Tooele Technical College selected Derek Darcy as the 2023 Student of the Year.
Derek recently completed the Cybersecurity Pro program.
In October 2020 Darcy was diagnosed with degenerative disk disease. Shortly after his diagnosis, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Working as a custodial supervisor in a hospital means working extra hours to cover shifts. It didn’t take long for him to realize that he would not be able to maintain this position long-term. It was time for a career change.
Darcy always had a passion for IT, and had previous experience and recognition from managers in the IT industry.
In December 2020, the payroll company for his employer was hit with ransomware. This situation interested Derek and he felt that he wanted to learn how to help companies fight against ransomware and other security issues.
“I began looking into Cybersecurity training and education,” Darcy said. “I looked at boot camps, traditional colleges and universities as well as community colleges. I also contacted Tooele Technical College.”
As a father of three and a husband, Darcy didn’t have the luxury of quitting his job to focus on school. Therefore, he needed training that could work within his current time constraints. Each educational option, including online training, had pros and cons. After he weighed his options he chose Tooele Technical College.
Darcy said, “I chose Tooele Tech because of flexibility, cost, and small class sizes. I can work my school schedule around my family obligations. I was fortunate enough to qualify for not only a grant, but the re-engagement scholarship so most of my program expenses are covered. Without financial burdens, I am able to focus on school. My instructors are patient and always available to answer questions.”
The Student of the Year program was created in 2015 to highlight students at the technical colleges around the state. The students serve as ambassadors for the school and share their story and college experiences with community leaders, organizations and even legislators.
Tooele Tech changed their program a little through the years and now instead of having individual students apply for SOTY, they select department Students of the Year who are nominated by instructors. These 5 department nominees compete for the college SOTY. All of the department Students’ of the Year are honored and given a chance to represent the college and share their experiences.
The students who will represent their department areas for 2022 are Derek Darcy (Business and Information Technologies), Aubrey Whittle (Healthcare), Quinn Lucas (Manufacturing), Alivia Brownell (Service Industries- Cosmetology/Nails) and Brandon Redmond (Transportation).
Tooele Tech held their Student Champions Gala on November 9, 2022. Dinner was served and each student was introduced and honored. The department SOTYs received $100, a crystal engraved award and a few other gifts, the Tooele Technical College SOTY received an additional $1000, a plaque and will be serving as the main Tooele Tech Student Ambassador, however the college will also be highlighting all of SOTY from each departments throughout the year. The student’s families, staff, faculty, board members and various community leaders were in attendance at the Gala.