Two of five finalists for the award are African Americans with current affiliations at American universities. James Hannaham is an associate professor of humanities and media studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and Julie Iromuanya is an assistant professor of English and Africana literature at Arizona State University.
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The Endowed Chair in Internet of Things Security was established by a $1 million grant from the Maryland Department of Commerce. The first holder of the endowed chair will be Kevin T. Kornegay, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Morgan State.