Calvin Otis: student information security policy analyst    

Years at OSU: 3

City of residence: Corvallis

When Calvin Otis joined OSU’s Office of Information Security as a student worker in February, he was hoping for some on-the-job experience developing information security policy. Instead he found himself at the center of the university’s efforts to write new policies specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I took the job, coronavirus wasn’t even part of the picture,” said Otis, who works as an information security policy analyst. “When the pandemic hit, the focus of my work totally changed.”

Otis, a Corvallis resident, is a business information systems and international business major in the College of Business, and he’s heading into his senior year.

Business information systems is the intersection of business, technology and people, Otis explained. Jobs in the field include managing information technology departments, consulting on cybersecurity issues, writing policy and more.

As the university shifted to remote operations and students, faculty and staff largely began working from home, Otis was tasked with conducting research and drafting policy that would help protect the information of the university, its students and employees.

“Calvin has held his own coordinating policy with OSU staff and faculty that addresses the current COVID situation and has done insightful research in the development of that policy,” said David McMorries, chief information security officer for OSU’s Office of Information Security, and Otis’ supervisor.

Otis said his job with the information security office has provided a meaningful learning experience that is different from the knowledge he gains in the classroom.

“It’s been really good and a great learning experience,” Otis said. “Being on committees with faculty and information technology staff, and learning about their thought processes as they make decisions, has been incredible.”

The policies Otis has been working on are starting to take effect across the university.

“The first couple of rules I wrote are going into effect,” he said. “I wrote them, but I had so much help from everybody in the office. I was just glad to be part of the effort.”

~ Michelle Klampe

Have an OSU Unsung Hero suggestion? We are looking for submissions that highlight OSU employees and students who are not typically in the spotlight but are going above and beyond during this pandemic. Send your suggestions to [email protected] and our staff may contact them to conduct remote interviews that we would feature in OSU Today and elsewhere.