SIA and University of Phoenix Announce Inaugural SIA Scholarship Recipients

Security Industry Association (SIA)

Eleven employees of SIA member companies received full-tuition scholarships for a graduate or undergraduate program at the University of Phoenix.

SILVER SPRING, Md., and PHOENIX, Ariz. — The Security Industry Association (SIA), the nonprofit association representing global security companies, and University of Phoenix have awarded full-tuition scholarships to 11 full-time employees from SIA member companies. Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree program at the University of Phoenix.

SIA and the University of Phoenix announced the inaugural scholarship program in March 2016 to provide an opportunity for security industry experts to advance their careers in the ever-evolving world of security through achievement in higher education. Recipients will be recognized at ISC West 2017 in an SIA membership meeting on April 4, 2017, at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

University of Phoenix SIA Scholarship recipients include:

  • Sherinda Barrow, director of education services at Open Options, will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Security Management with a Physical Security Operations Certificate.
  • Lisa Campbell, the product analyst at Infozen, will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Security Management with an Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate.
  • Amaury Duran, an IT support specialist at Aiphone Intercom Communications, will pursue a Master of Information Systems.
  • Michelle Goudge, HR Generalist at IdenTrust Inc., will pursue a Master of Business Administration.
  • Joel Mayoral, marketing communications manager at Louroe Electronics, will pursue a Master of Business Administration.
  • William Murphey, a national sales engineer at Open Options, will pursue a Master of Information Systems with a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity.
  • Peggy Page, marketing manager at Stanley Black and Decker, will pursue an associate degree in Business Management.
  • Thomas Ragona, a regional sales representative at Aiphone, will pursue a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Technology Management.
  • Alexander Rincon, commercial manager for Zehirut International Inc., will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Security Management with an Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate.
  • Sharon Shaw, client development manager for Tech Systems Inc., will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Security and Management.
  • Jason Swope, senior security analyst/chief security officer at AT&T, will pursue a Master of Science/Administration of Justice and Security.

“These 11 scholarship recipients represent the best of the security industry in their desire to achieve,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “Much in the same way as their employers are committed to improving security systems for commercial and residential enterprises, these individuals have committed to improving themselves and in doing so build upon their considerable accomplishments. SIA was proud to work with University of Phoenix to offer this opportunity to these scholars, who represent the finest spirit of the security industry.”

“Both the public and private sectors are experiencing a large skills gap, where the need for skilled security professionals far outweighs the number available to fill those roles. This gap is placing the increased onus on educational institutions to educate and train the next workforce,” said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean, University of Phoenix, College of Information Systems and Technology. “At the University of Phoenix, we understand the power of education, but we also know the obstacles that can prevent working professionals from going to school. Our partnership with SIA is a great step in ensuring these security professionals have the opportunity they deserve to advance their careers through education, remain relevant and thrive in the new economy.”

As demand for skilled employees in the market rises, individuals are realizing that a higher education degree is becoming a valuable commodity to enhance a career. Reports find that more than one-third of job openings require a college degree. Between 2014 to 2020, that number is expected to increase to nearly 65 percent. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that information security analysts achieve at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field and have experience in a computer-related field.

Experts are predicting information security analysts to be proficient in recognizing cybercrime, IoT devices, and compliance and data protection for 2017,4 and the job outlook for information security analysts is projected to increase 18 percent between 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average job in the United States.

To be considered for the University of Phoenix SIA Scholarship, applicants wrote three essays and provided a letter of recommendation. High importance was placed on the applicants’ desire to advance their education, with an emphasis on furthering their careers, and their impact on the security industry in which they reside.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix ( is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue a career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc., University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

About the Security Industry Association (SIA)

The Security Industry Association (SIA) ( is the leading trade association for global security solution providers, with more than 700 innovative member companies representing thousands of security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities, and collaboration with other like-minded organizations. As a proud sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities. SIA also enhances the position of its members in the security marketplace through SIA Government Summit, which brings together private industry with government decision makers and Securing New Ground®, the security industry’s top executive conference for peer-to-peer networking.