Press Release

Coalfire Announces Richard E. Dakin Scholarship Award Winners

March 12, 2018

Fund Supports Students Training as Qualified Cybersecurity Professionals


Westminster, CO – March 12, 2018 –Coalfire, a trusted provider of cybersecurity advisory services, today announced the 2017/18 winners of the Richard E. Dakin Cybersecurity Scholarship Fund, established in December 2015, in memory of cybersecurity visionary and Coalfire co-founder Rick Dakin. Mr. Dakin was dedicated to advancing the field of cybersecurity, and the Fund carries his commitment forward through skills training and educational programs to feed the funnel of cybersecurity talent in the United States.

The Fund was established by Mr. Dakin’s family, friends and business associates following his unexpected passing in 2015. Managed by the Denver Foundation, the Fund’s mission is to provide scholarships for students who show promise in the field of cybersecurity at several leading higher-educational institutions in the United States.

“The Dakin Scholarship makes a real difference in the lives of many highly talented students who wish to pursue a career in the cybersecurity field,” said Alan Ferguson, Executive Vice President, Sales, and Co-Founder of Coalfire. “Dakin Fund scholarships are designed to identify and nurture talent, creating opportunities to help talented and capable students pursue a career in cybersecurity—students who may not have had the financial means to do so otherwise.”

“As breaches continue to escalate and the cybersecurity skills gap gets deeper and wider, the Dakin Fund supports promising students, helping to build the ranks of trained talent in the right areas to meet the demand,” said Kennet Westby, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Coalfire.

The Dakin Fund broadly supports non-profit organizations with a focus on cybersecurity education. Each institution administers its own application process and selection of scholarship recipients. To date, the Fund has provided support for scholarship programs at several universities that have demonstrated excellent cybersecurity curricula and made significant investments in the field.

Scholarship Winners

For the 2017-2018 academic year, the Dakin Fund selected five higher education institutions as recipients for scholarship grants: Georgia Institute of Technology; the University of Denver; the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; the University of Washington; and Cascadia College.

These institutions in turn awarded eight students the Richard E. Dakin Cybersecurity Scholarship for the current academic year due to their outstanding academic performance and commitment to the field of cybersecurity:

  • Sara Friedfertig, Georgia Institute of Technology
    Master of Science in Cybersecurity Candidate: Information Security (Technology) track

  • Nadia Sharifi, University of Denver
    Master of Science Candidate: Cybersecurity

  • Darien McGuirk, University of Denver
    Master of Science Candidate: Cybersecurity

  • Steve Cruz, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
    PhD in Engineering Candidate, Security

  • Dania Tanzil, University of Washington
    Master of Science Candidate: Information Management (Cybersecurity)

  • Sainzaya Batkhu, Cascadia College
    Associate of Applied Science Candidate: Networking Infrastructure

  • Christopher Megrey, Cascadia College
    Associate of Science Candidate: Computer Engineering

  • Blaise Ballew, Cascadia College
    Associate of Applied Science Candidate: Networking Infrastructure


Dakin Fund Donations:

Donations to the fund can be mailed to The Denver Foundation: Richard E Dakin Fund, 55 Madison Street, 8th Floor, Denver, CO 80206. Donations are eligible for charitable tax deduction. For wire transfers, or information about making a stock contribution, please contact The Denver Foundation.

About Coalfire

Coalfire is the cybersecurity advisor that helps private and public-sector organizations avert threats, close gaps and effectively manage risk. By providing independent and tailored advice, assessments, technical testing and cyber engineering services, we help clients develop scalable programs that improve their security posture, achieve their business objectives and fuel their continued success. Coalfire has been a cybersecurity thought leader for more than 16 years, and has offices throughout the United States and Europe.

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Press Contact:
Mike Gallo
For Coalfire