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Jeffery Williams

Online program helps Williams fulfill long held dream of degree from MSU

While serving his country in the U. S. Coast Guard, Jeffery Williams realized he could make a lifelong goal of obtaining his degree from Mississippi State University a reality.

"Honestly, my reason for choosing to apply for the BSIS program at MSU was simple – I always wanted a degree from MSU. Growing up an MSU fan my whole life, I always wanted to go to school there, but never had the opportunity," said Williams.

Williams began work toward his Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree in August 2013 while living in New Orleans, La., assigned to the U. S. Coast Guard Eighth District Telecommunications Branch.

"My classroom was my home office space," Williams said of his experience. "It is a self-paced system that requires a lot of time management and organization on the part of the student, especially if the student has a full-time career. I had no choice but to stay focused and committed in my "attending" classes."

Regarding MSU's ranking as a Best Schools for Veterans designation, Williams said, "From the moment I submitted my application until the day I graduated, it seemed like MSU made it a priority to ensure that I felt like I was more than just another transfer student or tuition payment. They made me feel like a part of the family at MSU. My advisor was in constant communication with me so that I could stay on track of my degree plan, and all of my professors understood anytime I needed a little extra time on an assignment due to a deployment or other work-related situation. As far as I am concerned, there is no other university in the country that supports the military and its veterans better than MSU."

After completing his degree in December 2015, Williams applied to be commissioned as an officer. Williams' commissioning ceremony was held at the G. V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans on the Mississippi State University campus in June 2018, where he achieved the rank of Ensign in the U. S. Coast Guard.

Williams now serves in Washington, D.C. as an Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO). "As an ISSO my job is to put in place countermeasures that keep the Coast Guard computer network secure, and ensure safeguards are in place to prevent adversaries from infiltrating Coast Guard networks."

"The information I learned through my degree program at MSU was definitely applicable to my career. My concentrations in the BSIS degree were General Technology and Criminology, and they fell right in line with my job in the Coast Guard as a cybersecurity professional working for the nation's federal maritime law enforcement agency."

Williams, a native of Amory, Miss., has served in the U. S. Coast Guard over 14 years. He and his wife, Kimberly an MSU alumnus also, are parents to one child, their daughter, Emma.

Article by JoLee Clark | Photo courtesy of Jeffery Williams