The Girl Scouts program has long prepared young women to be leaders in any field. Cybersecurity is no exception.
More than 50 girls from throughout Inland Empire expanded their cyber skills at the Junior Girl Scout Cyber Camp, held November 2 at Moreno Valley College.
Booz Allen Hamilton sponsored the event, which was a partnership between the San Gorgonio Council of Girl Scouts of America, Moreno Valley College, and the Moreno Valley Unified School District. The camp was coordinated by Cyber-Guild Academic Relations Manager Donna Woods.
Shawn Monsen never imagined that getting laid off from HP in 2007 would turn out to be one of the best things that happened in his career. He made a career change into teaching and found what he describes as his true calling.
Over the past decade, Monsen has become an inspiring teacher and a leader in California’s cybersecurity education efforts. He is a full-time professor at Sierra College, a position he assumed in 2018 after working part-time for several different colleges.
He likens teaching to parenting — you don’t know anything at first and, as a result, tend to be overly strict. Over time, you loosen up and feel more comfortable.
“Instead of focusing on everything, including the things that don’t matter, you learn to focus on the important stuff,” Monsen said. “What I’ve found is that the important stuff is establishing relationships, creating rapport and trust with students.”
Monsen is a firm believer in “cradle to grave” education and is involved with efforts throughout the region to build cybersecurity pathways for middle and high school students. He coaches cyber competition teams and helps organize cyber summer camps at Sierra College.
“One of the very first things I started doing at Sierra College was start coaching summer cyber camps,” Monsen said. “The pathway starts with camps, outreach, and programs like dual enrollment with middle/high school, then progresses to programs at two-year colleges, then articulation agreements with four-year colleges and into the workforce with high-paying jobs.”
Outside of teaching, Monsen led the process for achieving Center of Academic Excellence designation from the National Security Agency. This designation brings industry recognition and credibility to Sierra’s cybersecurity program, and to the students who graduate from the program. Sierra is only one of five community colleges in California with this designation
Monsen has also taken the lead on creating the IT Technician pathway and creating articulation agreements between community and four-year colleges. He sees this work as an opportunity to make an impact that extends beyond Sierra College.
“The work I’m doing for the Chancellor’s office allows me to impact a lot more students on a statewide basis,” he said.
Monsen hopes to apply the success he had with articulation agreements to create a statewide model for apprenticeships and work programs. He sees these opportunities as critical pieces of the cybersecurity education pathway.
Markus Geissler, regional director for Information Communication Technology and Digital Media in Greater Sacramento, worked with Monsen on CAE designation at Sierra College and articulation agreements in the region. He said Monsen’s work to advance cybersecurity education across California has undoubtedly earned him the Cyber Hero designation.
“While just achieving the CAE designation makes him somewhat of a Cyber Hero, the whole of what he does for the ICT/DM sector in the area of Cybersecurity certainly has earned him that title,” Geissler said.
Though he’s had a wide-ranging career, Monsen does not plan to stop any time soon. He recently received an offer to go back to the corporate world but turned it down because he’s found his place in the classroom.
“When I’m in the classroom, there isn’t any place else I would rather be,” he said. “At this stage in my life, it’s more important to make a difference than it is to make money. I’m so grateful that I got laid off because it opened the door to more rewarding, fulfilling opportunities.”
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
Essential Website Cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds: