February 2016 Employee Spotlight: Becky Mayse

This February we’re showing our #BuckeyeLove for a new hire in this month’s employee spotlight. Senior Security Analyst Becky Mayse comes to the OCIO with a passion for information security and a fascination with technology. This former juggler and auctioneer can be found in Baker Systems Engineering talking to stakeholders and spreading awareness about phishing. Outside of the office, you can find her passing messages via ham radio—no, really! Although she’d rather be in the tropics or Paris, Becky is enjoying her new role at The Ohio State University. Learn more about her in this month’s employee spotlight.

Q: What is your role at the OCIO and what do you like best about your job? I’m part of the Enterprise Security organization and am focused on implementing and supporting a security awareness program. Information security is something I’m really passionate about; my role here at The Ohio State University is a dream come true because I get to talk to people about something I love!

Q: How long have you worked at the OCIO? I started here in December and have had a wonderful experience so far. Many thanks to everyone for being so welcoming!

Q: What are you currently working on? What does a typical day look like for you? I’m heavily involved with one of Enterprise Security’s top projects for the year―the Security and Awareness Training Program. On a typical day I might talk to stakeholders, work on technical integrations or try to answer questions like how to best reach people.

There are three major tracks of the project for FY16. They are to implement phishing educational capabilities, refresh the OCIO Security website and deliver end user security awareness training.

Q: Did you always know this is what you wanted to do as a career? Information Security wasn’t really an established career path when I was a child. However I’ve always had a fascination with technology and knew that no matter what my future held, that would play a large part of it.

Q: Where have you worked before this? Most recently I led information security and compliance efforts for ascena Retail Group, and before that I managed forensic computing engagements and incident response cases for Interhack.

Q: What was your very first job? When I was 16, I got a job working the concession stand at a local movie theater, which I think was probably the coolest 16-year-old job ever. My friends and I got to go to a movie every week. Also, at the theater we were challenged to upsell soda and popcorn orders. I figured out the best way to get guests to spend more was to entertain them, so I taught myself how to juggle cups. It worked great and I won an award.

Q: Where did you go to college? I have a Bachelor of Science and an Associate of the Arts from The University of Findlay and a graduate degree from American Public University. I hope to enroll in The Fisher College of Business MBA program next fall.

Q: Where are you from originally? I grew up in Haskell, Arkansas. It was a tiny town with a great big heart and a great place to be from. Jerry Van Dyke lived down the road and ran a community theater the next town over. I was cast in several plays at his theater including landing the role of Mrs. Cratchit in the Christmas Carol.

Q: What is your favorite place to visit? I like any place that’s beautiful, though I have a preference for tropical beaches. I’ve visited Belize several times and have always enjoyed spending time there. I’ve also been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in Alaska. While I don’t care for cold weather, it was amazing.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I’d really like to visit Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris to see the Monet circular galleries. I’ve gotten to see a lot of his other works and am always fascinated at how drastically my impression of the work changes based off different things, like how far away I’m standing, what the temperature of the light is or from what angle I’m looking at it. My favorite series is Water Lilies.

Q: Do you have any family? My parents, sister, brother-in-law and niece live on our family farm in Kenton, Ohio. I very much enjoy spending time with them all, especially my niece Madeleine (pictured above). Also, I have two cats, Archie and Greyson, who don’t realize they aren’t people. I’m sure if they could read they would be disappointed if I didn’t mention them.

Q: Do you have any hobbies? KD8YCW is my ham radio call sign. I’m pretty active with the Central Ohio Traffic Net, a section of the National Traffic System. It’s a volunteer group that passes messages via ham radio to ensure alternative communication methods exist outside of modern technology in case of catastrophe. It’s a lot like playing telephone to pass messages from coast to coast via the radio waves except we train to make sure we pass our messages perfectly and for there to be no deviation between what the sender sends and the receiver receives.

Q: What is something most people might be surprised to know about you? I’m an auctioneer! By fluke I got the chance to go to the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa, for free right after I graduated from high school. It sounded like an adventure so I jumped at the chance and found out I was pretty good at it. After auctioneering school I got licensed and have been volunteering my auctioneer services for any charity that asks.

Q: Favorite place to eat in Columbus? Tip Top on East Gay Street downtown is my favorite restaurant. It’s an eclectic place that serves up some awesome food! A lot of their menu can be prepared vegetarian friendly, but they also have plenty of options for my non-vegetarian friends. Everything is delicious.

Q: Favorite quote? “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” - Walden, Henry David Thoreau

Q: Do you have a favorite book or movie? It would be too challenging to name a favorite. The book I wish the most I could read again for the first time is Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. I could read Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice over and over again and the book I found most surprising is Vladmir Nabokov’s Despair.

Q: Give three adjectives that best describe yourself. Grateful. Motivated. Intrigued.