SIA RISE Scholarships


Young Professionals: What would you do with AN EXTRA $3,000?

The Security Industry Association (SIA) created the RISE scholarship program to support the education and career development goals of young security professionals just like you.

FAST logoThe RISE scholarship program is open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees of SIA member companies. The scholarship is intended to expand recipients' professional knowledge in the areas of business, human resources, information technology, marketing/sales, project management, security engineering and risk management. Tax-deductible donations can be made through the Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST) and earmarked for the RISE Scholarship.

Through this scholarship program, selected candidates will receive awards for $3,000 each. Scholarship funds can be used toward continuing education, student loan repayment and professional development programs such as training and certifications. This scholarship is a win-win for both you as the applicant and for your employer. (Not part of RISE yet? Learn more here.)​

Applications for the 2024 SIA RISE Scholarship are now closed. Stay tuned for details on next year's scholarship opportunity!

Congratulations, SIA RISE Scholarship Winners!Congratulations to the 2024 SIA RISE Scholarship Awardees!

(View the full press release here.)

Brian Abraham, Area Sales Manager, Software House

Brian Abraham headshotBrian Abraham embarked on his sales journey with Software House, where he quickly developed a keen acumen for identifying customer requirements and aligning them with cutting-edge security solutions. His expertise spans a wide array of access control systems, including biometric, card-based and mobile access technologies. At Software House, Abraham excelled in tailoring intricate access control systems for clients across various sectors such as corporate, government, health care and education. His consultative approach not only enhanced security infrastructures but also streamlined operations, resulting in an increase in customer satisfaction and a marked increase in sales revenue for the company.

Kiara Bell, Lead Information and Security Compliance Analyst, Arcules

Kiara Bell headshotKiara Bell has over seven years of experience in the cybersecurity field and presently works as a lead information and security compliance analyst for Arcules. Originally from Emporia, Virginia, she currently lives in Concord, North Carolina. Bell specializes in governance, risk and compliance and has helped to create two organizations' risk management verticals from the ground up. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Sigma Alpha Iota International Fraternity. Bell takes pride in having a good attitude and endless energy to motivate people to work hard and succeed.

Callie Buzzeo, Technical Program Manager, Meta

Callie Buzzeo headshotCallie Buzzeo is a technical program manager at Meta. While every day on the job is different, Buzzeo’s goal is finding innovative solutions to solve for internal business problems. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, snowboarding and playing with her dog. As a SIA RISE Scholarship recipient, Buzzeo plans to use the funds to continue my Master of Business Administration degree, which will provide her the skills needed to translate security-related problem statements between different areas of an organization.

Chasity Cope, HR Admin, Down East Protection Systems

Chasity Cope headshotChasity Cope has been the HR admin for Down East Protection Systems for five years. She has a heart for enabling others to become their best selves and enjoys learning about people to best advise her team on how to coach and train our employees. Cope’s passion for people began at a young age and has only grown since she has been in HR. She has found great potential for growth and development in the security industry and looks forward to leading others as they enter our industry and build their careers. This scholarship will afford Cope the opportunity to expand her knowledge, as she works to obtain her SHRM-CP certification, and ensure that she can do this skillfully.

Olivia Doherty, Consulting Coordinator, Northland Controls

Olivia Doherty headshotOlivia Doherty is a consulting coordinator at Northland Controls with four years of professional experience and two years of experience in the security industry. She supports the consulting and design teams in tackling all their clients’ toughest challenges. Doherty onboards new clients, is active in business development and conducts comprehensive physical security audits. Her knowledge of the architecture, engineering, and construction industry and background in strategic communications give her a unique perspective when it comes to meeting client needs and recommending new technologies and long-term solutions. Doherty is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech and a member of the SIA RISE community.

Devin Gonzalez, Product Champion, i-PRO Americas

Devin Gonzalez headshotDevin Gonzalez is an ambitious professional dedicated to revolutionizing the security industry through proactive innovation. In their three-year tenure within the field, Gonzalez’ career path reflects a rapid ascent, progressing from a level 1 tech to a tech support supervisor and recently been promoted to product champion at i-PRO. This trajectory highlights not only growth but also a dynamic journey, showcasing adaptability, leadership and a strong focus on industry innovation. Gonzalez’ commitment to continuous improvement within their organization and the industry at large is evident through their initiative and established track record.

Amanda Hahn, Director of Digital Marketing, LRG Marketing

Amanda Hahn headshotAmanda Hahn is a digital marketer and influencer with a strong foundation built over five years at LRG Marketing. She is dedicated to navigating the ever-evolving digital world one step at a time. Hahn’s lifelong ambition drives her, and she is excited to keep pushing forward and making her mark on the future.

Alisha Hippert, Project Manager of Customer Experience, dormakaba

Alisha Hippert headshotAlisha Hippert – project manager, customer experience at dormakaba – has been with the company for nearly two years. Hippert has been Project Management Professional certified from the Project Management Institute since 2019, and obtained her PMI Agile Certified Practitioner certification just this year. She puts her knowledge and experience to good use at dormakaba by managing those projects specifically targeted to improving the customer experience across the Americas region. Hippert is beyond honored to be chosen to receive a RISE scholarship and plans to utilize the proceeds toward professional development programs. When she is not working, she enjoys reading, running and spending time with her husband, three daughters and two dogs.

Alicia Janowicz, HR Business Partner, Axis Communications

Alicia Janowicz headshotReceiving this scholarship will help Alicia Janowicz – a recent master’s degree holder –  pay down student loan debt. Having more financial freedom means that she can continue to move forward with academic endeavors within the security and environmental, social and governance (ESG) spaces. Being in HR, it can be tough to get yourself in there within the security realm, and Janowicz has had the pleasure of recently attending the 2023 Security LeadHER conference in Nashville, Tennessee, and participating in SIA’s ESG Advisory Board. She looks forward to being even more involved in the future!

Justin Lei, Senior Engineer, i-PRO Americas

Justin Lei headshotJustin Lei is a senior software engineer and Scrum master at i-PRO Americas Inc. With eight years of experience in software development, including five years in the security sector, Lei is passionate about fostering growth, driving innovation and relentlessly pursuing excellence. When not immersed in the world of software and Scrum, you can find him pursuing my passion for aviation as a dedicated student pilot, working towards his dream of becoming a future aviator. Additionally, Lei is an avid runner, currently training for his very first half marathon.

Pierre Trapanese

Pierre Trapanese

Lei is the recipient of the 2024 Pierre Trapanese RISE Scholarship, a special RISE Scholarship presented to recognize Pierre Trapanese, CEO of Northland Controls and past SIA Board of Directors chair. In addition to his volunteer leadership on SIA’s board, Trapanese has been dedicated to the success of young professionals in the industry and is likewise dedicated to professional development opportunities within SIA, having been instrumental in the creation of the Certified Security Project Manager (CSPM) certification program.

Jennifer Lemoine, Program Administrator, Convergint

Jennifer LemoineJennifer Lemoine is a program administrator for Convergint Technologies who has been employed with Convergint since May 2022. Lemoine firmly believes in self-growth and improvement; this is evident in her desire to complete her bachelor’s degree and grow within her present company and the security industry. She is passionate about helping others and being a positive role model, and her inspiration comes daily from her husband and three children. In her spare time, Lemoine enjoys reading, working outside, being a coffee connoisseur, traveling with her family and finding little coffee cafes to visit.

Pamela Madey, Channel Sales Specialist, BCD

Pamela Madey headshotPamela Madey is the channel sales specialist for IP video data infrastructure solutions at BCD who supports international regions. She is dedicated to working with customers in Europe, APAC and Middle East regions. When not supporting clients all over the world, Pamela enjoys traveling and experiencing new cities. Madey loves a good adventure and to have a story to tell and is honored to be chosen as one of the winners of the SIA RISE Scholarship!

Dan Metz, Intelligence Analyst, TAM-C Solutions

Dan Metz headshotHaving explored several careers before finding his place in the security industry, Dan Metz now works as an intelligence analyst at TAM-C Solutions. In his current position, Metz provides clients with a range of products covering geopolitical and strategic analysis, threat monitoring and assessment and intelligence collection and synthesis, and he also fills a key role at the company implementing quality assurance protocols. Before entering the field of security, Metz earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and central Eurasian studies at Indiana University Bloomington and spent almost four years in Turkey, working as an academic researcher, journalist and translator. He later returned to the United States to complete his master’s degree in global policy studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Metz intends to use the RISE Scholarship to enroll in cybersecurity and project management training courses, attend security industry networking events and make payments toward his student loans.

James Robles, Technical Trainer, HID

James Robles headshotJames Robles is a dedicated educator with a strong commitment to fostering knowledge and growth. Armed with a master's degree in education, he has spent the last decade sharing his expertise with learners of all ages. As Robles transitions into the security industry, he is determined to leverage his educational background to facilitate the seamless adaptation of individuals to the ever-evolving technologies within this field. The RISE Scholarship will help Robles enhance his professional education through the Training Industry's CPTM program, which he will utilize to revolutionize training methodologies in the security sector. He understands that staying at the forefront of innovation is vital in an industry that demands constant vigilance. Beyond his professional endeavors, Robles is a man of diverse interests. An avid cat lover, a devoted family man and an occasional cocktail enthusiast, he finds balance in the simple pleasures of life. However, Robles’ true passion lives in his community and the future of education. This is why he generously contributes his time to support his local Destination Imagination program, a platform that instills in students the values of creativity, project management and teamwork, all of which are crucial for the next generation's success.

Rachel Salina, Product Marketing Coordinator, Axis Communications

Rachel Salina headshotRachel Salina joined Axis Communications as a product marketing coordinator in August 2021 and is responsible for developing and producing marketing campaigns for the Axis network video portfolio to drive awareness, consideration and adoption, supporting team members on the creation, development and execution of national product marketing campaigns, managing and collecting data on team programs and marketing efforts. Prior to her time at Axis, Salinas was a marketing intern turned marketing coordinator at the Ariel Group. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative industries from Bentley University. In her free time, Salinas loves to experience live music and theater, read as many books as she can and travel around the world.

Maya Sears, Mechanical Engineer Associate, dormakaba

Maya Sears headshotMaya Sears studied at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and graduated with a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering in 2022. She began full-time work at dormakaba in June 2022 and is currently working as a design engineer in new product development. Sears’ work revolves around creating safe and secure access hardware solutions for every place that matters.

Mustafa Shahriyar, Escalation Engineer, i-PRO Americas

Mustafa Shahriyar headshotMustafa Shahriyar is a seasoned security surveillance escalation engineer – Tier III at i-PRO Americas Inc, deeply ingrained in the security industry. Shahriyar’s impactful contributions have earned him the prestigious Star Employee award for fiscal year 2022. He was selected as a participant by the company to attend global meetings in i-PRO’s Japan headquarters. Shahriyar has a track record of leadership, knowledge base development and seamless collaboration with QA and development teams to elevate the quality of the company’s software surveillance solutions. Within a short span of two years, he has earned two promotions, driven by his unwavering commitment and initiative. Armed with a bachelor's degree in computer science and technology from the University of Houston – Downtown, Shahriyar serves as the top-tier tech expert, investigating and resolving issues to provide top-notch solutions to the company’s partners, integrators and customers. His journey in the security industry continues to thrive, as he relentlessly pursues personal and professional growth.

Shaunté Sivas, Business Development Manager, Systems Distributors, Inc.

Shaunte Sivas headshotShaunté Sivas is a business development manager at Systems Distributors, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia. Sivas entered the security industry in April 2022 and is an associate director on the Georgia Electronic Life Safety Systems Association Board of Directors. She is also a mom to a 22-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter. Sivas is a former U.S. Army veteran as well as a former middle school teacher with a B.S. in criminal justice and a minor in psychology from Troy University. She has been in sales for over 10 years, starting in the school photography/yearbook industry followed by sales in distribution of Jan/San products and equipment. As a hobby, Sivas collects uranium glass along with antique school textbooks. Sivas has enjoyed building relationships and learning about biometrics the most! She is looking forward to using the RISE Scholarship for professional development in the areas of leadership, social media marketing techniques, biometrics and any other pertinent professional development opportunities that may present themselves.


Support the RISE Scholarship!

SIA's RISE Scholarship depends on the generous support from companies like yours. Help students and young professionals learn and grow their skills by making a tax-deductible donation through FAST earmarked for the RISE Scholarship.

Video: Past Awardee Ashley Means Shares Why You Should Apply for a RISE Scholarship


  • $3,000 scholarships for continuing education, professional development, and student loan repayment.
  • Open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees of SIA member companies in North America.

How the Scholarship Can Be Used

Recipients may choose to apply the scholarship to any of the following courses or programs:

  • SIA program offerings (e.g., Security Project Management training seminars, Securing New Ground conference, SIA GovSummit conference)
  • Courses/programs/events related to information technology (IT), physical security, or cybersecurity
  • Relevant courses or professional development programs offered by reputable associations, colleges, universities and private education firms related to your role and career in the security industry.
  • Repayment of student loans

​Official Rules and Requirements

A complete application, including all necessary supporting documentation (as described below), must be submitted by the deadline. All application packets will be submitted electronically, without exception. Applications not submitted by the application deadline will not be considered; there will be no exceptions made to this requirement.


Applicants must meet all requirements set forth below to be considered eligible as a scholarship recipient.

  1. Each applicant must be either 1) a SIA student member or 2) a RISE program member and an employee of a SIA member company. (Not a RISE member yet? Start by visiting our RISE information page or emailing Katie Greatti. Unsure if your employer is a SIA member? Check our member directory or contact
  2. Each applicant must have at least 1 year of professional experience in the security industry.
  3. Each applicant must be a full-time employee of a SIA member company or be a SIA student member; have worked for the employer a minimum of six months at the time of the deadline and be in good standing within the employer organization.
  4. Applicants must submit a complete, signed application, together with all supporting documentation, including essays and 1-2 references, by the deadline. The completion of the application form does not create an obligation on the part of SIA to award a scholarship to the applicant.
  5. Current officers, directors and key employees of SIA and the immediate families of SIA officers, directors and key employees are not eligible to receive scholarships under the program.

Application Process

Each applicant must complete the application and include supporting documentation as follows:

  1. The application form, completed with accurate and up-to-date information.
  2. An essay answering the following questions:
    • Please write a personal statement on why you chose to apply for the RISE scholarship, how the money earned would be utilized, and how this scholarship will make a lasting impact on the future of your career in the security industry? (250 words max)
    • What do you think companies can do to embrace diversity and attract/retain diverse talent? (250 words max)
    • What is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far? What sort of impact do you hope to make on the security industry in the next 5-10 years? (250 words max)
    • What is the best advice you’ve received and how have you incorporated it into your personal and/or professional life? (250 words max)
    • What separates you from other applicants? What makes you stand out from other scholarship applicants? (250 words max)
  3. At least one professional reference (preferably two). Please provide the name, title, email address, and phone number for each reference.

Scholarship Selection Committee

The Scholarship Selection Committee (the “Committee”) will consist of volunteers from the SIA RISE committee. Committee members are volunteers and perform their duties without compensation, financial or otherwise. If the Committee is reviewing the application of an applicant who is an employee of the Committee member’s company, or if the Committee member is otherwise conflicted with respect to the applicant, the Committee member shall recuse him or herself from all deliberation and voting regarding the applicant’s application.

​Selection Process

  1. Only those applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and submit their completed applications and supporting documentation on or before the deadline (“qualified applications”) will be considered in the selection process.
  2. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a complete and signed application, along with all the supporting documentation, which must be received on or before the deadline. The Committee accepts no responsibility for incomplete applications, applications not in proper form, lost applications or any other submission not in compliance with these requirements or the instructions provided with the application.
  3. The Committee shall review each application and award points based on the applicant grading criteria set forth below. As noted above, a committee member with a conflict with respect to any applicant shall not participate in the review or grading of that applicant’s application and supporting materials.
  4. The scholarship award will be based on the Committee’s scores of the overall quality of the application and the scholarship essays. The five applications receiving the highest scores shall be awarded scholarships. In the case of a tie, the SIA CEO will make the final decision.
  5. Scholarship selection shall be made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other category protected by federal, state or local law. Conversely, an applicant will not be selected solely based on one or more of the categories identified above.
  6. The decision of the Committee is final and not subject to review.

Applicant Grading Criteria

The following applicant grading criteria will be followed by members of the Committee in reviewing applications and determining those applicants that will be granted scholarships:

Fulfilled all eligibility requirementsUp to 5 points
ReferencesUp to 20 points
EssaysUp to 75 points (Each question is worth 15 points)
Up to 100 points

Award Redemption

Each recipient must enroll in the approved course within 12 months of being awarded the scholarship and coordinate with SIA for course fee payment. SIA will reimburse awardees for the course/program enrollment up to the $3,000 value of the scholarship. If the course/program costs more than $3,000, the recipient is responsible for the balance. If the cost of the course/program is less than the $3,000 scholarship award, the recipient will have a credit to use on related professional development within a 12-month period.

The scholarship money covers course entry fees or program attendance fees but will not cover study materials, travel costs or any other items related to the course.


  • Funding of the scholarship program is achieved through contributions by individual members of SIA and member corporate support.
  • Unless specifically designated by a donor, contributions will be made toward the general scholarship fund.

Tax Deductibility Status

The SIA RISE Scholarship is made possible with the generous support of our donors. Your donation to FAST, earmarked for the RISE Scholarship, is tax deductible.