Meg Winslow is a senior, Computer Information Technology major on a Networking Track with an Information Security minor from Cincinnati, Ohio. This fall, Winslow and fellow senior Momoka won the Best Undergrad Research Poster award at the Women in Cybersecurity 2021 symposium.
What are you involved in on campus? What job experiences/internships have you had?
I was the president of Women in Cybersecurity. I have also done a lot of research work with Dr. Ankur Chattopadhyay, and we’ve been working on things for the last year-and-a-half. I did an internship with General Electric as one of their digital technology interns. And then after I graduate, I go into GE’s Digital Technology Leadership Program (DTLP), which is a really awesome program where you get to do different rotations doing different tech for them.
What experiences at NKU and through the College of Informatics do you think have prepared you for your post-graduation life?
The research opportunities I’ve had have been really beneficial. Not just about the research but also building professional relationships and networking in my professional life. Working with all of my different professors and all of their different teaching styles has really taught me how to work with all different types of people. It’s certainly helped me learn about flexibility and how to meet different types of requirements, which has been really helpful. Plus, the skills that I have built here have made me very hireable, which is encouraging, I can have any kind of career I want based on the skillset I’ve built. I’m not limited to tech either. I can work in business or communications. We work on soft skills along with the hard skills, which have given me more of a breadth, which I’ve really liked.
What kind of research did you do with Dr. Chattopadhyay?
We mostly did research on education, specifically cybersecurity education, especially given the pandemic and its effect on students. We’ve also been working on high school outreach and cybersecurity, that’s been one of our big focuses. I’ve also helped him a little with working on the cybercamps. Then I wrote an unplugged Capture the Flag that we’ve been using for our outreach program, which has given us a lot of traction.
What did this project focus on?
For the project, we used the OneUp platform to build a gamified cybersecurity curriculum so that people could study to take the network security plus exam, which is one of the cybersecurity certifications that is aimed at beginners. The exam is really expensive, so you really want to avoid going in and failing. We built that platform, and we were using it on the cybersecurity fundamentals class. We looked to see if it helped with their motivation, preparation, things like that. When Momo and I won our poster, we had only realized our poster had been accepted a few weeks before, and Momo was a total champion and really knocked it out of the park and it showed. It ended up winning.
What was the conference like?
The conference was amazing. If you’re a woman working in tech, you’re used to being a minority in some way in the room being full of men. It’s not necessarily a problem, but it feels normal, which is not good. When you go to the WiCys conference, it's almost all women. I was like "Oh, this feels good." It’s good to see women in these roles, and to see a person with a name like mine, a face like mine, someone who has walked the road I’m walking. It’s always important to see women in these higher roles.
What advice do you have for current or incoming NKU students?
Never send an emotional email. You have to take control of the things happening in your life and stop viewing them as things that are happening to you.