RSCC students bring home medals from SkillsUSA

Roane State students Michael Graves, left, and Christopher Paul took first place in the SkillsUSA competition in cybersecurity.

UPPER CUMBERLAND – From in-person competitions to online camps, Roane State’s computer programming and cybersecurity programs continue to grow and earn widespread recognition.

And the community college’s mechatronics curriculum is also earning kudos, officials said.

Lilliana (Lily) Devault holds the SkillsUSA banner representing her first-place finish in the computer programming competition.

Students in Computer Science won gold medals in computer programming and cybersecurity in the annual SkillsUSA Tennessee competition and will be advancing to national competitions in June.

Lilliana (Lily) Devault took the gold in programming, and Christopher Paul and Michael Graves won gold medals in cyber defense.

The latest cyber defense award marks the fourth consecutive year that Roane State teams have won the statewide gold medal. The competition involves students uncovering and resolving cyberattacks by mock adversaries who leave digital traces of their tampering.

Dr. George Meghabghab, head of the community college’s rapidly growing Computer Information Technology program, is the team coach.

Also winning medals in the latest competitions were Gabriel J. Eady, silver medal in mechatronics, and Jeremiah L. Hamby and Joshua L. Gilmore, bronze medals in robotics and automation. Mechatronics is the technology that combines electronics and mechanical engineering. Mechatronics instructor Guilherme Garcia serves as the coach.

Roane State students who won medals at the SkillsUSA state contest are pictured, from left, Jeremiah L. Hamby and Joshua L. Gilmore, third place in robotics and automation; Gabriel J. Eady, second place in mechatronics; instructor Guilherme Garcia, and Darren T. Clark, second place in mechatronics.

The gold medalists advance to the national competitions in Atlanta June 20-24 as part of the National Leadership & Skills Conference, described as a “showcase of career and technical education students.”

More than 6,500 outstanding career and technical education students – all state contest winners – will compete in 108 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

In the state event, held in Chattanooga April 10-13, more than 2,000 students from across Tennessee competed.

SkillsUSA is a national membership association serving high school, college and middle school students preparing for careers in a variety of occupations.

Under Meghabghab’s leadership, Roane State’s Computer Information Technology department has become a regional powerhouse.

Roane State has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, and registration is now underway for the third Virtual Cybersecurity Summer Camp for middle and high school-aged students. At the time of this article’s writing, only two slots remain for the high school camp, which will be held June 13-16. 

Roane State has partnered with Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge to offer the camps. Online registration is available at For more information, contact Sonya Parker at or (865) 481-1031.

To learn more about Roane State’s Computer Science programs, including Cyber Defense and Programming, visit Information on the college’s offerings in Mechatronics is also available at

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has locations in Roane, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Morgan and Scott counties as well as a branch campus in Oak Ridge. For more information, visit or call (865) 882-4554. Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at

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