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Tinker employee wins Air Force cybersecurity contest

Tinker Air Force Base Composite Fabricator Sally Van der Veer has won this year’s Air Force Personally Identifiable Information & Cyber Hygiene Storyboard Contest in an Air Force-wide competition sponsored by the United States Air Force Office of the Chief Information Security Officer.

The Air Force will use her storyboard, based on protecting PII and cyber hygiene, to create a two-minute cybersecurity awareness video that is scheduled to debut during Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

Van der Veer has worked for the Composite Shop as a part of the 553rd Commodities Maintenance Squadron in Bldg. 9001 for nearly two years. She learned about the contest late last spring and had less than two weeks to create the 28-panel storyboard.

“We had to create a storyboard focused on the dos and don’ts of cybersecurity and how we take care of PII,” Van der Veer said. “I just happened to learn about the contest and I had to rush to meet the May 25 deadline.”

As an artist whose primary mediums are pencil, paint and computers, she knew she had to be resourceful, creative and focus on cybersecurity’s best practices to create a winning storyboard.

“For the contest, they had storyboard sheets and you could draw whatever you want in the storyboards,” Van der Veer said. “I hand-drew everything. The story follows an officer worker and it has a bit of humor in it, because I know that when things are funny the lessons are easier to remember.”

She said she feels honored to have her work selected out of the 21 entries, and appreciates all the support her co-workers showed her as she waited to find out if she won.

“It felt great to get that congratulatory call from CISO,” Van der Veer said. “I’m excited and appreciate the opportunity to showcase and utilize my talents for this Air Force project.”