A cybersecurity exercise has reaped a contribution to the Foundation of Wayne Community College.
Wayne Community College Information Systems Instructor Jerome Brooks participated in an online hands-on cybersecurity challenge and submitted the results to be entered into a prize drawing. His name was selected for a $1,000 grant, which he chose to present to the Foundation.
“The reason I wanted to donate the money to the WCC Foundation is so that it can be used to provide training for IST faculty and provide learning resources to be used in networking and cybersecurity classes,” Brooks said.
The company that ran the exercise and from which Brooks won the prize was impressed with his choice. One vice president called it “a very admirable gesture.”
“TestOut wishes to congratulate Jerome Brooks for winning a $1,000 grant,” said Michelle Tullis, the company’s marketing campaign manager. “From all of us here at TestOut, we hope you continue to do great things to help students in North Carolina by inspiring and training the next generation of cybersecurity defenders.”
IT instructors across the country were invited to celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month this past October by participating in an international secret agent-themed contest dubbed “Operation: Cyberdive,” Tullis explained.
“Participants could choose up to 12 secret missions. The objective was to find a secret code hidden in 12 virtual cybersecurity labs and report it to Mission Command. Some of the real-life scenario-based tasks participants accomplished in these labs are install peripherals to a PC, create a home office network, configure a DMZ, create a user account with Linux, create virtual machines, and create a honeypot with Pentbox,” she said.
The faster the participants completed the tasks, the better their chances of winning prizes.
WCC Information Systems Technology Department Chair Glenn Royster, Brooks’ supervisor, learned that Brooks had participated in the event when he inquired about whether the Foundation would take the grant as a donation.
“I’m not surprised that Jerome succeeded in Operation: Cyberdrive or by what he chose to do with his prize. He has a pattern of quietly expanding his cybersecurity skills and staying current, and a desire to broaden others’ opportunities to learn, too,” Royster said.
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