Penn Stater from Harrisburg is first in family to earn master's degree

August 08, 2012

Isiah Jones of Harrisburg High School class of 2003 will pick up his second Penn State diploma this weekend — a master's degree in homeland security–information security and forensics earned online through World Campus

Isiah "Izzy" Jones of Harrisburg has a lot to celebrate this weekend. In 2007, Jones became the first descendent of his maternal grandmother's family to earn a four-year college degree when he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Penn State. On Aug. 11, he will pick up his second Penn State degree, a homeland security master's degree. His grandmother will be on hand to see him graduate, as she has for all of his graduation ceremonies.

"I wanted my grandmother to be with me again, because she never had a chance to get much education living in Alabama before the Civil Rights Movement opened up education opportunities," said Jones of Carrie Mae Brown, who was once a sharecropper. "Grandma only made it through sixth grade. She was one of 18 and she will be 80 in December, and this is my way of giving her an early birthday present."

Brown, who now lives in Raleigh, N.C., has six children, about 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. "We all want to come together for her turning 80 in 2012," said Jones of his family's birthday celebration plans.

Currently an information assurance officer and security analyst with Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center in Mechanicsburg, Jones earned his first degree, a bachelor of science in information sciences and technology, beginning on campus at University Park campus and later at Penn State Harrisburg. He was fifth in his 2003 Harrisburg High School class. His sister, Aishah Calloway, is following his example and is a criminal justice major at Penn State Harrisburg.

While an undergraduate student, Jones served as an information technology student intern with NAVSUP. Upon graduating, he joined NAVSUP as a systems analyst. In 2009, he wanted to expand his career set and heard about U.S. cyber security and homeland security issues and the creation of U.S. Cyber Command. He decided to return to Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) for his master's degree in homeland security, with a focus on information security and forensics.

The College of IST offers the bachelor of science in information sciences and homeland security master's degree, which is delivered online through Penn State's World Campus.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 80 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, which serves more than 5 million people each year, in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide.

  • Isiah Jones is the first in his family to earn a master's degree, online through the World Campus.

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated August 13, 2012