Four EMU Cybersecurity Students Excel as National Cyber Scholars in the 2023 Cyber FastTrack program

3-D futuristic illustration of padlock with keyhole as cyber data and technology security concept.

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University students Jonathan Walatkiewicz, Diagenieh Voker, Jarrett Signoretti, and Manraj Singh have been recognized as National Cyber Scholars by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation. 

The National Cyber Scholarship program is a charitable foundation created to help the United States close its critical cybersecurity skills gap. This program aims to identify and support the next generation of cybersecurity experts. 

The competition consisted of 200 intricate challenges designed to assess participants' problem-solving abilities, technical expertise, and critical thinking skills. These challenges encompassed a wide range of cyber forensics, puzzles/code-breaking, and programming. Their performance in the competition demonstrated their mastery of various cybersecurity concepts and techniques, ranging from identifying vulnerabilities to operating systems. 

"Our cybersecurity students consistently demonstrate exceptional dedication to their studies and a profound understanding of cybersecurity challenges," said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. "Their success in the National Cyber Scholarship program is a testament to their hard work and the rigorous education they receive here at EMU," said Qatu. 

Jonathan Walatkiewicz, a Ph.D. student majoring in cybersecurity and applied computing and a member of the Information Assurance Student Association (IASA) club, emphasized the significance of the recognition. 

"Being named a National Cyber Scholar is not just a personal achievement, it's a reflection of the incredible support and guidance we've received from our professors and mentors at EMU," he said. "This recognition inspires us to continue striving for excellence and contributing to the field of cybersecurity."

As National Cyber Scholars, students were each awarded free access to the Cyber Foundations Academy, worth over $3,000, and a digital scholar badge. Students also gained access to exclusive networking opportunities, mentorship from leading industry experts, and potential career pathways within the cybersecurity sector. Students that finish the self-paced course are provided a free Global Information Assurance Certification Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies certification attempt. If students pass the certification by Sept. 15, 2023, they are named a Scholar with Honors. This achievement provides the possibility for follow-on training, certifications, and internships. 

“Accomplishments like these highlight EMU's commitment to producing well-rounded, skilled professionals who can address the ever-evolving challenges of the digital landscape,” said Qatu.


About the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology

The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology provides world-class experiences in engineering, technology, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, drone technology, gaming, aviation, and other areas of study in high-demand career fields. It is within the college’s mission to cultivate individuals' intellectual and personal growth through research-informed education and diverse programs that emphasize the practical application of scientific knowledge. For more information about the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology, visit the college’s website


About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

August 30, 2023

Written by:
Nautica Marshall

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher