She’s breaking new ground!
A Black woman just made history as the first person in Louisiana to earn a degree in cybersecurity, WLBT news reports.
Alexis White is a student at Grambling State University. Recently, she graduated with a degree in cybersecurity, becoming the first person in Louisiana to hold a degree in that major.
According to the school’s website, the Grambling State Department of Cybersecurity offers “comprehensive undergraduate level training…[tackling] cyber-related endangers, [raising] the awareness of digital data security, and promoting responsible citizenship in a changing world.”
White, who graduated from Grambling in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in biology, was chosen as a high school freshman to attend Louisiana Tech’s Cyber Security Camp and was on Ruston High School’s robotics team. She was late in her biology program when Grambling said it was creating the cybersecurity program.
“I knew I would regret it if I did not give myself the opportunity to really live out all my interests especially since I had loved science since Barney was mixing blue and yellow to make green paint,” she said.
After graduation, she will complete her Clinton Global Initiative internship classwork and later begin an apprenticeship as a cyber analyst in governance risk and compliance at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. The company provides a variety of services including audit and assurance services, regulatory services and risk and financial advisory services.
She almost didn't make it to the internship, her grandmother got sick the day she she was scheduled to interview. White planned to cancel, but decided at the last minute to go, get the internship, and surprise her grandma with the good news.
“So, the next day she actually passed away. So I didn’t get a chance to tell her but she knew what I was doing, and so after that, I got the email saying that I had gotten the position, the cybersecurity position with governance, risk, and compliance. So just to say, I am so happy that I was able to get that position and to make my family proud,” White told reporters.
White has continued to make her family, and university proud due to her hard work. Her professor says it’s amazing that she graduated from the cybersecurity program within two years.
“Even though she transferred to this department, she worked hard and had internships in a lot of other places. She participated in many programs and actually took many of my classes. So, she’s graduating, I think we are proud of her for being the first graduate,” said Dr. Yenumula Reddy, Cybersecurity Professor at GSU.
The graduate said she is excited about the historical moment and encourages everyone to use her story as inspiration.
“My journey was not easy, but it was achievable. If you can get yourself to think positively, keep going no matter the opposition, and just do it, it can be done,” she said.
Photo Courtesy of Carlton Hamlin/WLBT