SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship Program
Furthering Educational Opportunities and Promoting Advancement for a Diverse Security Workforce
Six $10,000 Scholarships awarded for 2021
The purpose of the SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship program is to further educational opportunities for the widest spectrum of people and empower all to join the SIA Women in Security Forum and thrive in the security industry. Through this scholarship – open to all SIA members and student members – each awardee will receive $10,000 to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, conferences or webinars, SIA program offerings, repayment of student loan debt and/or other academic or education programs.
2021 SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship Winners
Carrie Caldwell, Technical Trainer, Axis Communications
Carrie Caldwell is a technical trainer at Axis Communications, where she has been afforded the opportunity to feed her passion for helping others. She is proud to deliver course materials in a way that allows students to build a base knowledge, while leaving them with the desire to learn more.
Having been immersed in the security industry since 2008, Caldwell has been fortunate to have mentors that lead by example, ultimately inspiring her to learn as much as possible while continuing to evolve in her professional career – she has been doing so ever since and is excited to do the same. With a passion for encouraging and empowering others, Caldwell believes skill transfer and knowledge sharing to be a vehicle for continued growth and diversity within the security industry.
Melanie Goldberg, Senior Intelligence Analyst, Global Rescue
Melanie Goldberg is a senior intelligence analyst at leading travel risk and crisis management firm Global Rescue. She has spent the past five years working with Global Rescue's security operations team to help clients optimize readiness and redundancy for security incidents related to terrorism, civil unrest, crime and natural disasters.
Goldberg is particularly interested in the intersection of security and technology. She is pursuing a master's degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and she holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Tufts University. She plans to use the SIA scholarship funds to pay for tuition at SAIS.
Samantha Hubner, Student, Tufts University
Samantha Hubner is a master’s degree candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University as part of the Map Your Future program. She concentrates in international security studies, geospatial intelligence and technology policy with additional language specializations in advanced Mandarin and French. Coming into her final year of study, she is integrating her passions and skills in geospatial data science, cyber statecraft and national security as a research fellow with the Asia-Pacific Center for Strategic Studies.
Elizabeth Kropp, Marketing and Sales Intern, SAGE Integration
Elizabeth Kropp is a senior at the Catholic University of America, majoring in marketing with a specialization in sales. After joining SAGE Integration as a marketing and sales intern, Kropp became a student member of SIA and joined the SIA Women in Security Forum. At SAGE, she works closely with external marketing partners, has contributed to the company’s social media initiatives and has published blogs on security technology and thought leadership.
Kropp is a member of Catholic University’s women's soccer team and has been named to the university’s dean's list and Landmark Conference Honor Roll on multiple occasions. She plans on encouraging her undergrad teammates to explore careers in security and will be using her SIA scholarship award to help pay her 2021-2022 tuition.
Tiffany Rojas, Human Resource Business Partner, Stanley Security
Tiffany Rojas has held the role of human resource business partner at Stanley Security since 2019. She is responsible for executing H.R. strategy for North America field sales, sales operations and Latin America commercial and operations teams. Rojas is heavily involved with diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives and serves on the DE&I Center of Excellence for Stanley Security. Also, after a few months into her role, she founded the Latino Hispanic Employee Resource Group Indianapolis chapter.
Rojas holds a B.S in HR management from Illinois State University, is currently pursuing an MBA at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and is certified as a professional by the Society of Human Resources Management.
Jaya Singh, Student, University of Leicester
After working several years in customer success, quality assurance testing and social media management, Jaya Singh became inspired to return to university to research the global history of data privacy laws and policymaking, along with the seemingly endless real-world implications of digital communities and cyber representation. After graduating from the University of Toronto in 2020 with an undergraduate degree in sociocultural anthropology and digital humanities, she earned two cybersecurity certifications in preparation for her postgraduate studies beginning in September 2021.
In pursuing her master’s degree in intelligence and security with the University of Leicester, Singh intends on continuing her research related to cyber warfare, cyber intelligence and digital data privacy legislation. Upon completing her master’s degree, she aims to work in a public-sector position related to cyber threat analysis and/or the further development of data privacy laws and policies that protect the general public in their everyday online interactions.
Applications for the 2021 SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship are now closed. Check back in spring 2022 for more information about next year's scholarship.
- Multiple $10,000 scholarships toward registration for industry education or certification programs, conferences or webinars; tuition for accredited education programs related to the security industry; and/or repayment of student loan debt
- Open to SIA student members and members of SIA's Women in Security Forum who are employees of SIA member companies
Scholarship funds may be leveraged for any of the following purposes:
- Registration costs for any SIA education or certification programs or conferences.
- Registration costs for other industry education and certification programs.
- Repayment of student loan debt
- Tuition payments for courses that will lead to completion of accredited programs offered by trade and vocational schools or associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree programs related to the security industry.
- Registration fees for industry webinar programs
Each applicant must meet all relevant requirements set forth below to be considered eligible as a scholarship recipient.
- Each applicant must be either 1) a Security Industry Association (SIA) student member or 2) a member of the SIA Women in Security Forum and an employee of a SIA member company.
- Each student applicant must be enrolled in an accredited program offered by a trade or vocational school or an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree program related to the security industry.
- Each industry applicant must have at least two years of professional experience in the security industry.
- Consistent with SIA’s goal to increase diversity within the security industry, careful consideration shall be given by the Scholarship Selection Committee to student member applicants enrolled in such curriculum offered by nationally-recognized women’s colleges and historically black colleges and universities.
- Each industry applicant must be a full-time employee of a SIA member company that is current on member dues, have worked for the employer for a minimum of six months at the time of the deadline and be in good standing within the employer organization. The designated SIA primary contact for a member company will verify eligible employees.
- 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.
Each applicant must complete the application and include supporting documentation. Submit documents in 12-point font, double spaced.
- The application form completed with accurate and up-to-date information. An essay answering the following questions:
- Why have you chosen to apply for the SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship, and how will the awarded funds be used? (250 words minimum)
- How would you promote diversity within the security industry and describe how you would implement it? (500 words minimum)
- Describe what your ideal career path looks like and how you envision becoming a champion for industry diversity. (250 words minimum)
- Who inspires you today, and why? (100 words minimum)
- At least two letters of recommendation. Please provide the name, title, email address and phone number for each reference.
Each applicant must submit a complete, signed application, together with all supporting documentation, including essays and one to two 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.
Applications will be reviewed by a joint subcommittee of the SIA Women in Security Forum and the SIA Human Resources Committee.
scholarship selection committee
The Scholarship Selection Committee (the “Committee”) will consist of volunteers from the SIA Women in Security Forum and the SIA Human Resources 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 himself or herself from all deliberation and voting regarding the applicant’s application.
- 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.
- 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 submissions not in compliance with these requirements or the instructions provided with the application.
- 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.
- The scholarship award will be based on the Committee’s scores of the overall quality of the application and the scholarship essays. Applicants receiving the highest scores shall be awarded scholarships. In the case of a tie, the SIA CEO will make the final decision.
- 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.
- The decision of the Committee is final and not subject to review.
- All deliberations and decisions of the Committee shall be recorded in Committee meeting minutes, which shall be drafted contemporaneously with the review and decisions of the Committee.
Application Grading Criteria
The following applicant grading criteria will be used by members of the Committee in reviewing applications and determining which applicants will be granted scholarships:
|Fulfilled all eligibility requirements||Up to 10 points|
|References||Up to 10 points|
|Essay||Up to 50 points|
|Applicability of the selected course(s) or prior earned study, toward stated career goal(s)||Up to 30 points|
|Up to 100 points|
In order to be awarded a scholarship, applicants must receive a minimum score of 75 points out of a total of 100.
Each recipient must enroll in an approved course or program within 12 months of being awarded the scholarship, and should coordinate with SIA for reimbursement of paid course or program fees. SIA will reimburse the scholarship recipient up to the value of the award upon submission to SIA of sufficient course enrollment documentation and a completed Form W-9. Payment will be made to the award recipient by ACH or wire transfer and in US funds.
If the course or program fee amount is greater than the awarded value, the recipient will be responsible for the balance. If the course or program fee amount is less than the value of the scholarship award, the recipient will have a credit, up to the total award amount, that may be available for future reimbursement of related professional development expense within the 12-month period following the award.
The scholarship recipient may be reimbursed for student loans, course tuition and entry or program attendance fees, but may not be reimbursed for study materials, travel costs or any other expenses related to approved courses or programs. In the event that a scholarship recipient is seeking to use the funds for repayment of a student loan, SIA will pay directly to the scholarship recipient up to the value of the scholarship following submission of sufficient loan documentation to SIA.
- 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.
- Donations made in excess of $20,000 annually may have the privilege of “naming” a scholarship, subject to the approval of the Scholarship Committee and the SIA Executive Committee.
Tax Deductibility Status
Your contribution to SIA, a 501(c)(6) organization, is not a tax-deductible donation; however, each company making a donation should check to see if contributions can be deducted as part of the company's own business operations deductions.