professional 372x451 - TSTC Cybersecurity student interns with U.S. Coast Guard

(RED OAK, Texas) – Chanel Hinton, a Cybersecurity student at Texas State Technical College, recently began an internship with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Keith Kooyman, the statewide online Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics lead instructor for TSTC, said Hinton is a dependable and dedicated student.

“She has always been a very hard worker, she has always been committed, and she always strives to do the best work that she can do,” Kooyman said.

This was reflected in Hinton’s initiative to find an internship, something Kooyman said few students tend to do.

Hinton is working as an intern for a Coast Guard data center in information assurance. 

Hinton said the internship has taught her about multiple aspects of cybersecurity, including threat analysis, mitigation strategies, and fortifying defenses.

“An internship in information assurance offers invaluable insights into safeguarding digital ecosystems,” she said. “Ultimately this internship cultivates a foundation for crafting robust security infrastructures and protecting sensitive data, vital in today’s interconnected digital realm.”

Hinton said she first became interested in cybersecurity during her time as a medical assistant and decided to pursue her Associate of Applied Science degree because of her experience.

“A hospital that I worked closely with was a victim of a cyberattack and had their patients’ information held for ransom,” she said. “I became very invested in the story and how it then affected all forms of communication and continuing to operate with them, especially during COVID. So when I moved to Texas, I decided to make a career change.”

Hinton said she chose TSTC due to the flexibility and one-on-one opportunities that the Cybersecurity program offers.

“I liked the aspect of taking classes from home and having access to my teachers all day while being able to come into the computer lab if I needed extra guidance,” she said.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and certificates of completion in Cybersecurity at the East Williamson County, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas and Waco campuses, as well as online. An advanced technical certificate in Digital Forensics Specialist is offered 100% online.

Cybersecurity is one of TSTC’s Performance-Based Education programs, meaning that students can move through their training at a flexible pace.

According to, digital forensics analysts in Texas can earn a median salary of $83,340 a year. The website projected that there would be a 20% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.

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