Truman Brown has many goals for his life, but none are bigger than his dream to work for a “3-letter-agency.”
At the age of eight, Brown began tinkering with computers at his dad’s office, often working alongside student workers to troubleshoot problems.
“I tried all the things as a kid, from sports to art, but honestly computers and technology were the only thing I ever felt like I was good at,” said Brown. “So when it came time to pick an industry to study it was an obvious choice for me.”
Brown graduated high school in 2018 and enrolled in the Blinn College Computer Science program. Proximity to his parents’ home and lower costs were on the top of his list of requirements.
“When I graduated high school my parents really encouraged me to go to college,” said Brown. “They basically told me that they were happy to support me while I was in college, but that I needed to work and pay tuition on my own.”
While working his way through his classes at Blinn, Brown received an invitation to learn more about upcoming computer information systems degree program offered by Texas A&M University-Commerce at the RELLIS Campus.
“I was fairly directionless at that point and just thought it was worth going to figure out what RELLIS was and what the program would be like,” said Brown. “I was able to talk one-on-one with Dr. Donham, the dean of the college of science and engineering, and he sold me on the program.”
After confirming that this new program fit his two parameters – location and low cost – Brown transferred his classes to the Blinn-RELLIS Campus and began taking classes at A&M-Commerce in the Spring of 2021.
“Without the program at RELLIS I honestly don’t know where I would be,” said Brown. “I would have had to get a job with an associate’s degree or apply to a program in a different part of the state.”
Now in his second semester within the A&M-Commerce program, Brown is working every day to set new goals and build the foundations he needs to be successful.
“We are actively learning field-specific knowledge from people that have actually worked in the industry and who are passionate about teaching,” said Brown. “Between the community and the opportunities afforded me, I don’t think I could ask for a better college experience.”
Brown is considering pursuing a masters degree after graduation and even hopes to stay connected with the RELLIS Campus and the A&M-Commerce program by completing research projects with his current professors if that becomes a reality.
Of course, this is all before he achieves his final goal –a job as a cyber-security engineer at a “3-letter-agency.”
“I would love to take everything I have learned here and go apply it somewhere important,” said Brown. “The CIA, the FBI, NSA… any of those would be great.”
Originally published October 12, 2021