Meet James Read.
He came to Tidewater Community College as an adult learner with a computer science degree from James Madison University.
After working as a help desk technician, and also doing residential electrical work and home security installations, he wanted more.
“I came to TCC looking for a career transition into cybersecurity. I see this as a national security issue,” Read said. “With Ransomeware attacks on the rise and shutdowns like the Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds, it’s easy to see the growing need for trained cyber professionals.”
While at TCC, Read earned a Career Studies Certificate in Cyber Security. Thanks to the credits he earned while completing his bachelor’s degree, he is now at work on a master’s in cybersecurity at Old Dominion University.
Read is one of three TCC students to receive the National Science Foundation CyberCorps Scholarship for Service. The scholarship will cover tuition and fees for his master’s degree.
The scholarship includes a generous stipend, book allowance and professional development funds. When he graduates, Read will work in a federal agency doing cyber work for at least three years.
“I definitely had an advantage coming to TCC with a computer science degree, but the classes I took at TCC built skills I didn’t have,” Read said
While at TCC Read was president of the Cybersecurity Club, an organization he also credits for adding to his learning.
“During the pandemic, we went virtual but kept on leaning together. I think being part of the club helped with the transition to online learning,” he added.
“When learning together it’s important to know that you’re not competing with the people around you. You can succeed at your own pace as long as you do the work,” Read said.
Read sends a shoutout to faculty members Joel Kirch and Gregg Tennefoss for the mentoring and hands-on learning they facilitated. He added, “I had so many opportunities at TCC and was pleased with the quality of my cyber education.”