The Security Industry Association (SIA) has selected five recipients for the 2020 SIA RISE Scholarship, a program offered through SIA’s RISE community of young security professionals that supports the education and career development goals of young industry talent. Through this scholarship program – open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees at SIA member companies – each awardee will receive a $3,000 scholarship to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, SIA program offerings and/or other academic or education programs.

SIA RISE community and scholarship

Scholarship funds can be used to expand knowledge in the areas of business, human resources, information technology, marketing/sales, project management, security engineering and/or risk management.

SIA is proud to help foster the careers of young talent in the industry through SIA RISE community and scholarship"

“SIA is proud to help foster the careers of young talent in the security industry through the SIA RISE community and scholarship,” said Don Erickson, CEO of SIA. “This year’s scholarship honorees are an impressive group of dedicated, accomplished young professionals that represent the next generation of security leaders, and I look forward to supporting their professional growth and celebrating their many successes ahead.”

Robust security program

The winners for the 2020 SIA RISE Scholarship are:

  • Dr. Hanna Farah, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Feenics

In his role as CTO at Feenics, Hanna Farah is responsible for creating a security and access control platform and developing quality and security processes. Prior to his time at Feenics, Farah has held positions at Deloitte, Graphite Software, the University of Ottawa, Electronic Health Information Laboratory and IBM. He holds a Ph.D., a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in software engineering from the University of Ottawa.

Farah plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship to develop further knowledge to build a robust security program at Feenics that ensures the company’s practice and products adhere to high security standards, including acquiring expertise and certifications such as the Certified Cloud Security Professional credential.

Integrated security system

  • Kyle Gansemer, Systems Designer, VTI Security

At VTI Security, Kyle Gansemer is responsible for integrated security system design and review of system functionality to determine proper operation of access control, IP video and other security systems and controls. Prior to his time at VTI Security, he served as a design/manufacturing engineer at Optical Mechanics Incorporated.

Gansemer holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University and CompTIA’s Security+ and Network+ credentials. He plans to use the scholarship funds to expand his cybersecurity expertise through completing courses related to cloud services, ethical hacking/defenses and systems analysis.

Data integration

  • Suzanne Holmberg, Data & Analytics Manager – EMEIA & APAC, Allegion

Suzanne is responsible for creating teams in Europe and Asia to deliver on data integration and data science projectsIn her role at Allegion, Suzanne Holmberg is responsible for creating new teams in Europe and Asia to deliver on data integration, analysis and data science projects. Prior to her current role, Holmberg served as global analytics manager, analytics leader and sales business analyst at Allegion and held sales operations and marketing positions at Belden, Inc.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina and is currently enrolled in the Global Executive MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Holmberg will use the scholarship funds toward completion of the MBA program, which brings working professionals from around the globe together and grows individuals beyond their comfort zones through international residencies that emphasize how culture and institutions shape business in Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America.

Research and development

  • Nelson Jenkins, Mechanical Engineer, Allegion

Nelson Jenkins is a design engineer with diverse experience across project lifecycle, including research and development, manufacturing and product leadership. At Allegion, he has started a grassroots organization to help promote a culture of innovation at the company.

Prior to his role as product designer at Allegion, Jenkins served as design strategist consultant at Zeren Fitness and as a researcher with Carnegie Mellon University’s CSSI program; he holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in applied physics from Morehouse College. He will use the scholarship funds to complete a course on disruptive theory offered through Harvard Business School.

Executing marketing techniques

  • Jessica Sargo, Channel Marketing Manager, Brivo

SIA’s RISE community fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry through fun, in-person networking events

In her role at Brivo, Jessica Sargo leads efforts for a cross-departmental partner training program, supports partner recruitment and retention campaigns, develops web and cellphone applications for partner conferences, creates communications plans and manages logistics for trade shows and partner events. Prior to her time at Brivo, she held marketing positions with TwentyEighty Strategy Execution and Teaching Strategies, LLC; she holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida.

Sargo plans to use the scholarship funds to complete a digital marketing education course and further her knowledge of executing marketing techniques through social media, cellphone applications, search engines and other digital channels.

Business skills development

In addition to awarding the RISE Scholarship, SIA’s RISE community fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry through fun, in-person networking events held during top trade shows and in major cities across the country; thought leadership opportunities; career growth webinars on topics of interest; career tracks at ISC West and East each year; and the AcceleRISE conference for tomorrow’s security leaders, featuring top-quality idea sharing, coaching, business skills development, networking and inspiration.

SIA RISE is open to all young security professionals employed at SIA member companies who are under 40 and/or have been in the security for less than two years.

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