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Women’s History Month

Valdosta State University Information Technology wants to thank all of our female IT workers and celebrate the accomplishments of all women. The VSU IT Communication and Support Department has created a ‘Then and Now’ presentation that highlights the achievements of influential women in STEM and some of our female IT staff.

*Due to restraints of the blog website the links on the presentation are not able to be clicked. They have been added below for ease of access.
Ada Lovelace –
Florence Nightingale –
Grace Hopper –
Hedy Lamarr –
Joan Clarke –
Katherine Johnson –
Roberta Bondar –
Radia Perlman –


fireworks above West Hall

Follow your arrow, wherever it points.
—Kacey Musgraves

Graduates, the past four years have been filled with triumphs, disappoints, lessons, and reassurances. You’ve accomplished something many cannot say that they have, and have built connections not even time can break. Thank you for the time you have spent with us and the memories that were created. And remember, December 14th, 2019 will not be known as the end, but the beginning.

Congratulations are in order for…

Stephen Levi Johnson

After graduation, Levi will be working in film in either North or South Georgia.

John Pittard

After graduation, John plans to find a job in Athens and move there with his fiancé.

Chase Perry

After graduation, Chase will be entering Georgia Tech’s Master of Science in Computer Science with a focus on Interactive Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Davina Hurt

After graduation, Davina plans on entering an internship in Atlanta, GA or Los Angeles, CA.

Guanghui Li

After graduation, Guanghui plans to work as a web developer to enhance his skills and then change his focus to software development.

Jimmy Dao

After graduation, Jimmy plans to move to Orlando to start the Disney College Internship program.

Rachel Martin

After graduation, Rachel plans to chase after the SHRM-CP Certification and MBA.

Alfred Stanley

After graduation, Alfred plans to obtain certifications and try to work in Information Technology wherever the opportunity rises.

Jacquelynn Trapani

Simeon Branch

Mercedes Myles

Sierra Hamilton

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of Fall 2019!

Personnel Spotlight: Cathy Sowa

Person smiling in front of body of water

U.S. Cyber FastTrack Finalist!

CATHY SOWA, an information security associate at Valdosta State University, recently participated in the 2019 U.S. Cyber FastTrack competition and is among the 100 finalists who were awarded a $22,000 scholarship to attend the SANS Technology Institute’s undergraduate certificate program in Applied Cybersecurity.

Inaugurated earlier this year as part of the Governors Cyber Skills Program, in which Georgia is one of 28 participating states, Cyber FastTrack provides interested college students free online cybersecurity training that is designed to launch their careers in the cybersecurity field. Through a three-stage progressive approach, participants of the highly-competitive scholarship program had to solve over 250 cybersecurity challenges. Sowa, among the other finalists who represented 63 colleges across the nation, outperformed more than 13,000 students.

The duly-earned scholarship award allows Sowa the opportunity to complete three advanced immersion courses in the SANS Applied Cybersecurity program, a Middle-States accredited college certificate program. She will also be able to obtain the professional GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) associated with each course. GIAC certifications are branded as the ‘highest and most rigorous assurance of cyber security knowledge and skill available to industry, government, and military clients.’

Cybersecurity is a fast-growing field where the demand for skilled workers surpasses the current supply. These winners will set a new, high bar for candidates for entry-level positions and demonstrate to employers that Cyber FastTrack graduates are the among the best prepared and most effective new cybersecurity employees they have ever hired. – Alan Paller, President of SANS Technology Institution

Based on the success of these recipients, Paller plans to make the Cyber FastTrack program available to all students in every 4-year and community college in the United States with the goal of closing the nation’s cybersecurity skills gap within the next 48 months. – Source: SANS press article

Registration for the next Cyber FastTrack competition opens March 2020.

Sowa currently holds certifications from CompTIA in networking (Network+) and cybersecurity (Security+) and from Cisco in cyber operations (CyOps). In August 2019, she earned the EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification, which assesses skill sets in penetration testing and defense of networks, computers, and web applications. Sowa is also completing a master’s degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Cybersecurity at Middle Georgia State University.

Both the online graduate program at Middle Georgia State and the SANS Technology Institute certificate program mesh perfectly with my role at Valdosta State, where the Information Security team focuses on building relationships with our strategic partners in the campus community to protect our technology systems. At the completion of these programs, I hope to mentor future cybersecurity professionals and perhaps become a cybersecurity course instructor. – Cathy Sowa 

VSU Division of Information Technology strives to provide services and technologies that allow our employees and students to work and learn in a more secure and engaging environment. As an integral member of the Division’s Information Security team, Sowa uses her advanced knowledge to help protect the University’s digital information in the face of an ever-changing risk environment.

To learn more about VSU Information Security, please visit our site at

To read SANS press article: 100 U.S. National Cyber FastTrack Winners Announced Today, Each Winner Receives $22,000 Scholarships to Launch Their Cybersecurity Careers, visit





I Caught You Caring

I Caught You Caring

I Caught You Caring: August 2019

A Candle loses nothing by lighting another Candle – James Keller

The “I Caught You Caring” program was developed in 2004 as part of the Partners for Campus Excellence initiative. The program was developed to acknowledge those individuals who provide exceptional service. As one member of the implementation committee states, the goal is “to encourage and reward employees who go out of their way to make that personal connection with the people they are here to help.”

Last month, four of our own were recipients of this lovely honor:

Tyler Angelier, IT

The Solutions Center is always looking for opportunities to improve operational efficiency with technology and Mr. Tyler Angelier has done an amazing job providing us applications tailored to the needs and goals of our team. Tyler meets our app specifications and he goes above and beyond to ensure our tools are both sustainable and intuitive. Thank you, Tyler for working hard to make our jobs easier and for being available to assist even during this busy time of year.

Wade Bugby, IT

I have had the pleasure of working with Wade multiple times in the last month on two projects. He is consistent, cheerful, and has managed a quick turnaround for every request. His responsiveness has played a major role in helping my team meet our project goals.

Wes Duke, IT

Wes has always provided the necessary information and service when I have requested assistance. This week, I was struggling to work out the technical details for a project with an upcoming deadline, and he was able to set up an operating system image for testing within a few minutes of my request after discussing possible options for configuration. I truly appreciate his work.

David Pulliam, IT

I would like to commend David Pulliam not only for today but for all of the times we have worked with him for assistance on new or on-going projects. He always listens intently, provides helpful feedback and suggestions, and genuinely cares to get you the best help he and IT can provide. He has never complained or dismissed any requests, but always tries to gain a better understanding of the desired end result and provide a solution. If he can’t provide one immediately he gives you a temporary alternative and updates on progress, until he can resolve the issue, which he does in a timely manner. It is always a pleasure to work with him, and yes that is his job, but the attitude and respectful manner in which he does it is exemplary and always appreciated.

Congratulations Spring 2019 Graduates!

fireworks above West Hall

The future holds no promises, but rather mysteries and surprises. What you’ve learned will prepare you for both. Congratulations and all the best for the future!




Graduates, the past four years have been filled with triumphs, disappoints, lessons, and reassurances. You’ve accomplished something many cannot say that they have, and have built connections not even time can break. Thank you for the time you have spent with us and the memories that were created. And remember, May 11th, 2019 will not be known as the end, but the beginning.

Congratulations are in order for…

CARA SMITH – Mass Media Major

Cara has worked for IT since 2016. Her plans after graduation are to go back to Jacksonville and work until another offer at DC is open.

ROHAN JONES – Mass Media Major

Rohan has worked for IT since 2016. His plans after graduation are to continue with IT in Austin, Texas.


NASTASSIA IDAHOSA – Communications Major

Nastassia has worked for IT since 2018. After graduation, she is moving to Colorado to start the next chapter of her life.

MARCO COLASITO – Computer Science Major

Marco has worked for IT since 2017. After graduation, he is planning on going to Graduate School for Cyber Security.

SUZANNE SMITH – Organizational Leadership with a Minor in Healthcare

After Graduation, Suzanne wants to get her Master’s degree in Business Administration or in Public Health.

DOMINIQUE ADKINS – Computer Information Systems

After Graduation, he wants to stay in Valdosta for a few years to get other certifications.

TYLER ANGELIER – Computer Information Systems

After graduation, he wants to stay in Valdosta for a few years to get other certifications.

MALIK HORTON – Mass Media Major

Malik has worked for IT since 2016. After Graduation, he plans to go back to Jacksonville and work until he has another offer with DC.

EJIRO IDAHOSA – Mathematics Major

After graduation, he will be moving to Colorado.

SHAMEICA CARTER – Office Administration Technology Major

Shameica has worked for IT since 2016. After graduation, she will be looking for a job.

HARLAN HARRIS – Computer Information System Major

Harlan has worked for IT since 2018. After graduation,he will continue to work at his Information Security Intern for this summer then get a job at Atlanta or Tampa in Cyber Security.


Congratulations to the Graduating Class of Spring 2019!


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