UTSA College of Business receives $500,000 gift from Kudla Foundation

Nancy Kudla

Nancy Kudla

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(Oct. 12, 2011) -- The UTSA College of Business received a $500,000 gift from the Kudla Foundation to create the Nancy and Frank Kudla Endowed Fellowship in Information Assurance and Security. College of Business alumni Frank Kudla, B.B.A. '85, and Nancy Kudla, M.B.A. '87, created the endowment to support graduate student research and education in cyber security.

"Our foundation is focused on national security and values-based leadership through partnerships with universities," said Nancy Kudla, president of the foundation. "We are excited about this concept and spreading the word about UTSA being a leader in cyber security."

Selected through a competitive application process, Kudla Fellows will be graduate students studying and conducting research in information assurance and security. The first fellows will begin in fall 2012.

"The support from alumni Nancy and Frank Kudla is critical in allowing us to establish a top-tier graduate fellowship program that will train needed information assurance professionals in defending security threats as well as developing cutting-edge research essential in this field," said Lynda de la Vina, dean of the UTSA College of Business.

Within the past year, the college has strengthened its cyber-security programming by hiring nationally renowned educator and researcher Fred Chang as the AT&T Distinguished Chair in Infrastructure Assurance and Security and by establishing the Center for Research and Education in Information and Infrastructure Security (CERI2S).

Led by Chang, CERI2S is charged with conducting high-impact research in information assurance and security and fostering student involvement in college research activity. Current research projects include countering malware, intrusion detection avoidance and digital forensic string search capabilities.

The UTSA College of Business offers a Ph.D. concentration in information technology, an infrastructure assurance concentration as part of the Master of Science in Information Technology degree, an M.B.A. concentration in infrastructure assurance and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in infrastructure assurance.

"It is our hope that our contribution will help foster continued growth in the ongoing alliance between UTSA, the military and the federal government cyber-security communities," said Nancy Kudla. "We look forward to the invaluable contributions UTSA and its graduates will make in ensuring our nation's cyber-security readiness."

In 1989, the Kudlas founded dNovus RDI, a federal government contracting company that specialized in applied information technology. Under their leadership, dNovus grew from a one-person consulting firm to one of the largest woman-owned businesses in San Antonio, employing more than 350 professionals and earning more than $35 million in revenues. In December 2008, dNovus RDI was acquired by Kforce Inc.

The National Security Agency designated UTSA a "Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research," one of only 47 programs in the country, and a "Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education," based on the coursework in the College of Business.