Local Business Owner Accepts Position with University of Maine Teaching Cybersecurity

Interesting people seem to have a special magnetism about them that draws people in with curiosity.  Jonna Duvall-Williams is one of those interesting people who radiates this special energy that makes her captivating to get to know.  Anyone who knows Jonna can understand how fun and fascinating she is!  We wanted to share a spotlight article on this amazing Weiserite.

Recently, Jonna shared on social media her exciting news about accepting a position with the University of Maine teaching Cybersecurity and Computer Information Systems classes.  Intrigued, I wanted to know more about this and how exactly she came to this phase of her life.  Jonna shared that she became enthralled with the idea of cybersecurity and dealing with hackers, security breaches and software.  “Why people choose to do the illegal thing, instead of the legitimate way is always of interest.  How and why hackers gain entrance to a system or network is intriguing.”  Combine these ideas with designing detection, automation, and prevention systems creates the ultimate career for Jonna.

Teaching remotely from her hometown of Weiser, Jonna was hired as a part-time professor to teach cybersecurity and protection of internet-connected devices.  “These include computer hardware and software and the data that is contained on the devices as well as all the wearables and other technologies that are connected to the internet like cars and smart devices,” she shared.  Cybersecurity professionals protect these devices from outside threats by hackers.  “Holding data for ransom is another threat.  Computer information systems is everything from architecture, networking, cloud security, to forensics and the works for our computers, devices and systems,” Jonna explained.

“I have never thought about being a teacher, which is funny because I do teaching at a state and national level for other things,” Jonna said.  When she was offered this opportunity, she thought about it and realized she was in love with the idea.  Although quite nervous to start, she is also thrilled to be given such a great opportunity at this level.

With two semesters completed and four more to go, Jonna anticipates graduating with her Master’s degree in September of 2022.  The Master’s degree is not in cybersecurity, however, but in UXD which is User Experience Design.  “My goal is actually to become a Cybersecurity UX designer.  I will be combining the two fields to create my next chapter,” she explained.  In addition to teaching at the University of Maine and finishing her Master’s degree, Jonna also has two businesses she runs that she has placed in the hands of her employee, Kim, who is “wonderful and talented,” Jonna shared.  She will still have oversight of the businesses but will not be doing the daily work anymore. 

Needless to say, she has her hands full with a busy life!  She is continuing to volunteer with several organizations, coaching, on the board of directors for Angel Wings Network, and homeschooling her wonderful daughter.  Jonna shared that her daughter has been so great and self-sufficient with school and her mom’s busy schedule.  “I have absolutely loved the time with her that I would normally not have, but she is so good that I am really not having any issues with her,” she explained.  She feels it has been a true blessing to have her home.

“I never thought in a million years that I would become a professor or that I wanted to teach,” she shared.  She figured someone else better suited for the job would be hired.  “It is still unbelievable and surreal but a position that I cannot wait to start.”

If you see Jonna around town, be sure to say hello and send congratulations her way!  What an incredible accomplishment.

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