Two Assumption Students Selected for State Cybersecurity Mentorship Program
Assumption cybersecurity students Olivia Hulsebosch ’21 and Nicole Gomez ’21 have been chosen to join the highly selective Cybersecurity Mentorship Pilot Program, a new initiative designed to encourage and nurture a diverse group of college students to become the next generation of cybersecurity professionals in Massachusetts. Hulsebosch and Gomez are two of just 10 college students who were chosen from a pool of 60 applicants from across the state to participate in this first-of-its-kind program in Massachusetts.
“Participation in the mentorship program will undoubtedly help Olivia and Nicole understand and advance in the field of cybersecurity in innumerable ways,” said Raymond Albert, Ph.D., professor of practice and director of Assumption’s cybersecurity program. “We are extremely proud of both Olivia and Nicole for all they have done and for being recognized and accepted into this program. The fact that 20 percent of the students involved in this program are enrolled in Assumption’s cybersecurity program is a testament to the University and its dedication to preparing the next generation of cybersecurity leaders.”
According to the Cybersecurity Mentorship Pilot Program, the joint effort between MassCyberCenter at the MassTech Collaborative aims to “provide opportunities for diverse Massachusetts university students to learn about careers in cybersecurity and develop their professional networks through direct engagement with industry experts.” The goal of the program is to increase the diversity within the cybersecurity workforce in the Commonwealth, which is underrepresented among Black, Latinx, and women.
Through the Pilot Program, students will be matched with a mentor from the cybersecurity industry based on shared interests, and will meet virtually one-on-one to discuss the various career paths within cybersecurity and how to best leverage their studies to establish a career in the industry. Students and their mentors will also work together on a cybersecurity-related project, which include building, breaking, securing, and administering a virtual machine; evaluate a cybersecurity policy or procedure for a business; draft a policy recommendation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; create or evaluate a cyber-incident response plan; or develop a cyber-education and awareness product. At the end of the program, students will present their completed project at a showcase event.
Hulsebosch, a cybersecurity major from West Roxbury, has been paired with Donato Kava, who works in an MIT cybersecurity and information sciences laboratory primarily in computer architecture design and hardware-level security. Her project will attempt to survey the communication protocol between two machines and use a virtual attack to document vulnerabilities on the existing machine to later administer better protocols and build better security.
“I am thoroughly delighted to be a part of this program and to work closely with my mentor,” said Hulsebosch. “I believe that this program will help me grow as both a person and further my understanding of the field and also work on an important project that will help me demonstrate and improve my abilities.”
Gomez, a Worcester native majoring in cybersecurity with a minor in information technology, has been paired with Jackie Silverstein, director of cyber talent & education management at MassMutual, as her mentor. Together, they will work on creating a cyber-incident response plan for Assumption. “It means so much that I have been chosen to participate in this program because I can finally use the knowledge I have learned in the classroom over the years,” she said. “I’m looking forward to making great connections and even learn more about what it’s like to work in the field from my mentor. I am hopeful I will find a path to follow in the cybersecurity field.”
Assumption offers a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity that fosters innovation and encourages entrepreneurship in a digital and global economy. The bachelor’s degree program utilizes a technology-based education approach that incorporates computing, information science, engineering, social science, and technology management. Led by faculty with expertise in a variety of related fields, cybersecurity students at Assumption learn the skills needed to protect and sustain the cyberspace ecosystem. The program is complemented by the Assumption University Center for Cybersecurity to promote research and innovation in the field.