ALMA — Alma College senior Monroe Molesky’s passions for health and technology are turning into big rewards.
Molesky, a dual major in integrative physiology and health science (IPHS) and history, was recently named a Cyber Corps Scholarship for Service (SFS) student by the National Science Foundation and Department of Homeland Security. The award enables him to attend the George Washington University Master’s of Public Health in Health Policy at the Milken Institute of Public Health in Washington, DC on a full scholarship.
The award, which will cover tuition, books, living stipend and professional development to study cybersecurity for up to three years at GWU, is awarded to about 12 students from across the country every year.
“I always choose my research subjects by my passions and interests,” Molesky said. “Doing what you love, researching something that you can connect with, keeps you going even during the tough time to persevere. For me, it just happens that I have a passion for a few things: a passion for health, the law, technology and cybersecurity.”
Molesky also recently won the 2020 Society for the Advancement of Information Systems Outstanding Student Research Paper Award for his paper, “The Repercussions of Wearable Devices on Consumer Privacy and Security,” as well as the Midwest American College of Sports Medicine 2019 Undergraduate Research Study Award for “Impact of Ultramarathoner Pack Weight and Load Positioning on Race Completion Time.”
Alex Montoye, assistant professor in IPHS at Alma College for the past four years, said Molesky became involved with research at the college while still a student at Alma High School.
Since then, he has helped the college become a leader in research on wearable technology — electronic devices, worn close to the skin, which track and store data on body signals, such as vital signs. In recent years, the technology has become popular with modern consumers, in the form of Fitbits, Apple Watches and other devices.
“Researchers generally publish for people in their own research community. It usually doesn’t have much direct impact on the average person,” Montoye said. “We managed to get in on a front end of the research into wearables, and when they started becoming popular in the public eye, we were well-positioned.”
At only 19, Molesky frequently helps train students older than he is, Montoye said.
“Every year, you can see (Molesky) get stronger and more confident,” Montoye added. “I’m really excited for him that he’s seen so much success, especially in the last year. It’s very well-deserved.”
Molesky is the only Alma College student to have ever won the two research awards. He is one of only three Alma students — including his older brother, Mason — to win the Scholarship for Service. He said he intends to pursue Master’s of Public Health and Ph.D. Degrees at GWU before eventually working for federal government in the healthcare cybersecurity and technology field.
“The CyberCorp scholarship is unique in that after you complete your years of graduate education and scholarship support, you are transitioned into the government to work as a young cybersecurity leader,” Molesky said. “The scholarship is supported by an act of Congress and was created to train our country’s next generation of cybersecurity and technology leaders, which is an increasing need.”
Molesky was recently selected by the consulting firm Deloitte to work as a summer intern at the national headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. He will work as a cyber risk intern in the government and public services sector.