A Journey through Cyber Frontiers
B.S., Computer Science, 2025
What drew you to come work at the Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute?
My introduction to the CCI began with a summer internship working with Henry Danielson, CCI’s Technical Curriculum Developer. The internship was withthe GenCyber program, a workshop meant to boost cybersecurity education among middle and highschoolers. On a day we had some downtime, Henry told me about some of the amazing work that’s done at CCI. Later, I saw Henry working as a goon at DEFCON! He showed me around the Aerospace Village and introduced me to a variety of badge puzzles. I had a follow up conversations with Henry about CCI, and the work I witnessed and heard about at CCI seemed incredibly interesting and impactful. So, when I was deciding on a part-time job for the school year, CCI was at the top of my list!
What interests you about cybersecurity or technology?
My interest in cybersecurity first began in high school with an introductory cybersecurity class and through participating in capture-the-flag (CTF). Before long, I was hooked! I got involved in CyberStart America’s CTF, and I eventually competed in and won their competition. One thing led to another and soon I had my first GIAC certification!
Various things since then have reinforced my interest in cybersecurity, such as helping at CPSEC immersing myself in h4xor culture, as well as badge life at DEFCON. All this combined led to me being a perfect match with CCI.
What have you been working on at the Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute? And what skills have you learned or applied during your tenure?
Even though I only recently began my tenure at CCI, I’ve already become involved in numerous interesting projects involving working on 5G, Python programming, cyber forensics, prompt engineering, and cryptology!
Most notable of the work I have done at CCI has involved the deployment of a full-scale version of CCI’s Space Grand Challenge (SGC) infrastructure, and the development of a competition challenge that simulates a satellite constellation attack. The satellite challenge was created on the sameSTK software from AGI used by NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, the DoD, and more!
In addition to modeling a telecommunications network with STK, I’ve also learned to use AWS tools and resources critical to cloud architecting and SGC infrastructure management.
How does the Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute fit in your future career?
Cal Poly CCI is just the beginning of my career in cybertechnology, providing a steppingstone for me making connections, learning valuable skills, and guiding me to greater pursuits. Using the training I’ve done so far; I’m looking forward to getting another certification under my belt and advancing my career. Combine this with the entrepreneurial spirit that drove me to create my own business; I'm prepared for most anything a career in cybersecurity holds for me!
This student profile was written and edited by Henry Danielson and Parker McKenzie.