Undergraduate institutions and degrees
Morgan State University – Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

Graduate institutions and degrees
UMBC – Master of Science

Hometown – City, State, and Country (if not the U.S.)
Fort Washington, Maryland

Area of Focus
Cybersecurity Law

Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress

Job title
Staff Assistant

What was the topic of your capstone project? Why did you choose that topic? What did you learn?
My capstone topic was expanding diversity in the federal cybersecurity workforce. This topic is both relevant to the field and one of my core values. As cyber threats emerge and the need for a deeper cybersecurity workforce becomes greater, it is vital, both for American security and commerce, to utilize diversity to better respond to these threats with a wider array of ideas and vantage points while simultaneously growing the talent pool with students of color (through HBCUs and other institutions) and those minority groups that historically might not look to cybersecurity as a career path.

Finish this sentence: I could not have gotten through the MSL program without…
the support of my family, friends, and colleagues. All of their input in various ways has meant so much to me. Without their love, chats, counsel, encouraging words, and impromptu laughs, my MSL journey would not have been complete. I’m incredibly grateful to have their unbridled support.

Who was your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor was Professor Rauschecker. He has been both a professor and a mentor to me. I have been able to pull from his wisdom both in the classroom via reviewing papers with tremendous feedback and as a cyber professional via ongoing career advice.

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite classes were the “Law and Policy of Cyber Crimes” and my Cybersecurity Capstone course. The Law and Policy of Cyber Crimes course opened my eyes to the many cyber threats that are currently faced. My Cybersecurity Capstone course allowed me to focus more time and energy on two things that I enjoy: substantive research and brainstorming ways to improve the policy end of cybersecurity. Both courses have uniquely equipped me with an added insight into an evolving world that is interdependent on strong cybersecurity practices.

How will you use what you learned in the MSL program?
I plan to use what I have learned in the MSL program to advance my budding career as a cybersecurity professional on Capitol Hill and throughout the federal workforce.

Write a message. (1,000 character limit)
To all of those who have assisted me in my Cyber MSL journey, thank you so much! Words cannot express how much you all mean to me, but I’ll try my hand at it anyway.

To my parents, my brother, family and close friends, please know that the time you have allowed me to sacrifice this past year and a half is already producing success (and much more to come). You are forever my rock and I love you all for it!

To my esteemed collegues at the Congressional Research Service and the Library of Congress, I’m truly humbled by your outpouring of advice, encouraging words, draft/peer reviews, recomendation letters, and even a surprise party. Please know that I count it both an honor and privilege to be a part of the team.

To all my professors, thank you for your unparalleled expertise and sage advice. The knowledge and research experience I have gained is impossible without your guidance and input.

To all of you, wherever the road ahead may lead, I hope I continue to make you proud. – Joe D.