cyber security

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- Pulaski County Special School District girls in grades 6-12 are invited to attend the Empowering Women in Cybersecurity Summit on October 11 at the Innovation Hub in North Little Rock.

According to research, our educational systems must do better when it comes to changing the culture behind STEM practices. PCSSD Director of STEM, Dr. Justin Luttrell, is a huge advocate for increasing STEM awareness and curriculum in an equitable manner especially among women.

According to the Head Foundation, without the presence of women in the field of STEM, innovation will be limited and exclude half of the population. In short, more women in STEM leads to a better representation of the needs of our society. The American Association of University Women argues that women are significantly underrepresented in STEM fields outside of the healthcare workforce. Only 26% of engineers and 19% of computer scientists are women.

“There needs to be an intentional outreach to our female community,” Luttrell says. “This is why events like the Women in Cybersecurity Summit are so crucial to our students. It adds another experience to promote women in STEM fields. When our students can see themselves in STEM fields, it changes the culture around STEM. This is why these events can have lasting impacts on our students. We love to champion equitable experiences at PCSSD and this summit is no exception."

The event is for girls interested in exploring cybersecurity and technology related careers. Girls attending the cybersecurity workshop will meet female cybersecurity experts, participate in hands-on cybersecurity related activities led by cybersecurity professionals, and learn about cybersecurity education and career options.

The event’s keynote speaker is Hope Goins, majority staff director of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. She serves as Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson’s top advisor on the oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and national security throughout the Executive Branch. With over a decade of Capitol Hill experience, Goins has supervised the negotiation of key homeland security legislation, including the authorization of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office at DHS and the DHS Cybersecurity Strategies Act. 

Other presenters for the event include the Little Rock Air Force Base Cybersecurity Squadron, Arkansas Department of Education Computer Science Team, Starbase Arkansas, Becky Passmore, a UA Little Rock adjunct computer science professor and cyber investigator at Kroll Industries, and Lauren Lantz, lead instructor for Full Stack Academy. 

A virtual option to attend is also available. Those interested may register at: