Everyone involved in the California Cyberhub already knows the impact Donna Woods has made on advancing cybersecurity education throughout the state. That message spread to a much larger audience earlier this month when she was honored by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus as part of Women’s History Month.
On March 10, Assemblymember and Higher Education Chair Jose Media recognized Donna as one of 20 influential women who serve as positive role models to their communities. Woods was honored for her career as a STEM educator and advocate for underrepresented students.
"These women of distinction have exhibited an unwavering spirit of commitment to society and displayed a devotion to empowering women of all ages," Medina said.
As a founding member of the California Cyberhub, Donna has worked to enhance the relationship between government, education, and industry so all three can effectively work together to provide pathways for students across the state to pursue careers in cybersecurity — improving their economic outlook and filling the increasing demand for workers in this field.
Never one to take the spotlight, Donna says she’s grateful for the support she receives from the Cyberhub team.
“Throughout the event, I was thankful for each individual on our team and grateful for the work of everyone contributing to California Cyberhub,” Woods said. “I felt honored to represent our team’s efforts, and I am proud of our work. I am grateful that our work is being recognized by the state as a worthy cause, imploring others to support our endeavors.”
In addition to her work as a founding member of the California Cyberhub, her volunteer service activities include: Girls Excelling in Mathematics Successfully, Girls that Code, Hour of Code, the NSA National Day of Cyber, Safe Cyber for Senior Citizens, coaching award- winning CyberPatriot teams, and mentoring new coaches and educators in cybersecurity curriculum and competitions.
Donna said this work is all in service of a broader goal that motivates her in everything she does.
“I am reminded of the incredible responsibility that we have going forward,” she said “I feel it every time we give a presentation, speak on the radio, support a cyber cause or competition, or receive an award. It's humbling because in all we aspire to do, our mission, vision, and focus must consistently be in serving the need and the greater good of all things cyber.”