Academic Honors and Awards

The SANS Technology Institute recognizes the commitment to excellence of our highest achieving students and bestows recognition of outstanding academic achievement to further distinguish those students who are becoming leaders in the cybersecurity community.

Assante Scholar Award

Mike Assante was the founder of the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) curriculum, ICS and SCADA Lead, and Director of Industrials and Infrastructure at SANS Institute. A pioneer in the field of industrial control system cyber security, Mike made a long list of remarkable contributions to the advancement of critical infrastructure system design, threat intelligence, detection, mitigation, and incident response capabilities within the ICS community. Mike passed away on July 5, 2019, but his legacy is one of innovation, relentlessness, and integrity. He had a profound impact on the security of our critical infrastructure. Each year, in recognition of Mike’s legacy, the Assante Scholar award is granted to an eligible candidate from each undergraduate and graduate program with an ICS option.

2023 winners: Ryan Van Den Heuvel and Jonathan Wismer
2022 winners: Dan Behrens, Brock Perry, and James Turner
2021 winners: Randy Baldwin and Anthony Karels
2020 winners: Kristy Cappelli, Craig Raslawski, and Rhianna Zuby

Eligibility requirements:

  • Undergraduates in the certificate program who choose to focus in ICS, have a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and obtain a 90 or higher on the GIAC GCISP exam are eligible for consideration. Undergraduate students in a bachelor’s program who take at least two ICS courses during their program, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, and an “A” with a 90 or higher on the GIAC exam in each ICS course are eligible for consideration.
  • Graduate students in the Industrial Control Systems Graduate Certificate who graduate with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 are eligible for consideration. Graduate students in the master’s program with a focus on Industrial Control Systems, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, and an “A” in all ICS courses are eligible for consideration. To be eligible for this award, at least two of the ICS-specific courses must be taken during the graduate program enrollment.