Diane Stephens, lecturer of Computer Science and Information Systems at the University of North Georgia (UNG), was selected for the 2020-2021 Faculty Development in Georgia (FDIG) Program.

According to the Institute of Higher Education’s website, the FDIG program gives faculty members from institutions across the state an opportunity to continue their graduate education on a full-time basis.

Diane Stephens

Stephens received the Bachelor of Computer Science and Master of Computer Science from the University of Tennessee and University of Alabama and is pursuing a doctorate in Computer Science at the University of Georgia.

After teaching introductory computer science classes, Stephens was asked if she would expand into cybersecurity. She then obtained the Security+ Certification and has become more involved with cybersecurity classes, including being one of the instructors in the GenCyber Warrior Academy, a nine-day summer camp for high school students held on the Dahlonega campus.

Stephens says she loves teaching the summer camp and that cybersecurity is a great field. While she is getting a doctorate in computer science, she will use her assistantship to focus her research on cybersecurity.

“It [Cybersecurity] was new, a different subject, and something I was really excited about,” Stephens said.

The assistantship will provide Stephens an academic year of doctoral study at the University of Georgia.

“With full-time teaching, I have only been able to take one class at a time. For the research required there wasn’t enough time. I can make more headway and really immerse myself into it, ” she said.

Stephens will return to UNG to teach for the 2021-2022 academic year, and she stated that she loves UNG and is thankful for the opportunity and for the support of her department head, Dr. Ash Mady, and dean, Dr. Mary Gowan.

Stephens said: “It is going to make me a better teacher and professor when I get back next year.”

The FDIG program is open to teaching faculty who have been accepted into a graduate program.
The competition for the 2021-2022 FDIG program will be open in Fall 2020. Rather than applying directly to UGA for consideration, interested UNG faculty must apply through the UNG Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL) to be the UNG nominee and be considered to represent UNG.