With Cybersecurity Certificate, Mable Hamlette-Franklin Finds a Career that Fits Her Life

If you hear Mable Hamlette-Franklin walk you through the story of her life, one constant theme that might stand out is the high level of activity she maintains. As a working adult, Hamlette-Franklin pursued a master’s degree in administration with a concentration in industrial management at the University of Lynchburg. And today, as a working mother of two sons, she devotes much of her free time and spare energy to her church, her sorority (Alpha Kappa Alpha) and her second business as a director with Mary Kay.  

Hamlette-Franklin is a proud first-generation student who attended Longwood University for her undergraduate degree. While her early career included serving as a program analyst with Norfolk Southern, she shifted towards education when her first son was born, recognizing her long commute was challenging for her family life. On the hunt for a position that better fit her role as a mother, Hamlette-Franklin was invited to teach at Central Virginia Community College but knew she needed additional graduate-level credit hours in order to do so. Thankfully, she found the solution to her predicament at UVA's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, where she enrolled in the Graduate Cybersecurity Management Certificate program, a six-course program that students can complete within 12-18 months.

Mable and her husband at a UVA game
Mable and her husband Randall (UVA Class of '85) are proud members of the UVA family

Of her time in the certificate program, Hamlette-Franklin reflects that certain small life changes were helpful. For one, she recognizes her husband’s support was critical because he was willing to lighten her load within their family and allow her extra time to focus on school. She took classes according to a schedule that enabled her to balance other life demands and allowed her to still have time for interests she cared about. She also leaned into exercise to steady herself, making time for frequent walks.  

In class, Hamlette-Franklin enjoyed the times when her personal life and her school life would intertwine. She recalls one school project that allowed her to apply her security expertise to help her own church. “My professors included as much hands-on experience as they could in our online environment. It was wonderful to take what we learned in online classroom and apply it to the real world,” she reflected. 

Mable at graduation with husband and Kai Degner
Mable celebrates her UVA accomplishment with her husband and Kai Degner, UVA SCPS Program Director

Through the SCPS certificate program, Hamlette-Franklin earned 18 graduate-level credits and learned relevant industry skills that primed her for instructing IT and Cybersecurity. She is now in her second year of a full-time teaching position with Central Virginia Community College and, while admittedly still very busy, she is loving her role.