This award is designated to recognize a student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and/or contributions. Nomination consideration by professors or internship leaders.
Derek Walker > Student, Metro State University
Derek Walker is a senior in Metro State University’s Cybersecurity program, where he’s pursuing his degree while working full-time as an Information Security Analyst. His passion lies in simplifying cybersecurity for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Through his capstone project, Derek is dedicated to eliminating cost and complexity barriers, offering a clear roadmap for SMBs to implement robust cybersecurity programs.
Derek’s expertise goes beyond his academic and professional roles. He played a key role on Metro State’s CCDC team, serving as the DNS admin and creating essential scripts for tasks like critical backups, role-based firewall deployment, and red-team persistence detection.
Beyond his technical skills, Derek is a mentor, sharing his passion for Linux and cybersecurity to inspire and guide his peers in their success.
Security & Compliance Analyst, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI)
As the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute’s Security and Compliance Analyst, Naomi brings over 20 years of Systems Engineering experience together with Information Security to protect and support a variety of research data. Naomi is a strong advocate of security through teamwork to create secure policies, procedures, and solutions to achieve best outcomes in support of high performance computing and advanced research. As a student at University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute, Naomi is combining theory with practice and method to enhance her skills as a security leader.