Symantec Gives $250,000 to Cybersecurity Program

Symantec Gives $250,000 to Cybersecurity Program

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Members of San Jose State’s Information Security Club work with Girls STEM Network participants (photo courtesy of Virginia Lehmkuhl Dakhwe).

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU media relations, 408-924-1748

San Jose, CA—Symantec Corp. has made a $250,000 gift to San Jose State University in support of Girls STEM Network (GSN): Cybersecurity, which provides girls and young women with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of computer science and cybersecurity, enabling their entire community to learn about STEM topics and careers.

San Jose State University would like to thank Symantec for supporting our vision for the creation of a more diverse science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce through the development of innovative programs reaching under-served communities,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said.

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Looking over the shoulder of a Girls STEM Network participant (photo courtesy of Virginia Lehmkuhl Dakhwe).

This is Symantec’s second gift to GSN, following up on a $25,000 grant made in 2013 to support a pilot program. San Jose State is seeking to significantly expand the STEM workforce, with a specific focus on the recruitment of girls and young women into the computer science and cybersecurity fields, where they remain drastically underrepresented.

In collaboration with community-based organizations, San Jose State’s Jay Pinson STEM Education program facilitates the Girls STEM Network as an extracurricular activity. Instructors with content expertise lead the program, supported by SJSU students enrolled in the university’s Communication Studies 157 service learning course. Over 100 girls and young women have participated in GSN to date.

GSN enables girls and young women to learn skills and communicate about these complex topics while developing strong relationships with mentors. The program also provides opportunities for SJSU students to gain experience in STEM-centered teaching and mentoring, potentially contributing to the pipeline of well-prepared STEM teachers.

Instructional sessions culminate in community events where participants showcase presentations and digital artifacts created within the program. Family members and teachers attend these events, further expanding the reach of the Girls STEM Network.

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.