Students

Shyasia McLaughlin

Venturing into the world of Cybersecurity, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), Shyasia, a.k.a. ‘The Shy Gal,’ is ready to tackle digital demons with the same zeal she reserves for her beloved horror genre. An African American mother of three handsome boys and a natural jokester, she brings a unique blend of creativity and resilience to the GRCIE program. Her love for jazz, poetry, anime, and video games complements her enthusiasm for learning and growth in this new field. Shyasia’s passion for horror mirrors her fearless approach to cybersecurity, ready to face the unknown with excitement and determination.

In a world where technology and governance intersect, Kim finds her calling. With a zest for life reflected in her love for food, coffee, and new experiences, she balances her time between nurturing plants, cherishing moments with family and friends, and exploring new destinations. Currently a student at WMCAT, Kim’s selection for the GRCIE program marks a pivotal moment in her educational journey. Fascinated by the critical role of technology in GRC, she is dedicated to exploring how it shapes governance, risk assessments, and compliance strategies. Her goal is to deepen her understanding of this dynamic field, bringing an analytical and innovative approach to the forefront. As she prepares to contribute to the tech-driven evolution of GRC practices, Kim’s enthusiasm and unique perspective promise a fresh and impactful approach to the challenges ahead.

Kimberly Favela

Dianna Walker

From the heart of a caring mother to the skilled hands of a medical and parish nurse assistant, Dianna knows how to lead with compassion and friendliness. From guiding individual therapy groups to spearheading initiatives for medication approval, as well as facilitating resolutions within her church community, Dianna has consistently demonstrated adept leadership skills grounded in empathy and effective problem-solving. Her journey now leads her to the exciting realm of GRC, where her innate curiosity and drive for learning new things come to the forefront. Her vibrant mix of hobbies, including reading, singing, and diamond art, mirrors her creative and analytical mindset, essential in the cybersecurity field. Her passions for her family, justice, and advocacy, blended with her deep-rooted faith and spirituality, find a new outlet in her pursuit for a brighter and better digital realm. Dianna’s commitment to self-care and resilience is vital as she navigates this new chapter, seeking to make a difference in the digital world while continuing to nurture her diverse interests and values. Dianna is a member of the GRCIE Leadership program where she’s learning to lead GRC teams.

From healing veins to securing domains, Rose’s transition to the GRCIE program is driven by more than just a career change. With over 15 years in healthcare, this proud Mexican-American mother of two and devoted dog mom is passionate about making an impact. Her background in patient care and active volunteering, especially in support of disadvantaged women and children, highlights her commitment to community. Motivated by her daughter and parents’ unwavering support, Rose is eager for job security and career growth. She’s all about challenging herself in new fields, enjoying beach outings, reading, and her love of exploring culinary delights. Rose is a member of the GRCIE Leadership program where she’s learning to lead GRC teams.

Rosa Aura Martinez-White

Adrian Morgan-Jimmerson

Stepping out from Grranrapids (a/ka/ Grand Rapids), Adrian enters the fast-paced world of cybersecurity with a diverse professional history, including roles at Meijer and Amazon. His passion for video games and reading has sharpened his strategic and analytical skills, key assets in the cybersecurity domain. A coffee aficionado with a taste for international travel, Adrian brings a wide-ranging perspective to the GRCIE program. Drawing inspiration from his veteran father’s dedication, Adrian is well-prepared to face the challenges of cybersecurity with determination and insight.

Gabe’s path from the heart of Grand Rapids to the forefront of cybersecurity is paved with diverse experiences and creative flair. As a middle child with a passion for PC gaming and 3D art, he brings a unique blend of artistic vision and strategic thinking to the GRCIE program. His accomplishments include graduating from WMCAT’s Step Year and earning a position through the GRow1000 Youth Employment Program. Gabe’s work history, from Taco Bell to a 311 call center, showcases his adaptability and people skills. A committed KCAS volunteer and a skilled 3D artist/animator, he stands out as a promising student in the WMCAT Adult Career Training Program, ready to explore the depths of cloud security.

Gabriel Metzger

Angelica Pointer

Angelica, hailing from Battle Creek, MI, is embarking on a new challenge in the field of cybersecurity, fueled by her rich background in non-profit organizations and a love for global cultures. As a middle child with an older sister and younger brother, she’s always embraced the role of a bridge-builder – a skill that’s taken her from the classrooms of China to the streets of Ethiopia. Her non-profit journey, with roles at Starr Commonwealth and Wedgwood Christian Services, highlights her commitment to community. An avid runner and a supporter of Girls on the Run in Kalamazoo, Angelica’s dedication to wellness and empowerment is set to inspire her cybersecurity endeavors. Angelica is a member of the GRCIE Leadership program where she’s learning to lead GRC teams.

Michelle, a proud mom and creative spirit, is charting a course where technology meets sustainability. Her passion lies at the crossroads of AI, IoT, and cybersecurity, especially in the realm of agriculture, where she sees vast potential for improving environmental impacts through tech innovations. As an aspiring GRC professional, Michelle is dedicated to forging a more connected and sustainable future, exploring opportunities that resonate with her drive for positive change. Her interests in sustainability and travel reflect her broad vision of a world where tech advancements harmoniously blend with ecological mindfulness. Michelle’s journey is fueled by her commitment to blending her creative flair with her passion for technology, aiming to make a meaningful difference in the agricultural sector and beyond.

Michelle Nilsen

Jennifer Harris

Jennifer’s life is a vibrant tapestry of family, community service, and a quest for knowledge. This mother of four and G-ma to identical twin grandguys calls Grand Rapids her home, a city that has enriched her experiences through involvement with AmeriCorps/HealthCorps and SpringGR. Her involvement in the WMUL Kent County Tobacco Stomp-Out Task Force mirrors her passion for community engagement and advocacy. Jennifer’s interests are diverse – from traveling and bargain shopping to cooking and performing arts. She’s driven by a desire to make a positive difference, whether through homeless advocacy or philanthropy. Her entrepreneurial spirit is matched by her interest in securing a GRC cybersecurity position, with a keen interest in data analysis of AI and human EQ. Jennifer’s DiSC style reflects her multifaceted personality – outgoing yet reserved, people-oriented yet task-focused. Her journey towards a career in cybersecurity is not just a professional endeavor but a continuation of her life’s mission to inspire and uplift others.

Mixing beats and cybersecurity strategies, Darel harmonizes his role as a music producer with his aspirations in the tech world. His customer service background strikes a chord with his passion for technology, resonating through his life’s journey. This melody has taken him from the vibrant campus of an HBCU to the pursuit of a career in cybersecurity. Beyond the studio, Darel’s life is a symphony of travel, creating music, and nurturing relationships. A dedicated family man and the third Darel in his lineage (after his grandpa and father), he cherishes his heritage as deeply as his love for music. His future goals include a significant role in cybersecurity, where his rhythm for research and reading will play a key part in his success.

Darel Ross

Marcuis Winkfield

TrackMarcuis’ path from leading teams in customer service to exploring the world of cybersecurity is a testament to his adaptability and passion for growth. With 15+ years of experience managing multicultural teams in industries like online travel and telecommunications, he’s honed his skills in leveraging data and fostering a collaborative environment. His recent transition from Booking.com was sparked by a business acquisition, leading him to discover the exciting opportunities at WMCAT and GRCIE. In his downtime, Marcuis enjoys fishing and has had memorable encounters with musicians like the Zac Brown Band and India Arie. A renewed love for reading and a penchant for audiobooks keep him engaged, with favorites like ‘The Four Doors’ and ‘Man’s Search for Meaning.’ Marcuis is excited to bring his leadership abilities and diverse experiences to the GRC program, eager to connect and grow with his peers. Marcuis is a member of the GRCIE Leadership program where he’s learning to lead GRC teams.

Vincent brings a unique perspective to tech by leveraging his Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage to create a more inclusive work environment. A coding enthusiast, he’s ready to make his mark in cybersecurity. His skills, honed through Codecademy, align with his passions for running, video gaming, music production, and video editing. For Vincent, coding isn’t just an interest; it’s the foundation of his aspirations in cloud security. With an Associate’s of Applied Science from Davenport University and a participant in the GRCIE program, he’s set to merge his programming prowess with his creative talents, demonstrating that the world of cybersecurity is as diverse as his abilities.

Vincent Vielma

Annanisa Fontanez

Annanisa’s vibrant energy and determined nature shine through in her approach to cybersecurity. Her extensive background in customer service and sales, combined with her love for technology, makes her a valuable asset to the GRCIE program. As a multiracial technophile, Annanisa enjoys exploring new cultures through travel, shopping, and culinary adventures. Her large family, including 22 aunts and uncles and a plethora of cousins, has imbued her with exceptional communication skills. Surviving carbon monoxide poisoning and hosting her own radio show are testaments to her resilience and versatility. With experiences ranging from meeting public figures to traveling across states, Annanisa’s journey is as diverse as it is inspiring. Graduating early and being recognized in a Pistons article showcase her ambition, setting her up for success in her new cybersecurity venture.