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    Defense Cyber Scholars Set Sights on Automation, Sailor Readiness at NAVSUP Business Systems Center

    NAVSUP BSC | DoD Cybersecurity Scholarship Program

    Photo By Thomas Zimmerman | 200107-N-FF527-0069 MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (Jan. 7, 2020) Lt. Nana Bonsu, project...... read more read more



    Story by James Foehl and Thomas Zimmerman

    NAVSUP Business Systems Center

    MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- Fourteen college students selected for employment at Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) through the Department of Defense (DOD) Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP), completed a virtual 10-week summer session at NAVSUP BSC, August 13.

    The summer session served as an opportunity for students to complete a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) project supporting Navy supply-chain readiness and was the second of a two-part program designed to familiarize and acclimate students with federal civilian service at NAVSUP BSC.

    “NAVSUP BSC exists to support the warfighter. Nobody wants to go to war, but we need them to be prepared. That’s one of our responsibilities and responsibility for each of you,” said Brian Zirbel, executive director, NAVSUP BSC, during a brief with students. “This is your time to learn, deliver, and produce. You’re providing a great service to your country. Take every opportunity to learn while you’re here with NAVSUP BSC and the Navy.”

    During the 10-week summer session, students completed administrative processing, training, and were tasked to develop bots that automate portions of the Navy’s personally procured move process.

    “Their bots automate data entries from the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment to the Personal Property Transportation Audit System and track advance payments Sailors receive during their moves,” said Tracy Riegle, an information technology (IT) specialist assigned to the Logistic Solutions department at NAVSUP BSC. “This will help save time for auditors and provide more accurate and timely data for audits and reports.”

    Students were divided into three teams, provided a starting point for their projects, and completed two two-week sprints. Upon completion, each team demonstrated their bots in action and were evaluated by subject matter experts. The most refined bot will be put into full production following an in-depth review, system integration, and user acceptance testing.

    “This project allowed me to refine my analytic skills and build upon technical skills developed in college,” said Edward Pykosh, a recent Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate hired through the DOD CySP. “It’s been a great training experience that helped me feel more confident and eager to hit the ground running.”

    Pykosh, a Monongahela, Pennsylvania native, was assigned to the Logistics Solutions department RPA team in August following college graduation and summer session completion.

    “The orientation and summer session really helped me understand the role of NAVSUP BSC in the Navy and how we support Sailors worldwide. I’m excited to be a part of the team here,” said Pykosh.

    Three students from the group started as full-time employees following the summer session. Eleven students will return to school in the fall. Two are expected to be hired in December following their graduation.

    “The whole experience has been great so far,” said Anna Conover, a recent Robert Morris University graduate hired through the DOD CySP. Conover, a Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania native, was assigned to the Technology Services department Cybersecurity and Risk Management Framework team in August following college graduation and summer session completion.

    “The entire team has done a great job introducing us to NAVSUP BSC, giving us an idea of what it’s going to be like to work here and getting to know some of the folks we will be working with,” said Conover.

    The 14 students who completed the summer session came from regional colleges and universities, including Bloomsburg University, Carnegie Mellon University, Farleigh Dickinson University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, Robert Morris University, and Towson University.

    The DOD CySP is sponsored by the DOD Chief Information Officer and administered by the National Security Agency to recruit and retain cyber and IT specialists.

    Scholarship recipients incur a six-month service commitment to the DOD for each semester students receive tuition, stipend, book allowance, and a paid summer internship. To apply for the program, students must be enrolled in an institution certified as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. Applicants must submit a package to the DOD CySP program office that includes university sponsor signoff, resume, transcripts, essay response, and two letters of recommendation. Packages are due in February each year to be considered for the scholarship starting in the fall semester.

    As of August, NAVSUP BSC has hired 16 full-time employees in IT career fields through the DOD CySP.

    “To support the demands of the Navy supply chain and the warfighter, we need the best and brightest IT professionals. This program has been a tremendous success in bringing these qualified candidates to our team,” said Kelly Nave, DOD CySP coordinator at NAVSUP BSC.

    NAVSUP BSC provides the Navy with information systems support through the design, development, and maintenance of systems in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance, and accounting and is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP.

    For more information about NAVSUP BSC, visit

    For more information on the DOD CySP, visit



    Date Taken: 08.13.2021
    Date Posted: 08.17.2021 14:08
    Story ID: 403259
    Location: MECHANICSBURG, PA, US 
    Hometown: MONONGAHELA, PA, US
    Hometown: MOUNT LEBANON, PA, US

    Web Views: 344
    Downloads: 1