Meet Ford Scott ’24 Ford Scott '24 enjoys the intersection of technology and the humanities and has furthered his interests through independent study and internships.
Ford Scott ’24
Hometown: Charlottesville, Virginia
Major/minor: Computer science major; digital culture and information minor
Why did you choose to come to W&L?
I chose W&L for its academic excellence and close proximity to my home, allowing me to delve into various fields of study before deciding on my major. The university’s broad-based education assured me that I would gain skills applicable in any career, preparing me well for the future.
Have you discovered a course or topic that you didn’t expect to study when you first came to W&L?
At W&L, I discovered how to merge my interest in technology with my passion for research through the digital culture and information (DCI) minor. The DCI minor uniquely enables me to intersect technology with the humanities, fostering my ability to create diverse projects in areas like politics, activism, technology and cybersecurity. This integration is a direct result of W&L’s liberal arts ethos, encouraging a multidisciplinary approach and blending tech with the broader scope of human experiences.
Where is your “home” on campus?
On campus, I find my home either in the lab on the fourth floor of Parmly Hall, deeply involved in programming and projects, or on the basketball court, actively supporting my team. These are the places where I engage most with my passions and the W&L community.
What has been your most impactful experience at W&L?
At W&L, I’ve had two particularly significant experiences. Founding the Cybersecurity Club has been deeply rewarding, allowing me to assist other students in navigating the complexities of this field. We’ve grown to about 60 members, and it’s been inspiring to see our collective progress in understanding and promoting online security.
Equally important has been the invaluable internship opportunities I’ve had, thanks to Associate Director of Career and Professional Development-STEM Lead Heather Scherschel. My summer with Input Output Global, a leader in blockchain technology, involved engaging with advanced areas like threat intelligence and penetration testing. And now, I’m preparing for a security engineering internship at ServiceNow in California. Both experiences have been crucial to my professional development, highlighting W&L’s commitment to providing practical, real-world experiences alongside academic learning.
Who is your mentor on campus?
I’ve been fortunate to find mentorship in two of my computer science professors, Professor (Taha) Kahn and Professor (William) Tolley. Both specialize in privacy and security, aligning closely with my own interests. Currently, I’m working with Professor Tolley on an independent study focused on examining various samples of malware. His guidance has been instrumental in allowing me to explore these niche topics and receive targeted career advice.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I have a strong passion for music, and W&L has supported me in pursuing it alongside my main studies. The university’s flexible curriculum has allowed me to take saxophone classes for the past two semesters, which has been a great way to blend my musical interests with my other academic pursuits.