IT Instructor Donates Cybersecurity Contest Prize

December 05, 2019

A cybersecurity exercise has reaped a contribution to the Foundation of Wayne Community College.

Wayne Community College Information Systems Instructor Jerome Brooks participated in an online hands-on cybersecurity challenge and submitted the results to be entered into a prize drawing. His name was selected for a $1,000 grant, which he chose to present to the Foundation.

Foundation of WCC Executive Director Adrienne Northington accepts a $1,000 contribution from Information Systems Instructor Jerome Brooks. The donation was a grant Brooks had won as a result of participating in the Operation: Cyberdive cybersecurity exercise.

“The reason I wanted to donate the money to the WCC Foundation is so that it can be used to provide training for IST [Information Systems Technology] faculty and provide learning resources to be used in networking and cybersecurity classes,” Brooks said.

The company that ran the exercise and from which Brooks won the prize was impressed with his choice. One vice president called it “a very admirable gesture.”

“TestOut wishes to congratulate Jerome Brooks for winning a $1,000 grant,” said Michelle Tullis, the company’s marketing campaign manager. “From all of us here at TestOut, we hope you continue to do great things to help students in North Carolina by inspiring and training the next generation of cybersecurity defenders.”

IT instructors across the country were invited to celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month this past October by participating in an international secret agent-themed contest dubbed “Operation: Cyberdive,” Tullis explained.

“Participants could choose up to 12 secret missions. The objective was to find a secret code hidden in 12 virtual cybersecurity labs and report it to Mission Command. Some of the real-life scenario-based tasks participants accomplished in these labs are install peripherals to a PC, create a home office network, configure a DMZ, create a user account with Linux, create virtual machines, and create a honeypot with Pentbox,” she said.

The faster the participants completed the tasks, the better their chances of winning prizes.

WCC Information Systems Technology Department Chair Glenn Royster, Brooks’ supervisor, learned that Brooks had participated in the event when he inquired about whether the Foundation would take the grant as a donation.

“I’m not surprised that Jerome succeeded in Operation: Cyberdrive or by what he chose to do with his prize. He has a pattern of quietly expanding his cybersecurity skills and staying current, and a desire to broaden others’ opportunities to learn, too,” Royster said.

About TestOut
For over 28 years, TestOut has developed courseware that prepares students for industry certifications and high paying, in-demand jobs in IT and business fields. Their unique approach and innovative lab simulations allow students to develop the hands-on skills they need to get and immediately succeed on the job. In these simulations, students can put their knowledge to the test in real-world scenarios, resulting in students who are better prepared to pass exams and excel on the job. TestOut has helped over one million students acquire the skills they need to progress in their education and succeed in their careers.

About Wayne Community College
Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 11,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 140 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.