Cybersecurity Talent Initiative Participants

COHORT 2

Cybersecurity Talent Initiative Participants: Cohort 2

The participants in the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative’s second class bring a variety of academic and professional experience to the federal government. These recent graduates will serve a two-year fellowship at seven federal agencies before applying for a job with one of the initiative’s corporate partners. Read their bios below to learn more about where each participant is placed, their experience and background and their motivation for working in the field of cybersecurity.

Adjua Lake

Graduating Academic Institution: University at Albany

Placement: Army Cyber Command

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Degree: Cybersecurity

“I was motivated to pursue this cross-sector opportunity because I want to take a deeper dive into cybersecurity and the real world consequences of cyber attacks.”

Akosua Nsowah

Graduating Academic Institution: George Washington University

Placement: State Department

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Degree: Cybersecurity

“Passion to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure and tighten its cybersecurity posture is what caused me to pursue this cross-sector opportunity.”

Benjamin Quinn

Graduating Academic Institution: Florida Atlantic University

Placement: United States Secret Service

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Degree: Computer Engineering

“I hope to gain a solid foundation in cybersecurity best practices, which I believe is best achieved by doing a little bit of everything. Cybercrime is a serious and escalating problem, and I would like to do something about it.”

Cherrylita Turner

Graduating Academic Institution: George Washington University

Placement: United States Coast Guard

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Degree: Cybersecurity Policy and Compliance

“Cybersecurity is a mission critical field that can provide endless training possibilities. I am looking forward to diversifying my skills through this cross sector opportunity.”

Daniel Embry

Graduating Academic Institution: George Washington University

Placement: United States Coast Guard

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Degree: Cybersecurity

“I enjoy that cybersecurity is a constantly changing field that is going to require me to keep learning.”

Emely Toledo Cruz

Graduating Academic Institution: George Washington University

Placement: Census Bureau, Office of Information Security

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Degree: Cybersecurity

“My motivation to pursue a career in cybersecurity is that I know this is a field dominated by mostly males, and as a first-generation Latina woman I want to make my mark and inspire those that come after me.”

Frederico Colon 

Graduating Academic Institution: George Washington University

Placement: State Department

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Degree: Cybersecurity Policy and Compliance

“The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative Fellowship interests me because it gives an opportunity to serve the United States on the frontline of cybersecurity. It also provides an opportunity to apply my cybersecurity skills learned in graduate school by pairing me with a federal agency. In addition to this, I will be able to build my cybersecurity network though my colleagues, mentor and cohort which will be invaluable as I enter into the field.”

Jayro Espino

Graduating Academic Institution: Metropolitan State University of Denver

Placement: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

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Degree: Cybersecurity

“Cybersecurity is a challenging and ever-changing field. I desire a challenging career that requires me to adapt to change and be a continual learner. There are opportunities to serve organizations who need resilient cybersecurity professionals. I want to be a part of the solution to emerging cyber threats.”

Jillene Vannostrand

Graduating Academic Institution: Western Governors University

Placement: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Degree: Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

“I believe a career in cybersecurity will keep me engaged and captivated and give me the opportunity to help others develop greater security awareness.”

Joseph Roesch

Graduating Academic Institution: George Mason University

Placement: United States Coast Guard

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Degree: Information Technology

“It has been a dream of mine to be a defender of the defenseless. This career allows me to use my brain and understanding, as well as my commitment to continue to learn and grow, to pursue that.”

Laurence Pagan

Graduating Academic Institution: George Washington University

Placement: State Department

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Degree: Cybersecurity Policy and Compliance

“I enjoy a mission that provides security.”

Marji Symmonds

Graduating Academic Institution: Oregon State University- Cascades

Placement: United States Coast Guard

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Degree: Computer Science

“I am passionate about doing work that benefits society, and this program offers a unique opportunity to experience both the private and public sector. I am hoping to see where I best fit and continue to grow my leadership and technical skills.”

Maurice Prunty

Graduating Academic Institution: Walden University

Placement: State Department

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Degree: Information System Security and Information System Management

“I hope to learn as much information regarding cybersecurity as possible and help the people within my community that do not have the know-how or the knowledge to protect themselves.”

Michael Austin

Graduating Academic Institution: West Virginia University

Placement: United States Coast Guard

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Degree: Computer science- cybersecurity

“This experience gives me the best chance to grow as a cybersecurity operator as I exit college and protect critical infrastructure in our nation from potentially advanced adversaries.”

Nicholas Di Maurio

Graduating Academic Institution: William and Mary

Placement: Department of Health and Human Services

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Degree: Computer science

“My degree mainly focused on software development and teamwork strategies with very little regard as to how to keep the things that we make safe. Taking my first cybersecurity course brought to light how simple it can be to exploit certain features and piqued my interest as to what can be done to mitigate these kinds of attacks that were never focused on while studying for my degree.”

Olivia Janssen

Graduating Academic Institution: Dakota State University

Placement: Federal Bureau of Investigation

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Degree: Network Security and Cyber Leadership

“For me it’s all about taking in and learning as much new information as possible. This field is constantly changing so you always have something exciting to learn.”

Ramatu Mohammed

Graduating Academic Institution: Fordham University

Placement: State Department

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Degree: Cybersecurity

“Cybersecurity is a field that offers unlimited growth. It is truly a field where learning never stops, as it is continuous as it is ever-changing. I know I will always be challenged and engaged throughout my career in cybersecurity.”

Ryan Walsh

Graduating Academic Institution: Indiana University Bloomington

Placement: State Department

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Degree: Cybersecurity Risk Management & Political Science

“Cybersecurity’s multidisciplinary nature, fast pace, and need for qualified candidates brought me to it. I have also always wanted to pursue a career in national security and cybersecurity is an intriguing field within that.”

Sammy Noman

Graduating Academic Institution: George Mason University

Placement: State Department

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Degree: Information Assurance and Security- Applied Cybersecurity

“I am hoping to start my cybersecurity career by helping protect the nation’s security infrastructure. What motivates me to pursue this opportunity is the ability to work on multiple and challenging projects.”

Sangeetha Ranadeeve

Graduating Academic Institution: University of Houston

Placement: State Department

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Degree: Management Information Systems and Supply Chain Management

“This program had all the things I was looking for as a new graduate: support, mentors, and a community of career-oriented professionals. Since cybersecurity is a constantly changing landscape, I know that I will be constantly learning new things and facing new challenges.”