alumni - College of Engineering & Computer Science


MS cybersecurity alumni benefit from online degree option

The University of Tulsa’s master of science in cybersecurity online program graduated its first two students in December 2019, and both alumni are using the valuable new graduate degree to enrich their careers and contribute to Oklahoma’s security industry.

The MS online cybersecurity degree is designed for today’s working professional who is interested in taking his or cyber career to new heights. The entire curriculum is offered online but students have the option to attend a week of immersive courses on campus, involving hands-on training with faculty. Students can complete the flexible program in 24 months while continuing their full-time job responsibilities.

Learn more about TU’s online M.S. in cybersecurity degree.

What distinguishes TU’s online cyber graduate degree from similar programs is the fact that courses are taught by nationally respected cybersecurity experts who have earned the highest degrees in their field. These specialists regularly engage in critical research projects on a global scale while ensuring online students receive the same level of quality instruction as those students learning in a traditional classroom setting.

cybersecurity alumniJon Clemenson works for 10th Magnitude in Tulsa, a company that helps organizations establish and manage their IT infrastructures using Microsoft’s public cloud, Azure. “We cost effectively manage, operate and secure our customer’s infrastructure in Azure.” he explained.

Clemenson served 11 years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force and earned his undergraduate degree from Park University, a satellite campus for military students in Parkville, Missouri. When he learned of TU’s online graduate program, he took advantage of the opportunity to glean expertise from the faculty. “Some of the classes were technical and others took a more general approach to the security field,” Clemenson said. “The psychology courses led by Professor Brummel involved an interesting perspective on the field of cybersecurity and provided an opportunity to align technical topics with business priorities.”

After more than a decade of military service that prepared him for a career on the “outside” through leadership experiences and solid technical training, Clemenson said his TU education was icing on the cake. “I want to use my master’s degree as a springboard to keep learning, collaborate with others in the community, grow professionally.” he stated. “Cybersecurity is my passion and where I want to focus in the future.”

Aaron Arneson was hired as a U.S. Air Force civilian employee at Tinker A.F.B. in Oklahoma City after completing his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. He said TU’s cyber education designations from the National Security Agency were appealing, and the convenient online curriculum fit his busy work schedule. “I enjoyed the interactive labs where faculty provided virtual machines for hands-on learning,” Arneson explained.

Responsive professors and the weeklong summer courses offered on campus highlighted his TU experience, allowing him to focus on penetration testing, vehicle security and cyber operations using the university’s closed Institute for Information Security (iSEC) network. “Professor Moore added an economic factor to our perspective of cybersecurity, and I’d never considered or encountered that before,” Arneson said. “I have a couple of cybersecurity certifications, and this degree helped me reinforce that foundational information. It’s a great program that introduces ways to look at cybersecurity in a different light.”

True Inclusion: Senior Rachel Deeds is Building Space for Women in STEM

Engineering and other STEM fields can be a boy’s club, but mechanical engineering senior Rachel Deeds is working to make sure women have a strong future in STEM. As a student at The University of Tulsa, Deeds rose quickly through the ranks in the Society of Women Engineers, interned for national organizations during the summer and worked tirelessly to create space and opportunity for other women and girls interested in engineering.

Finding her own role models

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Deeds was a little hesitant when she first became interested in STEM and had to find her own role models. One of these was her father, teaching her to fix things as a child. “He was a stay at home dad who was consistently working on a ton of different projects. I really got to experience giving back to the community in fixing things with him. He inspired me to go against the stereotype and pursue my interests in that,” she said. Deeds also looked up to the great history of women in STEM who went against the grain and innovated in their fields. This would lead her to a major in mechanical engineering at TU, with a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas, Deeds visited the campus several times when deciding where to finally attend school. In every visit, Deeds was blown away by how welcoming and nice people were at TU. This supportive environment along with the opportunities in her program would eventually help her move on to so much more.

Find out more about UTulsa’s STEM programs.

Internship Success

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During summer breaks, Deeds landed internships with national companies that would help build her résumé and refine her interests. Deeds distinguished herself at Caterpillar, working as the only engineer on a team of business students. “It was kind of challenging at first, being that unique perspective,” Deeds reflected, but she didn’t let it discourage her.

One of the accomplishments Deeds was most proud of at Caterpillar was creating workflow, defining process maps that are still utilized by the company today. “Whenever a new product came online, I mapped out the who what and when,” she explained. Her initiative and talent set her apart in her internships. These qualities would also make her a leader at TU, and eventually in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Check out how Career Services can help you find an internship like Rachel.

Leading the way for women in STEM

Rachel Deeds, women in STEMAttending the Annual SWE Conference in Philadelphia, Deeds had the opportunity to network and connect with other women in STEM fields. “As a prospective college student, I didn’t want to be the only one in my position,” Deeds said. “I looked for a way to give back to students like me.” This experience inspired Deeds to pursue a leadership position within SWE and she was eventually elected president of the TU SWE chapter.

Get connected with the UTulsa chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.

Deeds’ work in the community doesn’t stop there. She also worked with Make a Difference Engineering at TU (MADE AT TU) to design and build therapeutic devices to help special needs students in Tulsa and was selected as an SWE Future Leader, the first TU student to hold that position. As an SWE Future Leader, Deeds acted as an exponent for SWE, sharing her experience and inspiring young women around the country to become the engineers of the future.

With people like Rachel Deeds leading the way, the future for women in STEM is bright.