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Stephen D.


About Me

I am a 2022 graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park; a 2021 graduate of Disability: In's NextGen Leadership Program; and a current graduate student seeking a master's degree in cyber operations from the University of Maryland, Global Campus. My academic experiences, coupled with my past extracurricular and personal experiences, reinforce my strong desire to pursue a career in cybersecurity. I am currently working part-time while pursing a master's degree in cyber operations. I have been very interested in cybersecurity since high school where I was actively involved in cybersecurity clubs and participated in numerous cybersecurity competitions. I am a Cyber Patriot Alumni and see cybersecurity professionals as the most important defense against threat actors who are trying to compromise our personal data, national infrastructure, defense systems, and everything in between. Cybersecurity attacks are very personal to me, because everyone in my family, myself included, have had our personal and financial data compromised multiple times, and I know many others who have been compromised, as well. Neurodiverse-friendly employers should know that I am passionate about a career in cybersecurity, because I see protecting our way of life as one of the most important challenges facing our country, and I want to be part of a team that is helping keep everyone safe. With accommodations, such as extra processing time, I have excelled academically in terms of both learning and also getting excellent grades. Perhaps even more importantly, I have many of the intangibles that supervisors typically desire, including being honest, trustworthy, reliable, open to learning, hard-working, respectful of others, flexible, and easy to get along with. These are not just words listed to make a positive impression but are factually supported by real life data. For example, in college and at work, I never missed a class or called in sick to work. In fact, I have yet to even take scheduled time off for sick leave. I am also routinely described by others, including past and present supervisors, as being hard working and a good team player who is open to learning and gets along well with others. In addition to my bachelor's degree in Information Science, I also have a minor in Sustainability, which I understand from some employers is playing an increased role in their organizations. To sum up what I would like neurodivergent-friendly employers to know about me, I have a demonstrated track record of being committed to doing the best job I can, and all I need to be a valued member of any organization is the opportunity to prove myself.

Ideal Workplace Values

The ideal workplace for me is one that is both diverse and inclusive and that recognizes that organizations and teams are stronger and most productive when their roles and responsibilities are well-defined and understood, where training and mentoring are available, and where everyone works together towards well-communicated goals and objectives. The ideal workplace would have strong leadership that values ethical behavior, hard work, creative thought, and loyalty. The organization would both recognize and appreciate that diversity is not needed so that you can simply check a box, but instead because diversity makes organizations both stronger and more competitive. Employees would be empathetic when leadership and supervisors face tough challenges, competing priorities, and limited resources that can result in unpopular decisions having to be made. The values in an ideal workplace would focus on trust, respect, collaboration, and leveraging best practices, while at the same time encouraging creative thought directed towards the organization's broad mission and specific goals and objectives. To summarize the values of an ideal workplace, it would be an environment that values and insists on ethical practices and moral behavior and stresses the importance of diversity, teamwork, hard work, and respect, and embraces an appreciation for what makes all of us unique in our own ways.


Bowie, Maryland, US

Open to Relocation

Open To

Part Time InternshipFull Time InternshipCo-opFreelance/Contract WorkFull Time JobPart Time Job

Work Settings


Skills & Strengths

Neuroexceptional Talents

My neurodiversity gives me many unique advantages including: 1. I am very aware of how people relate to me. This allows me to be very reflective and aware of other people's feelings, which leads me to be a very good listener, a great team player, and someone who is very patient and understanding. 2. While my neurodiversity contributes to my shyness, my awareness of other people's feelings allows me to collaborate well with others and even to take the lead when needed.3. My neurodiversity requires me to adapt to situations that others may not experience, and this contributes to me being very adaptive and flexible. 4. My neurodiversity allows me to look at and solve problems differently than others. I think logically and strategically and tend to be both very creative and detail oriented in my approach to solving problems. 5. My neurodiversity results in me being very focused and not easily distracted. While I struggle a bit at times with transitioning, this can be beneficial because I usually will not move on from a problem until I have done my absolute best. I am driven to work hard to come up with both effective and efficient solutions.

Creative ThinkerDeep EmpathizerDetail-oriented ThinkerHyperfocus

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Inclusion Essentials


Text to speech (Kurzweil)Send Questions in AdvanceInterviewer Experienced with NeurodiversityExtra timeDaily RemindersConcise instructionsReceiving Information in AdvanceExtra Time to Process New InformationChunking Large Amounts of ContentPeriodic Rest Breaks

Certifications & Training

Cyber Operations Graduate Certificate

University of Maryland Global Campus
Issued 2023 | No Expiration Date

Disability:IN NextGen Leaders Program

Issued 2021 | Expires 2025

Social and Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)
Issued 2021 | Expires 2023

● Master Class: Professional Development for Neurodiverse Students

University of Maryland
Issued 2020 | No Expiration Date

Citation - College Park Scholar - Environment, Technology, and Economy

University of Maryland
Issued 2019 | No Expiration Date