College of Science Alumni and Friends Spotlight: Mr.Dominic Holt
“In terms of my internship experience, it was worth it, but the biggest impact it had on me was helping me figure out areas of the public and private sectors in which I do not want to work.” Mr. Dominic Holt
Mr. Dominic Holt, a recent Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) alumnus, was born on a United States of America military base in Landstuhl, Germany. He obtained a B.S. degree in Computer Science, with a concentration in Computer Forensics and Security, in 2019.
Currently, Mr. Holt works as an Enterprise Programmer Analyst with the Enterprise Information Systems team at New Mexico State University (NMSU). This team manages all third party software and maintains and updates the university’s Banner system. “My typical day is working on tickets for various clients with the university and programming. I also analyze new jobs or programs to implement,” he explained.
Mr. Holt appreciates receiving the Elizabeth Wesley scholarship at EKU. “That (scholarship) coupled with the post 9/11 GI Bill that my mom put in my name to use, gave me a pretty easy ride in terms of money to the school. This meant a lot to me since it enabled me to pursue the field in which I was interested and still graduate from college without debt.”
EKU offered Mr. Holt several opportunities for out-of-classroom experiential learning including undergraduate research and internships at the FBI laboratories in Qantico, VA, Lexington, KY, and Louisville, KY, and at PhishingBox in Lexington, KY. Of these experiences, he observed, “My undergraduate research taught me how to analyze various areas of information in a timely manner and be able to find a solution or a way towards the solution. In terms of my internship experience, it was worth it, but the biggest impact it had on me was helping me figure out areas of the public and private sectors in which I do not want to work.”
Dr. Shuangteng Zhang, a professor of computer science and the director of the Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity Institute, had the following to say of Mr. Holt, “Dominic is one of the best students I have advised for their honors thesis. He was a key member of our Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) team and performed an excellent job during our first CCDC state level competition. With the cybersecurity skills he learned in class, practiced and applied in the CCDC competition, Dominic obtained his job offer from the NSA before his graduation. As his course instructor, academic and honors thesis advisor, as well as CCDC coach, I am very proud of him.”
Mr. Holt’s fondest memories of his time at EKU were hanging out with friends both inside and outside of the program and solving homework or researching various security problems with friends in his program.
When asked to offer advice to current students in the computer science program, he had this to say, “The advice I have for students in the computer science program, not just the concentration that I was in, is to learn all that you can. The specific fields you want are good, but don't narrow your job search to one area. Also, go to the professors for help or advice on projects, homework, etc. They are always glad to help and will be great sources of knowledge.”
Mr. Holt acknowledges the role his family has played in his achievements, “I thank all my family for supporting me throughout my years of school and my career. My mom, Janell Ray, stepdad, Chris Ray, and sister, Tiara Holt, are the best support system I could ask for.”
Mr. Holt plans to begin working towards a Master's of Science degree in Computer Science at New Mexico State University in either Spring 2021 or Fall 2021.
Published on November 11, 2020