Cadets Earn Carnegie Mellon-West Point Scholarship

By West Point Public Affairs

Date: Friday, May 13, 2022 Time: 16:21 EST RELEASE NO: 11-22
Carnegie Mellon-West Point Scholarship

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Four cadets have been selected to receive the prestigious Carnegie Mellon-West Point Scholarship allowing for continued academic study following graduation and commissioning.

Carnegie Mellon is one of the top universities in the country, with particularly strong programs in technical fields relevant to future Army leaders. In addition to strong programs in cyber security, international relations, and computer science, Carnegie Mellon is home to the Army Futures Command’s Artificial Intelligence Task Force. The Carnegie Mellon-West Point Scholarship was established in 2020 to facilitate the development of high-performing leaders in fields that are critical for the Army’s future needs, and to deepen the ties between the two institutions.  This scholarship deepens the ties between two elite institutions and equips our graduates with valuable skills, at the beginning of their careers, in fields of growing relevance to the Army.

“We are grateful for our strong partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, which equips these scholars with valuable skills in fields of growing importance to the Army,” said U.S. Military Academy Dean of the Academic Board Brig. Gen. Shane Reeves. “Congratulations to our newest scholars!”

About the Scholars

Cadet Lauren Harpole is a double-major in international affairs and Russian with a focus in foreign policy and security studies and is a native of Newburgh, Ind. Harpole focuses her research and time promoting international peace and bilateral cooperation between the United States and Russia.  Last year, she interned at the Pentagon with the Joint Staff J5 Europe, NATO, and Russia Directorate.  As a member of the Russia Team, she compiled information on current events relevant to national security and gained valuable experience in creating foreign policy with the National Security Council Director of the Russia Directorate.  Harpole spent a semester in the study abroad program in Daugavpils, Russia, taking international relations classes at Daugavpils University.  Her undergraduate thesis analyzed the distinctions between foreign electoral influence perpetrated by democracies and autocracies utilizing case studies of the U.S., Russia, and Ukraine elections.  In addition to her research, Lauren is a proud member of company C-2 and enjoys singing in the Glee Club. As a future Military Intelligence Officer, she intends to combine her international relations and Russian studies with her interests in promoting global peace and protecting human rights to influence changes in U.S. foreign policy and the military.  Lauren hopes to pursue a career in counterintelligence after completing a Master of Science in international relations and politics. 

“Receiving the Carnegie Mellon scholarship provides me with the opportunity to advance my skills not only as an international relations scholar, but also as an Army officer with the goal of promoting bilateral cooperation between the United States and Russia for a more peaceful future,” said Harpole.

Cadet Seth Bolden is an international history major from Indianapolis, Ind. He has served as the Army mascot team captain, cadet in charge of Special Olympics, the academic manager for the Women’s Volleyball Team, the editor for the Report, the West Point History Undergraduate Journal, and is the cadet in charge of the Elevation Initiative which mentors high performing minority cadets interested in earning a key leadership position within the Corps of Cadets. Among his official cadet duties, Bolden is the Brigade Deputy Public Affairs and Security Officer.  His responsibilities include managing the social media presence of the Corps of Cadets, managing the various security elements in place for cadet safety, and organizing community service events.  Bolden focuses much of his research on genocide and the use of violence in politics. He will pursue a Master of Science in international relations and politics with a thesis.  After graduate school, Bolden will serve as an armor officer in the U.S. Army. 

“The Army and United States is in constant great power competition and looks for novel ways to address threats,” said Bolden. “Learning about the interactions of nations and how to predict and express these interactions in a quantitative manner will make me a better strategic planner but also a more valuable public servant.  These skills are fundamental to understanding the state of our nation and the actions we take to ensure our security.  I am very excited to continue my journey at Carnegie Mellon and I am ecstatic about the opportunities it will present to learn.”

Cadet Sarah Rutherford is a native of Falls Church, Va., and is majoring in computer science with a minor in robotics. During her time at West Point, she has worked on multiple collaborative research projects to include using computer vision and neural networks to score dives, integrating augmented and virtual reality to facilitate better human-robot team effectiveness, and predicting phishing vulnerabilities using machine learning. Rutherford serves as a mentor and tutor for her company and participates in STEM outreach, introducing cryptography and information security to middle schoolers. Rutherford is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society, was a member of the Army Women’s Soccer Team, Canterbury Club, has received the Superintendents Award for Achievement, Superintendents Award for Excellence, Distinguished Cadet Award, and is on the Dean’s List. After graduation, Rutherford will pursue a Master of Science in information technology strategy with a concentration in data analytics. While at Carnegie Mellon, she hopes to continue researching deep learning and working with the neighboring Army Artificial Intelligence Center. After completing graduate school, Rutherford will serve as an Army Cyber Officer.

“Deep learning has grown exponentially over the past few years, with a wide variety of civilian and military uses, said Rutherford.” “I am excited to not only learn more about deep learning itself but also what the ethical implications are behind these models. I cannot wait to attend Carnegie Mellon and gain the skills that will enable me to be the best cyber officer I can be.” 

Cadet Joshua Williams is a Systems Engineering major from Frisco, Texas. Williams has utilized systems dynamics to model the racial achievement gap in K-12 schooling and has spent the past year working on a capstone project with three other cadets where they utilize deterministic modeling to remediate inefficiencies in the training pipeline for USCYBERCOM. His academic achievements include the Dean’s List, Distinguished Cadet Award, Top Gun Award in Stochastic Modelling, and the Philip J. Filippelli Award for Critical Thought. Williams is a member of the Excel Scholars Program, a dean-sponsored initiative to promote academic and professional excellence among high-performing cadets from underrepresented backgrounds. He served as the Battalion Operations NCO and Brigade Guards Officer and is currently serving as a company commander, where he is responsible for approximately 130 cadets. Upon graduation, Williams will commission as a cyber officer and hopes to eventually earn his Ph.D.

“Being a recipient of the Carnegie Melon West Point Scholarship means having the opportunity to continue my studies at one of the most elite universities in the world and gaining an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of cybersecurity and policy,” said Williams. “As a future cyber officer, I believe that studying at Carnegie Mellon University will help me with my goal to be an effective leader in the Army’s youngest branch.”

The Carnegie Mellon-West Point Scholarship provides full tuition for master’s degrees in international relations and politics, or information technology strategy, from Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Politics and Strategy.

About West Point

The U. S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. It was founded in 1802 as America's first college of engineering and continues today as the world’s premier leader-development institution, consistently ranked among top colleges in the country. Its mission remains constant—to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army. For more information, go to www.westpoint.edu.

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