More about Alma

In a nutshell...

Skills and Strengths

  • Organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • Coachable
  • Complaint
  • Genuine and unimposing leadership style
  • Excellent communicator (Spanish and English)
  • Compassionate
  • Challenge driven
  • Curious
  • Driven by morals
  • Extrovert
  • Socialble
  • Voracious learner
  • Innovative
  • Explorer
  • Tolerant

Cybersecurity brings all of my intestests together: technology, foreign affairs, social impact, and education.

You can rely on me to plan and follow through on projects. Colleagues appreciated my highly compassionate nature, and my ability to influence without authority. I am intellectual, so my inquisitiveness flourishes with routine-based, structured environments - which is why I appreciate Agile development practices and hold a SCRUM certificate.

Cybersecurity & Technology

After years in education, I began using technology to sell online as a sustainable development small business owner. I created content in Spanish and English to cover the US and Mexican markets. Several years later, I was forced shut down the business. I started teaching online and became increasing curious about the virutal learning environments we were using to teach. Thanks to David Malan's Introduction to Computer Science course, my eyes were opened to an entirely new world of tehcnology and education.

A background in foreign affairs laid the foundations of conflict resolution and policy, but my first official cybersecurity class was the University of Washington's Introduction to Cybersecurity. I then received a scholarship from Meta Defence Labs to attend the SHe CISO Executive Bootcamp in July 2020. In August I was selected by Women in Cybersecurity for the Google and Sans Insitute Cybersecurity Training Scholarship.

International Relations

In 2016 Donald Trump said what he said about Mexicans. I knew I had to do something. I self-published a book that spoke to two very different, yet very similar audiences: deported youth and the children of Mexicans born in other countries. One thing that these two groups had in common: if they were going to live in Mexico, they needed a survival guide. After the publication of the book, the then director of the Center for Migrant Studies at Universidad Michoacana San Nicolas de Hidalgo, Maria Elena Rivera, invited me to enroll in the Education and Teaching graduate program at the School of Psychology.

Social Impact

While learning about computer science, I asked a software developer and fellow mom if she would help me with C. "Why do you want to learn to code?" she asked in shock. "Because learning is fun, technology is interesting, and I do not want to live on a teacher's salary forever." We started a study group that quickly turned into a social enterprise that implemented Technovation Challenge for four years. I volunteered as mentor and program manager until I was asked to help launch a technology and social good education program in Mexico City.

Education

My students come from different backgrounds. I have coached C-suite executives, taught formerly homeless girls the design process for building apps, and opened new horizons through "teaching us how to learn new things like binary numbers and code.org" (quote from actual student). My most recent teaching role included managing the social impact and innovation program at an international school in Mexico City, leaving my position in 2019 to study JavaScript development fulltime thanks to the Edie Windsor coding scholarship from Lesbians Who Tech.