James Lee, Jr., Ph.D., teaches Penetration Testing and Cyber Network and Telecommunications Security at SoPA. Dr. Lee is a senior Department of Defense cybersecurity professional and has been with the Marine Corps for over 20 years. He has performed all aspects of information technology and security to include telecommunications, system administration, acquisition, project management, and strategic leadership.
Dr. Lee has a Bachelor's Degree in Management/Computer Information Systems from Park University, an M.B.A. from George Washington University, an M.S. in Government Information Leadership from National Defense University, and a Ph.D. in Business Information Systems from Mississippi State University. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, a certified ITIL Practitioner in IT Service Management, and a Certified Ethical Hacker. Dr. Lee has publications in Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS), the Journal of Computer Information Systems (JCIS), and a book chapter in Psychology of Trust: New Research, and presented at the International Federation of Information Processing Dewald Roode Information Security Workshop.
What advice would you give to someone who's considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
Do not worry about where you are, just know where you want to go, start moving, and don't stop. The only thing on my wall in my office is my Associate's Degree and PhD in a single frame. This is to show visitors that it doesn't matter where or how you start, as long as you know your destination and keep working towards it, then you will get there eventually.
Who has influenced you most in life?
I have the cliché answer of "my father," but not for reasons that you may think. He did everything that he could to make my childhood good, but it is what he did not do that influenced me the most. He did not impose many rules on me and let me make my own mistakes. He taught me that I was free to choose, but I was not free from the consequences of my choices. This lesson has carried with me to this day, and it is a lesson that every student needs to learn. You can chose to prioritize other commitments over school, but you will have to accept the consequences for those actions.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
There are three classes that every student should take:
1. Intro to Programming
It is unlikely that you will become a programmer, but Intro to Programming teaches logic, flow, and syntax. The biggest take away from the course is not learning how to sling code, but how to logically solve problems within constraints and document the solution.
2. Project Management
Project Management takes the logical problem solving mindset and applies it to a skill needed in nearly every organization.
You could be the most brilliant person in the world, but if you are unable to communicate, then your ideas are lost. Having strong oral and written communication skills is fundamental to become a professional.