Core Mission

CybHER®’s mission is to empower, motivate, educate, and change the perception of girls and women in cybersecurity. By providing resources for girls from middle school through collegiate programs and into professional careers, CybHER will allow women to foster positive and encouraging relationships within this industry through original and curated content that educates and motivates women. Ultimately, our goal is to increase diversity by introducing more girls to cybersecurity, who will then transition to women in collegiate programs, and finally highly trained professionals. While CybHER’s mission is to promote STEM and technology for females, CybHER is open to everyone.

Founders

Dr. Ashley Podhradsky

Dr. Ashley Podhradsky

Founder

Dr. Ashley Podhradsky is the Vice President for Research & Economic Development at Dakota State University. She is also a member of the First Bank & Trust Board of Directors. Dr. Podhradsky is a sought-after speaker and keynote for cybersecurity events around the country. Her research teams have received over $15 million in competitive grants from the National Security Agency, National Science Foundation, Small Business Administration, and others. In addition to her academic and professional work, she has a strong passion for increasing gender diversity in cybersecurity. She is the co-founder of CybHER, a cyber outreach program which has reached thousands of people from K-12 to college age and beyond. As a fundraiser, she has received nearly $2 million in gifts for CybHER. Dr. Podhradsky was the recipient of the EmBe 2017 “Young Woman of Achievement,” the 2017 Merrill Hunter Award for Excellence in Research, was a 2017 and 2018 New America Cybersecurity Fellow. She was also named an American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN Ambassador in 2019. Through this program, she is one of 120 women in STEM featured around the country with a life-size statue.

Dr. Pam Rowland

Dr. Pam Rowland

Founder

Dr. Pam Rowland is the Associate Dean of Computer Sciences and Technology in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Grand Canyon University.  Pam holds a D.Sc. degree in Information Systems from Dakota State University in Madison, SD.  Dr. Rowland has over 15 years of higher ed experience as a tenured faculty and has also held various administrative positions.  Her areas of teaching include cybersecurity and computer science.  Pam’s passion project is CybHER(TM) which she co-founded. This project focuses on empowering, motivating, educating, and changing the perception of girls and women in cybersecurity. The project has been supported by grants from the NSA, NSF, NCWIT, and the AAUW. Pam has experience in building high-performing teams, promoting partnerships, recruiting and retaining students through mentorship, building diverse teams, and writing and administering grants. She is forever thankful for her family.  Pam and her husband live in Phoenix, AZ and have two grandbabies.  They love adventure and exploring the outdoors.

Director

Kanthi Narukonda

Kanthi Narukonda

Director, CybHER Institute

Kanthi Narukonda is an Assistant Professor in the Beacom College at Dakota State University and the Director of the CybHER Institute. She manages a team of 10 undergraduate students who serve as CybHER Leaders. Kanthi is a Ph.D. Cyber Defense student at DSU. Kanthi holds graduate degrees in Cyber Defense and Embedded Systems Engineering. Her passion and interest in cybersecurity led her to pursue a graduate and subsequent doctoral degree in cyber defense at DSU. Kanthi lives in Madison, SD, currently with her dog, Zoë.

CybHER Girl

CybHER Girl is dedicated in memory of Dr. Aimée Tabor

CybHER Girl is dedicated in memory of Dr. Aimée Tabor

Dr. Aimée Tabor (March 3, 1977 – December 8, 2015)

TRUST Education Director at University of California, Berkeley
Aimee Tabor Dr. Aimée Tabor was a strong force for broadening participation in STEM and an advocate for increasing access to education for women, minorities and underrepresented populations in STEM. Aimée was the Program Manager for UC Berkeley’s TRUST Center and an advocate for Black Girls Code.

Through her work, she impacted and inspired so many people. She will be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor, perseverance, bright smile and optimism. Dr. Tabor was a mentor for Dr. Podhradsky, Co-Founder of CybHER, and CybHER Girl is dedicated to her memory.