James Rumsey students find success through the Cybersecurity/Cisco program | Journal-news | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of stories highlighting programs at James Rumsey Technical Institute.

MARTINSBURG — James Rumsey Technical Institute’s cybersecurity/Cisco program trains students in networking and IT work.

Through this program, students get real experience working in the IT department, supporting the other programs throughout the school. Students also receive four important certifications, including COMPTIA A+, COMPTIZ Network+, COMPTIA Security+ and CCNA.

Ronald Odom has been teaching at James Rumsey for 14 years. Odom is passionate about working with young people, because he enjoys seeing them understand a concept and seeing them succeed later in life.

“It’s always fulfilling when you see the lightbulb turn on in your students and see them go on to have successful careers,” Odom said. “This year, we have a first-year student who won gold at the SkillsUSA competition, which is a huge accomplishment for a first year. I’m sure he’s going to go far. It’s those moments that really make it worthwhile.”

The student who won was Adiel Rodriguez, and he won first place in a competition that tested his knowledge about computers and cables. He was challenged to get two computers to see each other and work together to edit a file.

Rodriguez shared that some of his favorite parts about the competition were getting to travel, testing his knowledge against other students and meeting other people, including the instructor who administered the competition.

“This program deals with troubleshooting and solving problems, and that’s something I like to do,” Rodriguez said. “Having a class that centers around problem solving is just the perfect fit for me. It’s very logical, and there is a solution to every problem — it’s just a matter of finding it.”

Washington High School senior Aaron Hickman, cybersecurity/Cisco safety manager, is a second-year student in the program. Hickman has always been interested in computers, so when he had the opportunity to tour James Rumsey and learned about the cybersecurity program, he thought it would a great chance to get real experience working in the field.

“One of my favorite things about the program is working in the computer labs,” Hickman said. “During the labs, we get more experience with the computers and learning more about the software we are working with.”

Hickman plans on joining the workforce once he graduates and is still considering going to college later, while Rodriguez hopes to attend Blue Ridge Community and Technical College to finish his college credits and then transfer to another university.

For more information about James Rumsey Technical Institute, visit


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