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June 26, 2018 10:03 PM

Secretary Of The Air Force Visits DSU Campers

Madison, SD

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson returned to KELOLAND Tuesday. The former South Dakota School of Mines and Technology president was at Dakota State University in Madison to talk to young women about their future and how the science and technology they're studying will impact it. 

This week's GenCyber: Girls in CybHER Security camp at DSU is just for girls: 125 from 14 states. There are classes on forensics, phishing, cybersecurity, cryptography, and programming. On Tuesday Wilson joined the campers for a talk that focused on the future.

Avi Margheim just completed sixth grade. But the camper is looking well beyond that.

"I just met somebody who might end up becoming my future boss," Margheim said.

She's talking about Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, for whom she has quite the description.

"She seems like a mix of Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia, Amelia Earhart, and Madame Curie," Margheim said.

KELOLAND News asked Wilson why she returned to KELOLAND. 

"This is the biggest girls' cyber camp in the country, and this is a very good program to inspire girls to consider going into computer science and coding," Wilson said.

"She wanted to come and see what we do, we wanted her to come and be an influence to these girls, share her story, and I think that was well-done," camp co-director and DSU faculty member Pam Rowland said.

Wilson shared thoughts, stories, and advice. A noticeable portion of her time was spent asking the young campers about their futures and what they wanted to become.

"It's about them, it's not about me, I mean, I could stand there and bore them to death by talking, but I wanted them to get thinking and talking about who they want to become, and to let them know it's okay to dream about what you want to become," Wilson said.

For the takeaway, Wilson gave a confident pilot's response.

"They can be anything they want to be, that the sky's the limit," she said. 

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