Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) computer scientist Marjorie Parish Taylor and her two siblings were the first-generation college students in their family, who graduated from high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The three siblings were determined to experience life at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), so they all headed south to Alabama.
Taylor enrolled at Alabama A&M University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1993. She fondly remembers her time at the HBCU as a life-changing experience that helped her grow both personally and professionally. Taylor became a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and graduated magna cum laude.
After graduating, Taylor began working at the U.S. Army Industrial Operations Command in Rock Island, Illinois, as a computer specialist from 1993-98. She then started her first stint as a computer scientist at NSWCDD, serving in that role for six years before working as a systems administrator at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center for the next 14 years.
Taylor rejoined NSWCDD in 2018, working in the Weapon Control and Integration Department. As the Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO) Team Lead, she was recognized for her outstanding organizational skills and for ensuring full compliance with plans, policies, and standards for the Department of the Navy IT infrastructures and architectures.
Small HBCUs are a potential source of highly qualified candidates, Taylor said. During her first stint at NSWCDD in the early 2000s, she participated in career fairs at HBCUs to recruit bright prospects who might otherwise have been overlooked. The career fair tour included stops at HBCUs Spelman College and Morehouse College in Atlanta, as well as North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“To expand her knowledge of the Cyber Security and Risk Management Framework processes, Mrs. Taylor accepted an [ISSO] position within the Maritime Warfare Control Systems Division,” said Toyce Small, head of the Maritime Warfare Control Systems Division. “She served as the Under Sea Warfare Information Assurance task lead, where she excelled in the position. What Mrs. Taylor learned prepared her for the next assignment in her career.”
In 2020, Taylor joined the Electromagnetic and Sensor Systems Department, where she reinvigorated her coding skills during a time when G/ATOR lost multiple systems administrators. She volunteered to take on systems administration work for the software development and test lab and the software pipelines. In December 2022, she had a brief stint as acting branch head.
“Marjorie has brought a wealth of knowledge to the Electromagnetic Sensors Cyber and Security group,” said David Sawdy, the ISSM in her division. “Her ability to learn and adapt to different projects and timelines, along with her use of resources, demonstrates the creativity and trust required to provide a superior product to the warfighter.”