Computing and its societal impact have become great passions of mine. My interest in computing was first stoked as a child when my father was NCOIC at a U.S. Air Force data processing center. Occasionally, he would take me to work with him, where I spent great amounts of time staring at towering reel-to-reel tape drives: a sight that could keep me captivated for an eternity. Though those tape drives no longer spin, the captivation with computing never ended.
It was upon graduating that I began 14 years of education at Louisiana Tech University. The first seven years was spent as an indecisive undergraduate student going back and forth between Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Five years into my studies, I was growing frustrated with my progress and attending part-time in order to also work. Despite battling several years of frustration and apathy, I persevered to complete my B.S. in Computer Science, and promptly resolved that I would never subject myself to higher education again.
Seven months following graduation, I was hired by the College of Education to serve as Information Technology Coordinator. In that position I have spent seven (plus) years at Louisiana Tech University managing technology and contributing to an institution of higher education. Through direct work with social scientists and their research, I learned more about social sciences and began thinking about how they relate to my own field.
This exposure to social sciences has helped set the trajectory of my academic career. In 2013, having moved beyond my original feelings for the classroom, I returned to school through Norwich University’s online Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance program. When asked to propose a research topic I chose behavioral risk assessment in information security; particularly for the purpose of identifying insider threats.
That topic opened my mind to question after question at the nexus of information security, education, and psychology. Particularly, how to address the human element of information security. This led me to the University of North Texas’s Ph.D. program in Learning Technologies, where I am currently completing my last year of coursework as a doctoral student.