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Tomiko Evans, a University of Maryland University College (UMUC) alumna who graduated in May with a master’s in cybersecurity technology, was honored as a cybersecurity Rising Star nominee by the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) at the organization’s 5th Annual Cyberjutsu Awards. The event, held at the Tower Club at Tysons Corner, Virginia, August 17, celebrated women who are leading change in the cyber field.

“WSC is proud to showcase women and their accomplishments in the cybersecurity field,” said Lisa Jiggetts, WSC Founder and CEO. “It gives the world a chance to see who these women are and acknowledge their efforts and contributions.”

Evans, a cybersecurity consultant with The Goal, a technology-based consulting firm specializing in providing resources to companies in the federal and commercial marketplaces, said her cousin—and an episode of CBS Television’s “The Good Wife”—originally inspired her to explore a digital-forensics-specialist career path. She ultimately decided to pursue a cybersecurity degree, she added, because she felt the discipline would help her build a pathway to a wide array of career opportunities. And, she said, as her studies progressed she discovered her particular passion and pursuit—protecting systems and information in the online world.

She credits Mansur Hasib, UMUC Graduate Cybersecurity Technology Program chair, with the mentoring and support needed to earn her degree and newfound success. “He is a ball of fire! His energy and his enthusiasm kept me going throughout each quarter when I wanted to give up," Evans said.

Now, the cyber rising star said she aims to design a cybersecurity mobile app to help educate young people about cybersecurity. Evans is also researching drone technology to “stay ahead of the game” in securing information for future data analysis.

In addition to Evans' nomination in the category of Cyber Rising Star, WSC also recognized UMUC Collegiate Professor of Cybersecurity Technology Loyce Pailen, Ph.D., in the Cyber Advocate category. Pailen, director of UMUC’s Center for Security Studies, is a longtime champion of increasing the ranks of women in cybersecurity and educating youth—especially young women and girls—about the importance of cybersecurity and the wealth of career opportunities the cyber field offers.

“If we can get young people engaged in cybersecurity at an early age, then we can introduce them to careers in the field because if students are not aware of careers, they won’t seek them,” Pailen said.