“My end goal is for me to leave whatever I do in a better state than it was before. As a cyber security engineer, that means improving cyber systems and educating others about how to be safer on the internet.”
Hometown: Hampton, Iowa
Clubs and activities: Iowa Statesmen, a men’s choir on campus, for four years. I’ve also done Iowa State Theatre, the Information Assurance Student Group (IASG), oSTEM, and the Iowa State Pride Alliance.
Valuable hands-on learning experiences: The cyber security program at Iowa State has very hands-on laboratory exercises. I was able to land my internships because of the foundation these courses laid, so I’d say the cyber security classes were the most valuable because they helped me get my foot in the door.
Influential mentor: Julie Rursch, associate teaching professor of electrical and computer engineering, has developed and taught many of the core cyber security classes at Iowa State. She helped me realize and develop my passion for cyber security, and she’s been the best mentor I could ever ask for. I’ve been thankful to have been her student and teaching assistant for several years!
Greatest accomplishment: Contributing to the success of the cyber security program at Iowa State. Thanks to Julie Rursch, I’ve been a teaching assistant for three years. In that time, I’ve helped create new labs, updated and improved existing ones, helped students grow and comprehend confusing topics. Nothing is better than seeing the lightbulb turn on in somebody as they solve a challenging problem!
Plans for after graduation: I’m going to graduate with my master’s degree in cyber security in the spring of 2023, and then I’ll be working for the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia Beach.
Leaving my mark on the world: My end goal is for me to leave whatever I do in a better state than it was before. As a cyber security engineer, that means improving cyber systems and educating others about how to be safer on the internet.
Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer: I’d say that to be a Cyclone Engineer is to be a master problem-solver. A Cyclone Engineer can take problems, break them down into smaller, manageable tasks, and solve those to get to a solution. Not just in a career, but in all aspects of life!