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Augusta University's Brooklyn Holthaus plays in a volleyball match Sept. 10 against Belmont Abbey College at the University of South Carolina-Aiken Convocation Center in Graniteville, South Carolina. [Photo by Rob Davis]

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Dual major and athlete finds passion for digital forensics

Augusta University cybersecurity student Brooklyn Holthaus was recruited to play volleyball with the Jaguars, but wasn’t sure what program of study she really wanted.

She never even stepped foot on the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences’ Riverfront Campus before arriving for her freshman year.

“I wanted to at least know they had a few options I had interest in, then having cybersecurity, it piqued my interest a bit more,” said Holthaus. “When I did decide to come here and I found out what I really wanted to do, that’s when I chose cybersecurity.”

Her choice didn’t come without hesitation.

“It’s very intimidating because I didn’t know a ton about it coming into the degree and program. Also, there’s not many females in the field. As I started getting some information under me and getting my feet under me, I felt stronger in my abilities.”

Holthaus is an outgoing, active person, and when she got into digital forensics in her studies, the field interested her even more.

“I seem to be a very hands-on oriented student, and that’s how I learn best. So a lot of it was simulated labs and putting us into the digital forensic environment that give us scenarios and situations where we’re actually trying to figure out in an investigation what’s going on.”

Holthous is a senior and said classes with Dr. Paul York and Dr. Todd Schultz stood out to her. She was able to connect with the two professors, and if she had any questions or problems, they were available and made the experience “truly one to remember.”

If she wasn’t challenged enough by cybersecurity and volleyball, a year and a half ago, Holthaus decided to pursue a dual major in public relations at Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. She feels PR and cyber go hand-in-hand.

“I wanted to give the cybersecurity a different spin — so not only do I have knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity, I also know how to speak it and teach it and communicate it to others.”

Being a dual major and playing Division II athletics could overwhelm some, but not Holthaus.

“I think just growing up I’ve had a pretty good use of time management and that’s always been important to me. My parents instilled that in me.”

She’s from Ohio and after graduating, plans to go back home and make cybersecurity a career. She’s in no hurry right now, and knows the opportunities will always be out there.

“I think with this field, it’s never-ending. It’s always advancing, so it’s not going anywhere — it’s only going to increase and improve and get better and grow. I feel like it’s a great field because there’s going to always be opportunities for growth, success and pretty much whatever you might be looking for in a career.”

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Written by
Kevin Faigle

Kevin Faigle is Media Relations Specialist at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at kfaigle@augusta.edu.

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Written by Kevin Faigle

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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