Louisiana Tech University and Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI) recognized students joining the National Security Fellowship with Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) with a special signing day on May 15, 2024. (Emerald McIntyre/Louisiana Tech University)

By Louisiana Tech University Communications

Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI) recently recognized students receiving the National Security Fellowship with Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC).

The National Security Fellowship program is a collaborative effort between the Air Force Global Strike Command, Louisiana Tech Applied Research Corporation (LTARC), and the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC). This yearlong program allows fellows to use their skills in computer science, mathematics, and other fields to assist the Air Force in various efforts.

“Throughout the four-year history of this fellowship program, many participants have found rewarding positions as federal civil servants with the Air Force, Navy, and Army,” Warren Ward, LTRI chief of staff, said. “Additionally, several have been directly hired by defense contractors due to the experiences gained through the program.”

The program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students across Northeast Louisiana as they learn the importance of the military and national security while working to grow the local economy. Current institutions involved in the program, along with Louisiana Tech, include Grambling State University (GSU) and Louisiana State University Shreveport (LSUS).

“Louisiana Tech, Grambling, and LSU Shreveport are integral to the success of this program,” Kevin Nolten, president of the Cyber Innovation Center, said. “Our fellows bring talents into Air Force Global Strike Command and their work will have a direct effect on airmen and our overall national security.”

Students will gain a commitment to innovation, collaboration, and strategic deterrence through their efforts by fostering a dynamic of problem-solving and resilience in the face of challenges. Along with guidance from the fellows’ AFGSC Project Champion,  Louisiana Tech faculty advisors provide additional guidance into technical issues that they may not have yet experienced in the academic environment.

“This program provides a lot of opportunities such as meeting new people and making connections that will be beneficial not only for current studies but also in the future,” Cordus Bailey IV, computer science major and National Security Fellowship participant, said. “As I earn my master’s degree, I am looking forward to progressing the projects we are working on to help push forward the Air Force Global Strike initiatives.”

“The collaboration between Louisiana Tech University and the Air Force Global Strike Command has provided our students with unparalleled real-world experience and fostered a powerful alliance of collaboration and knowledge transfer,” Dr. Sumeet Dua, executive vice president of research, said. “Our fellows and participating faculty have proven their ability to tackle complex challenges and deliver groundbreaking solutions that benefit national security.”

The following fellows were recognized during a signing ceremony on May 15, 2024, at Louisiana Tech University’s Dan Reneau Biomedical Engineering Building:

Louisiana Tech University undergraduate students:

Bryce Jarrell, Professional Aviation

Stephan Johnson, Computer Science

Rylie Malbrough, Cyber Engineering

Norman Pritchard, Mechanical Engineering

Kyle Stewart, Computer Science

Cory Strickland, Computer Science

Louisiana Tech University graduate students:

John Coughlin, PhD Engineering

Lindsay Gouedy, PhD Engineering

Cordus Bailey, Computer Science

Emily Johnson, Counseling and Clinical Psychology

Tyler Warzynak, Applied Physics

Grambling State University:

Jonathan Smith, Cloud Computing