Danielle Madill has her hands full with two small children and the last two classes to complete before earning her associate degree in Cybersecurity from Macomb in May. But unlike most of her classmates right now, she can hone encryption techniques while watching her children play on the beach.
“It’s beautiful here. It’s sunny and in the mid-70s,” says Madill, who lives in Florida and appreciates the sand, saltwater fishing – she caught a stingray, after all – and a sunny climate that allows her to indulge in another of her favorite pastimes whenever she can. “A good run,” she offers, “always sets the mood for the day.”
A graduate of L’Anse Creuse North High School, Madill is Macomb County born and raised. The move to Florida came courtesy of the U.S. Navy, in which her husband Jason is on active duty. Wearied by the stress of transferring to another college every time Jason was transferred [CJ1] to another location, Madill decided to enroll in the online Cybersecurity program at Macomb.
“My motto is: ‘I don’t know where I’m going,’” says Madill, “’but I know where I can be.’”
It’s no coincidence that Madill’s mom works in the information security field. Persuaded by her depiction of the challenges and rewards of the job, Madill enrolled in her first Information Technology class.
“It was an ‘ah ha’ moment,” relates Madill. “It took me a while to find my interest, what I wanted to major in, so this was a big relief for me.”
Madill now intends on pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree at Walsh[CJ2] , with plans on a career in risk management or as a security analyst. Her interest in these fields was stirred by her current participation in the National Cyber League competition, which is required in one of her classes.
“I have to give credit to my professor, Keith Nabozny. He is excellent at teaching the material and pushing you to figure out the answer while providing constructive criticism,” says Madill. “I have also had the pleasure of collaborating with my fellow classmates on several group assignments.”
Madill does, indeed, enjoy spending time at one of the beaches near her home in Pensacola with children Mackenzie, 9, and Jayden, 12. Her family’s days in Florida, however, are numbered.
“I wish we could stay, says Madill. “We don’t know my husband’s official orders yet, but we will be moving sometime soon.”
But just as the digital world has kept her tethered to her studies at Macomb, it also provides a welcomed constant in her movable life.
“No matter where I live,” she offers, “I can always go home.”