Melissa Carlton: iSchool Alumna and Computer Science Professor

Melissa Carlton graduated from the School of Information in 2008 with a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies and has recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor in Computer Science at Houston Baptist University College of Engineering in Houston, Texas.

After graduating from FSU, Carlton went on to receive her PhD in Information Systems and Cybersecurity from Nova Southeastern University’s College of Engineering and Computing. As an assistant professor at Houston Baptist, Carlton focuses on project-based hands-on learning as well as teaching her students to protect, defend, and provide security. Her passion for teaching others on how to be secure in the cyber world sprung, in part, from her education. “My education laid the foundation and stepping stones for realizing what I could become” says Carlton, “The best part of my job is those I get to share my classroom with: my students.”

Cybersecurity is a slightly different path than what Carlton had originally set out to do; accounting. “My plans shifted as I encountered computers and those I worked with did not understand how to be protective of the access they had.” Her interest in the field of computing only began to grow as she started realizing things she wanted to change about the education system. “I saw what I did not like about academia,” explains Carlton, “And thought if I were going to change it, I needed to be a part of the solution.”

Learn more about Melissa Carlton by reading our Q & A with her below!

Who do you admire and why?

My husband, Gordon. He has allowed the Lord to transform his life in ways most do not have the opportunity to do so and after being in a town over 50+ years, he packed up to move with me to Houston to teach cybersecurity skills to young minds for the purpose of securing America’s future through engineering.

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

God first, family second, and all others things will find their place afterwards.

What would you say to someone who doesn’t know what career they’d like to pursue?

Do not be afraid to return to college to change your career path. Education cannot be taken away from you and wanting to follow a different career path is possible with an education.

What advice would you have given yourself in college?

Do not stress so much over getting an “A”. Instead, build relationships with your peers and teachers. Get to know them and share life experiences with them.