December 9, 2020

Purdue University Global IT interns to benefit while supporting non-profit organization

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Global Internship Program (PGIP) provides pending Purdue University Global graduates the opportunity to participate in a virtual internship as part of the completion of their degree program.

Beginning in January, some students pursing information technology, cybersecurity, analytics and cloud computing degrees who are part of PGIP will be working with Flying HIGH, Inc. to gain experience while lending their topical knowledge to the non-profit organization in Youngstown, Ohio.

The partnership between Purdue Global and Flying HIGH, Inc. dates to August, when Flying HIGH founder Jeffrey Magada asked Purdue Global cybersecurity professor Rhonda Chicone to join his volunteer board of directors. Chicone, who is a resident of the Youngstown area, agreed to assess the organization’s information technology infrastructure and information security posture. Because of the organization’s rapid success and growth, opportunities exist for process improvements and upgrades. Chicone identified several projects that will encompass the cloud, data analytics, networking and cybersecurity for Purdue Global interns to complete.

“This is a win-win for Purdue Global and Flying HIGH,” Chicone said. “Our students will gain some highly desired real-world experience while sharing relevant knowledge on several important tasks, ranging from policy development to hands-on activities.”

Founded in 1994, Flying HIGH, Inc. offers a wide variety of community services, including job readiness and placement assistance and a professional development center. Its mission is “to help all people develop their potential and discover their destiny.”

This enterprise is intended to be a model for future matching of small businesses in need and graduating Purdue Global students seeking internships and employment in their communities or virtual positions supporting multiple organizations.

“Small businesses often lack the resources to maintain and secure their information technology infrastructure, and Purdue Global graduates can provide the expertise and solutions to support them,” said Tina Burton, associate dean for the Purdue Global School of Business and Information Technology.

Through their academic programs, Purdue Global information technology students develop a wide variety of skills that enable them to serve organizations effectively. Students can potentially do the following:

  • Evaluate an organization’s infrastructure
  • Perform an information security assessment and audit
  • Conduct vulnerability assessments
  • Recommend new technologies and designs
  • Design and develop software applications
  • Set up and optimize database systems
  • Organize and improve usage of data analytics in the organization
  • Create security awareness campaigns
  • Document standard operating policies for security
  • Develop disaster recovery/business continuity plans
  • Train employees on security practices and procedures

Purdue Global has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education for its Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity. The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and expertise in cyber defense. A significant part of the NSA/CAE designation is also to support communities, non-profit agencies and small businesses which might otherwise not have the expertise necessary to operate in a secure manner. Purdue Global maintains a Cybersecurity Center, which includes a link for outreach requests.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, enabling them to develop essential academic and professional skills with the support and flexibility they need to achieve their career goals. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global serves nearly 35,000 students (as of October 2020), most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates several regional locations nationwide. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Tom Schott, 765-427-1721,

Sources: Tina Burton,

Rhonda Chicone,

Related Release

Purdue University Global earns National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education designation

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