Meet Miranda Pagarelski ‘23, a double major at Champlain College studying Computer Networking & Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics. Hailing from Mountain Top, PA, she’s not just a student, she’s a powerhouse in the making. We sat down with Pagarelski to learn about her journey at Champlain and shed light on the CyberTech Awareness Program, her role in the Leahy Center for Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity, and her aspirations in the tech industry.
A Q&A with Miranda Pagarelski ‘23
What is something you’ve grown to be proud of while here?
I am proud to help continue the CyberTech Awareness Program and become the Operations Coordinator at the Leahy Center for Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity. It’s something that I started as a researcher during my freshman spring semester, and I would never have thought that I would help pilot a national high school internship program (GenCyber Virtual High School Internships) funded by the NSA and NSF. Getting the word out to schools both in the area and nationally is always difficult, but I’m happy to see how far we’ve come since then!
What do you want to be ready for when you graduate? How has Champlain helped you get there?
I want to be even more confident in myself as a woman in the technology field. I had minimal cybersecurity knowledge coming into the major, and I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve thrown myself into the major, and its extracurriculars, and gotten to learn a lot from my professors and peers. Imposter syndrome is something that a lot of folks struggle with, and I’m happy to have the support from the faculty at the college that helps me be more confident in my skills—even if I don’t always believe in them myself.
Describe your ultimate career aspiration, job, or accomplishment in your field.
I think success looks different for a lot of people. For me, I want to be able to grow both personally and professionally at any company or agency I work with in the future. This requires a willingness to learn. You should be comfortable with failure and be able to try your best to bounce back when things don’t go exactly as planned. After graduation, I will be moving down to Augusta, GA, to work with the U.S. Army Cyber Command.
Pagarelski’s journey at Champlain College is a multifaceted experience, encompassing much more than simply earning a degree. She also became an advocate for cybersecurity awareness, developed confidence in herself and her peers, and is prepared for a future where she can continue to grow personally and professionally. To her, Champlain is not just a college, but a launching pad for her ambitions in the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity.