Black American woman becomes the first to hold a cybersecurity degree in Louisiana. The stereotype that comes with enrolling in the white-dominated field is real. Many black communities have desisted from enrolling in some courses because of fear of being discriminated against when looking for employment. Nevertheless, the likes of Mrs. White have disapproved of such stereotypes by excelling.
Alexis White attended cyber camps as a child when her mother was stationed in the Air Force. She developed an interest in cybersecurity while she was there. After a few years, White has made history in Louisiana by being the first person to receive a cybersecurity degree.
According to WLBT, White said, “My journey was not pleasant, but it was doable. It can be achieved if you can bring yourself to think positively, keep going about the resistance, and do it.”
Alexis Changes her Major
White initially enrolled in Grambling State University’s biology program even though she was a Ruston High School robotics team member. During her freshman year at Grambling, she participated in Louisiana Tech’s Cyber Security Camp.
Along the way, the university launched its cybersecurity curriculum, and White, recognizing she was interested in the area, decided to change her major from biology to cybersecurity, even though she would have to do twice as much work if she wanted to graduate.
According to the school’s website, the Grambling State Department of Cybersecurity provides comprehensive undergraduate level training, tackling cyber-related endangerments, creating awareness of digital data protection, and fostering responsible citizenship in a changing world.
Excitement and Success
Her professors, who were overjoyed by her progress, couldn’t help but celebrate, particularly because she crammed the course in two years and graduated.
“Despite the fact that she moved to this department, she worked hard and completed internships in a variety of locations. She took part in a variety of activities and even took some of my lessons. So, she’s graduating, and I think we’re all proud of her for being the first,” said Dr. Yenumul, Cybersecurity Professor at GSU.
The STEM enthusiast poured her heart and soul into her new program, even going on job placements while enrolled. She is also yet to finished her Clinton Global Initiative internship classwork, which she nearly skipped due to her grandmother’s illness.
White considered canceling her interview for an apprenticeship as a cyber-analyst in governance, risk, and enforcement at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited on the day of the interview but chose to go and make her grandmother and family proud. She was offered the internship, but she learned that her grandmother had died when she returned home.