By Indiana State University
Jun 17, 2019
Now a retired member of the security forces in the U.S. Air Force, Whitney Whitfield, GR ’17, has lofty career aspirations and in order to further his career in criminology, he knew he needed to attend a well-respected university and it had to meet his personal criteria.
That included being a well-established university with strong connections to external law enforcement and security organizations, a challenging, cutting-edge course curriculum and well-known throughout the criminology arena, and the cost of attendance had to be within budget and military-friendly.
He found all that and more at Indiana State.
“My master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice (from Indiana State University) has opened many doors for me,” Whitfield said. “My obtainment of a degree from ISU was both rewarding and challenging, I can clearly state that if it weren’t for the dedicated advisors and professionals at ISU, I would not have been successful. Professor Decker and Dr. Woods provided me with the motivation and resources to succeed. ISU is a family/team environment. I am proud to say I am an Indiana State University-educated alumnus.”
While pursuing his Master of Science degree in criminology and criminal justice and upon graduating in December 2017, Whit has worked as a senior security policy analyst for the Department of Homeland Security (Lockheed Martin), head of security operations for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, chief information security operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon, worked as a physical security/risk management small business owner and was principal cybersecurity advisor for a medium-size information technology risk management company.
Currently, Whitfield resides in Fredericksburg, Va., and works as a senior physical/cyber security Specialist/owner and consultant. A retired member of the Security Forces in the U.S. Air Force, he is pursuing his passion for furthering educational opportunities and academic resources for under-represented and underprivileged future college students.
“I have partnered with a start-up organization called “Girls with Goals”, which brings together inner-city like-minded girls in grades 3 through 4 to acclimate and provide them with educational and soft skill tools, like self-motivation, responsibility, leadership and teamwork, to succeed academically, professionally and personally,” Whitfield said.
As an independent security consultant contracted by various companies, such as Fortress Information Security LLC, Whitfield is responsible for directing all security aspects of his company to ensure the proper functioning of all business operation; spearheading the management of field operations, logistics, asset management and quality; developing effective insider threat and physical security/privacy risk-based solutions for the Department of Defense using the most up-to-date industry best risk management practices; applying prompt analysis, targeted metrics to facilitate the client’s physical security, insider threat, and information security needs; forecasting potential issues to prevent development or escalation of customer related security vulnerabilities; and performing risk management and cyber security program development for major transportation industries.
“I am a criminologist by nature and a cyber-criminologist by profession. After graduating from ISU, I was accepted into George Washington University where I completed my second master’s degree in cybersecurity strategy and information management. Together with my ISU degree, I now have the tools to develop, create, and teach future cyber leaders,” he said. “A typical day for me is a combination of applying criminology theories with my cybersecurity knowledge and training. The best part about me is that I am a person who gets up every morning and says, ‘How can I make myself better today? How can I help someone today?”