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ISI Alumnus Continues Learning with Scholarship Support from Department of Defense

Ferris State UniversityA Houghton Lake native is furthering his education at Ferris State University, as 2017 Information Security and Intelligence graduate George Major pursues a Master of Science degree in ISI, supported by a scholarship from the Department of Defense.

“After completing my Bachelor of Science in Information Security and Intelligence, I hoped to gain some work experience with plans to return to school once I thought I could afford it,” Major said. “I was also hoping one day to have the opportunity to demonstrate what I had learned at Ferris, at the federal level, by joining the staff of the Defense Information Systems Agency. The Information Assurance Scholarship Program allows me to pursue my Master’s right away and offers a chance at what is essentially my dream job.”

Major was joined by two other Ferris applicants who filed for the IASP award, according to ISI Program Coordinator Greg Gogolin.

“Since Ferris is a Center of Academic Excellence, as designated by the National Security Agency, we are informed of federal grant and scholarship opportunities,” Gogolin said. “Our faculty offered reviews for each of our applicants. An NSA screening is also part of the selection process.”

The IASP affords Major the opportunity to attend a national security conference, beyond offering wide-ranging options to the recipient as to their use of the $45,000 award from the Department of Defense.

“George is a most solid student, who did a great deal to develop his portfolio of security certifications, above and beyond his academic successes,” Gogolin said. “His scholarship is unique, in that it allows him to determine what he might need in terms of textbooks, computers and other resources to further his learning.”

A paid DISA internship is also part of the scholarship. Major said that matches his career goals, perfectly.

“The Master of Science degree offers a managerial focus while Ferris’ ISI Bachelor’s degree is more foundational and technical in nature,” Major said. “When I complete my graduate work, I will have been exposed to both ends of the spectrum, which I hope will make me a valuable employee. I’ve always wanted to work at the federal level, so I hope to be retained by the DISA or an affiliated agency after my internship is completed.”

Major graduated from Houghton Lake High School, in 2012, earned his Associate of Applied Sciences in Criminal Justice from Kirtland Community College in Roscommon, in 2013, and then began his studies at Ferris, where he completed his bachelor’s degree, in August 2017. As part of the agreement related to the IASP scholarship and its accompanying internship, George has agreed to serve in a one-year assignment with the Department of Defense. Information Assurance Scholars often receive full-time conditional/permanent positions with a component of the DoD, once they have completed the program.

PHOTO CAPTION: George Major, a graduate student in Ferris State University's Information Security and Intelligence program is continuing his studies, thanks to support from a Department of Defense scholarship. The Information Assurance Scholarship Program will see Major take a paid internship with the Defense Information Systems Agency, as part of a one-year commitment to the federally-funded program.