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DoD-IASP Opportunity Page 2 of 3

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Hard! (Time Consuming, but the effort is worthwhile)

Tackle these items in the following order:

  1. A Statement of Purpose - Your Statement of Purpose is a paper that sums up, in one single-spaced page or less your vision of Information Assurance how this scholarship will help in fulfilling your academic goals how you can contribute to solving the challenges faced by the nation in the area of Information Assurance
  2. A Competency Statement – Your competency statement is very similar to your Letters of Recommendation, except you evaluate yourself. If you do not include this statement in your IASP application, IASP will not consider your application at all.

In three pages, or less, you MUST assess your knowledge and ability in the following six (6) competency areas:

Your knowledge of the techniques of the information security discipline, including

  • encryption
  • access control
  • physical security
  • threat analysis
  • authentication

Your knowledge of the human factors in information security, including

Human Computer Interaction

  • design
  • training
  • sabotage
  • human error prevention
  • identification
  • personal use policies
  • monitoring

Your ability to:

  • identify and analyze problems
  • distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions
  • provide solutions to individual and organizational problems

Your ability to consider and respond appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations. When you do this, are you tactful, compassionate and sensitive, and do you treats others with respect?

Your ability to express facts and ideas in writing in clear, convincing and organized manners appropriate to the audience and occasion.

Tips

  • Be Creative! Sell your skills and past experiences, but tie them into security concepts.
  • Use all three pages. Don't write more than three pages.
  • Make every sentence count. Make every word count.
  • Do not add filler material for the sake of making your statement appear three pages long.
  • Not sure you know enough about certain security topics? Check the books you used in the IA courses.
  • Get somebody to proof-read your writing. Having a fresh set of eyes take a look at what you wrote makes a huge difference.

3. Two Letters of RecommendationAs least one letter of recommendation must be written by a PUPR faculty member (Dr. Jeff Duffany, Dr. Juan Solá, Dr. Juan Ramirez, Dr. Eliana Valenzuela, Dr. Yahia Masalmah, Dr. Eduardo Sobrino, Dr. Alfredo Cruz in the area of IA or related, or Dr. Othoniel Rodriguez, Dr. Jeff Duffany in the area of HCI, per example). The other letter should be written by either a second faculty member at PUPR or an employer that is very familiar with your technical skills. Tell your perspective authors of your letters of recommendation up front that you need both the official paper copy (letterhead) of their letter and you need a digital copy (.pdf) of their letter. There is no way around this. They need to know that because it means that you will be able to read what they wrote.

Both letters must contain the author's:

  • name
  • position or title
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • institutional or organizational address

Your authors of your letters of recommendation MUST address these points in their letter:

  • How the author knows you.
  • There are only two options here: through an academic relationship or an employment relationship.
  • How long the author has known you.
  • The author's assessment of your potential for academic success and fulfillment of degree requirements.
  • The author's assessment of your knowledge and ability in the following six (6) competency areas: Your knowledge of the techniques of the information security discipline, including
  1. encryption
  2. access control
  3. physical security
  4. training
  5. threat analysis
  6. authentication

Your knowledge of the human factors in information security, including

human computer interaction

  • design
  • training
  • sabotage
  • human error prevention
  • identification
  • personal use policies
  • monitoring

Your ability to

  • identify and analyze problems
  • distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions
  • provide solutions to individual and organizational problems

Your ability to consider and respond appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations. When you do this, are you tactful, compassionate and sensitive, and do you treats others with respect?

Your ability to make clear and convincing oral presentations to individuals or groups; listens effectively and clarifies information as needed; facilitates an open exchange of ideas and fosters an atmosphere of open communication.

\Your ability to express facts and ideas in writing in clear, convincing and organized manners appropriate to the audience and the occasion.

Tips

Plan ahead: go above in beyond in a course that you like for a professor that you like. This could be as simple as asking good questions in class.

Do the faculty member a favor, and write the letter (a draft) for them first. Then, ask them if they'd be willing to modify your skeleton letter as they see fit. This should be easy to do if you've already written your Competency Statement

4. Cover Letter - This is a standard cover letter.  It must contain the names of the authors of your Two Letters of Recommendation.

5.      Submit Your Application

6.      Make sure you have everything by running through the Application Checklist.

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