Becoming a Fellow
As a student at Taylor, Grant Hollis (‘04) remembers miraculously finishing group projects just before their deadlines, spending time with friends on 1st Berg, and discussing questions of theology and faith.
Now, 15 years later, Hollis was recently recognized as a Lockheed Martin Fellow—a member of an elite group of technical experts from a variety of departments tasked with solving the company’s most challenging problems. Lockheed Martin is an international aerospace, defense, arms, security, and advanced technologies company that's headquartered near Washington, DC.
Hollis credits his accelerated career to the Systems component of his Computer Science degree.
“The systems curriculum was most formative because it taught me how to define what ‘quality’ was and pursue it with excellence from a technical standpoint,” Hollis said.
This ability is a defining skill set for a Lockheed Martin Fellow.
Equipped to be Exceptional
While Hollis’ concentration at Taylor was Intelligent Systems (Artificial Intelligence), Hollis pursued a cybersecurity career post-graduation because he believes it is a field that affects people’s daily lives. He wanted to solve interesting, practical, and relevant problems—the same problems that students in Taylor’s recently introduced Computer Science-Cybersecurity major are being prepared to solve.
Hollis encourages Taylor’s current CSE students to figure out what makes them stand out among their peers. For some students, this could be performing malware research, and for others, the Systems curriculum.
“Don’t be just another programmer,” he said. “Orient your resume to showcase what you do uniquely well.”
During his first year at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, Hollis sat in a meeting with senior government and organizational officials as a recent college graduate among seasoned experts.
“I took plenty of notes, and everyone left the meeting. A few weeks later, we were asked if we had a project proposal ready, and I was the only person with notes on project requirements,” Hollis said. “Taylor’s education gave me ears to hear requirements when a lot of other things were also being said.”
Studying Technology at Taylor
For Hollis, the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Taylor provided a strong technical background. When reflecting on the foundations he built during his time at Taylor, he said, “Because of my Taylor CSE background, I felt like there wasn't anything I couldn't eventually learn, given enough time and resources.”
Since the landscape of cybersecurity is always changing, Hollis is excited to see where the new trends in secure computing are going. He appreciates the trajectory of his career and hopes to continue mentoring and helping other engineers in his workplace.
“In this role, I feel called to love my coworkers as well as I can,” Hollis said. “I see it as my goal to create a culture that reflects Christ’s redemptive love in the workplace.”
Not only did the CSE program provide Hollis with the competency and knowledge to become a cybersecurity professional, but his time at Taylor also equipped him with the skills to discern when to speak, when to listen, and how to pursue excellence.