Olivia Henry

Portrait of Olivia Henry in Tech's server farm

Olivia Henry is a sophomore computer science major with a concentration in cybersecurity at Tennessee Tech, but before college, she did not have any previous knowledge or interest in computer science.

“I chose computer science, specifically cybersecurity, because it would challenge me,” she explained. “It was something that I had never seen before.”

Her lack of prior knowledge simply motivated Henry to work harder and become more dedicated to the major. The fact that cybersecurity is everywhere from logging into your computer to accessing other websites made her fall in love with what she was learning.

“I just love it because it’s like I get to make an impact in everybody’s daily life, and I just feel like I’m making a difference,” she expressed.

The passion Henry has developed for cybersecurity has created big future plans.

“Right now, I’m filling out an internship with the Department of Defense, so hopefully in the future I’ll get to work with them or potentially one of the other organizations like the FBI, CIA, or somewhere like that,” she continued. “I want to work somewhere that’s going to have a big impact like that.”

Olivia Henry working in Tech's server room

Benjamin Burchfield, computer science lecturer at Tennessee Tech, has been influential in her Tech experience.

“The professor that has influenced me the most would probably be Mr. Ben Burchfield,” she said. “He went above and beyond and taught me some of the stuff that wasn’t even part of the curriculum.”

Henry not only loves her major, but she also loves Tech’s campus size, and both of those aspects led her to pursue her college degree at the university.

“Tech is very well known for computer science, especially in this Tennessee area,” she said. “Tech has a very tight knit community around the school.”

Within the campus community, Henry is involved in Trailblazer activities and her major-specific student organizations, like CyberEagles club.

As she grew her community through Tennessee Tech’s student life, she emphasizes the importance of both academics and campus involvement.  

“I would want people to know that Tech is very lively, and it’s very integrated in your student life,” she said. “Tech cares a lot about how you’re doing, and they want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to get your degree.”

Olivia Henry studying with friends

Henry encourages students in their academic journey within computer science, specifically cybersecurity, with some advice.  

“Major advice I have for anybody looking into computer science or if they’re taking it is that it’s going to be a little bit difficult when you first get started, but it’ll get easier as you go along. The more you stick with it, and the longer you’re learning, it’s going to get easier.”

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