradingScreen and will award more than $50,000 in scholarships and prizes to winners of the competition. Entrants must be at least 18 years old and enrolled at accredited colleges and universities in the United States. The deadline for entry is March 30, 2014.

January 10, 2014
By Helen Mosher

Florida State University (FSU) has received more than $14 million in grants to create a program that will provide focused training, resources and support to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers.

January 2, 2014

Students interested in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM) need to mark their calendars to apply to attend the U.S. Naval Academy’s 2014 summer STEM program. Participants will learn what it takes to become an engineer through exploration, problem solving and discovery. The application process opens online on January 6 and closes on April 15. The session for students who will enter 8th and 9th grades in the 2014-2015 school year takes place June 2-7. Rising 10th graders will attend sessions June 9-14. The rising 11th graders session takes place June 16-20.

December 20, 2013

The Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) led by Stevens Institute of Technology has received a $60 million, five-year IDIQ renewal contract from the U.S. Defense Department. With this second five-year contract, the SERC will extend or introduce 11 long-term research programs in four research thrusts: Enterprises and Systems of Systems; Trusted Systems; Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation; and Human Capital Development.

December 20, 2013

The Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) led by Stevens Institute of Technology has received a $60 million, five-year IDIQ renewal contract from the U.S. Defense Department. With this second five-year contract, the SERC will extend or introduce 11 long-term research programs in four research thrusts: Enterprises and Systems of Systems; Trusted Systems; Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation; and Human Capital Development.

December 19, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

NASA has selected 10 education organizations to share approximately $7.7 million in grants with the hope of attracting more students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The money will go toward interactive exhibits, virtual worlds, professional development activities and community-based programs.