Some of the fellows participating in the Global Strike National Security Fellowship Program. (Graphic by Korey January/STRIKEWERX)

By Sean Green | STRIKEWERX Marketing and Communications Director

BOSSIER CITY, La. — Students participating in the Global Strike National Security Fellowship Program are seeing the fruits of their labor in the form of various career opportunities.

Administered by the Cyber Innovation Center through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement with AFGSC, and managed by the Louisiana Tech Applied Research Corporation, the program brings students and professors from Louisiana Tech and Air Force Global Strike Command project champions together in the spirit of collaboration and innovation while also fostering the relationship between academia and the Department of Defense.

In addition, the program provides the Command with new generations of potential hires with diverse technical skills and experience that can benefit the U.S. Air Force as a whole.

These experiences and knowledge share are serving fellows in the form of career opportunities. As the program completed year two in May, five fellows have already started working in positions related to their fields of study.

James Henry, a fellow in the second year of the program, has accepted a position as a developer with CIC.

“The platforms and technologies we utilized in the program provide a solid foundation that, in conjunction with the program’s USAF connection, led to a direct job offer with the CIC development team we worked with during the fellowship,” he said.

Barton Crum was offered and accepted a position as research psychologist with Army Research Institute, and the fellowship played a part in this opportunity.

“My experience with the fellowship program certainly set me up for success in my future endeavors,” she said. “I am confident the fellowship not only helped me to land a new role as a research psychologist for the Army Research Institute, but it will also set me up for success working in another military branch.”

Year 1 Fellow Michael Levesque has accepted an offer as a cybersecurity engineer for MITRE. He is working with the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security on a combination of cyber resiliency, cryptanalysis, and offensive/defensive cyber operations. 

“The fellowship gave me real-world, problem-solving experience,” Levesque said. “MITRE reached out to me in the first place because I had the fellowship and Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications on my resume.”

Mary Nations is a computer science major and is expected to graduate in March 2023 from her undergraduate program. She worked to make aircraft data ready for enterprise use and visualize that data.

This program has shown me that I enjoy working with data more than I would have guessed. I had not narrowed down my options for what subfield of computer science I wanted to enter as a career, but now I am heavily leaning towards working with data upon graduation. This program has also given me so many connections and contacts that are already helping me in my job searching endeavors.

She wants others who are exploring joining the fellowship program to take it, adding, “I would do this fellowship over again in a heartbeat.”

Josh Romero is a computer science major and graduated with his master’s degree in May 2022. Josh worked to analyze engineered data to create models and assess risks.

He recommends the fellowship to all students who are interested in getting real world experience.

“The fellowship has taught me how to manage my time, work with a team, and communicate with customers effectively to produce a successful product,” Romero said. “It will give you the ability to interact with successful people that want to help you also succeed.”