Computer science lecturer earns award from cybersecurity organization

April 24, 2020

A Mississippi State distance learning instructor in computer science & engineering was recently recognized as one of the top information security professionals in North, Central and South America.

Head shot of Anna Harrison

Computer science online lecturer Anna Harrison.

Anna Harrison, who teaches an online malware reverse engineering course in the Bagley College of Engineering, was awarded the 2019 ISLA Americas Information Security Practitioner award by (ISC) ², an international cybersecurity professional organization. She also works at H2L Solutions as a senior cybersecurity engineer.

Harrison was one of four honorees that the organization chose to highlight for their hard work and the dedication they portray in order to produce positive change.

“My receiving this award illustrates the immeasurable importance of having a mentor who both pushes you outside of your comfort zone to reach your full potential, and who has been in your shoes before you to impart their knowledge and experience,” Harrison said. “I consider myself extremely lucky as I’ve had both Dr. Sarah Lee and Lisa Vaughan as mentors and friends to encourage me, offer perspectives, and just listen when I need it.”

Lee is the assistant department head and an associate clinical professor in computer science & engineering, while Vaughan is the chief information officer for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

Harrison is also a computer science alumna. She earned a master’s degree in computer science from Mississippi State in 2015 after having completed a bachelor’s degree in communication from MSU in 2011.

(ISC)2 is the world’s largest nonprofit corporation that hosts professionals with certifications in cybersecurity. Annually, (ISC)2 recognizes people from North, Central, and South America, through the ISLA Americas program, who show great leadership and achievements in their workplace through information security.

“Each year, the ISLA Americas ceremony showcases what leaders in our field are doing to help us achieve our vision of inspiring a safe and secure cyber world,” said (ISC)² Chief Operating Officer Wesley Simpson. “The winners are enabling positive change within their organizations and communities, and across the industry.”

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at  and can be found on  Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and  YouTube at @msuengineering.

Mississippi State University is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

By: Kaleigh Walker