Outstanding Graduate, Fall 2023
After graduating from Eastern Arizona College with an associate degree in computer information specialist, David Lee wanted to attend a four-year school where he could surround himself with others passionate about cybersecurity. He found that opportunity when transferring to the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.
“Everyone who’s involved in this program is here because they want to be,” Lee says of the Information Technology program in The Polytechnic School. “I never had a professor who wasn’t excited to hear about a student’s extracurricular project or activity.”
One thing Lee will take from his experience in the Fulton engineering community is the dedicated people.
“I think of all the ambitious people who are eager to learn, build and grow,” Lee says. “I never would have imagined meeting so many role models in one place. I enjoy surrounding myself with people who are smarter than me in a topic because it allows me to learn from them and challenge myself.”
For two years, Lee competed on ASU’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition team where they qualified for regionals and secured a third-place position to top-rated Stanford’s second place.
“It was an amazing opportunity to sharpen my skills while making close friends,” Lee says. “I will keep those medals for the rest of my life.”
Lee credits Information Technology Program Chair Tatiana Walsh’s guidance as critical to his growth at ASU.
“She brings experience from her esteemed career to the classroom and is always going the extra mile,” Lee says. “From tailoring lectures to a particular class’s learning style to organizing events like AWS Jam so students can hone their skills, Dr. Walsh sets her students up for success.”
After graduation, Lee will work full-time as a cybersecurity analyst at a social impact investment firm in Phoenix.
“In cybersecurity, incident response can be tedious,” Lee says. “I want to build solutions that will automate this process to make organizations safer.”