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February 2023 – Cieran Plancer-Murphy C’26 knew in high school that he wanted to pursue computer science and cybersecurity as his chosen career path.
His college search included engineering schools, but a recruiting call from Zach Mower C’13, former head coach of Drew University’s men’s and women’s cross country programs, shifted Plancer-Murphy to think about Drew as an option.
Plancer-Murphy’s mother, Kristen Plancer-Murphy C’97, is a Drew alum and had planted the Drew seed with tales of her time at Drew as an RA and immersive experiences in Ghana and Costa Rica—now called shortTRECs.
“I began to think about all the stories my mom and her close friends from Drew told me over the years,” he said.
“After touring and meeting such amazing staff and students, I decided that Drew was the right place for me!” he said. “We attended an Action Scholars event and the conversation with Dr. Kouh [chair and associate professor of physics] that day made my decision; he was so incredibly kind.”
Through an introduction to Sarah Abramowitz, John H. Evans Professor and department chair of mathematics and computer science, Plancer-Murphy learned about Drew’s new Cybersecurity major, as well as Drew’s Dual-Degree in Cybersecurity in partnership with New York University.
It turns out Plancer-Murphy could fulfill his academic and athletic goals at Drew, and continue the Drew legacy.
“Of course my mom was thrilled to know I would experience this special campus,” he said.
“She always said Drew was a hidden gem and to this day says she got a better education at Drew than her grad school, Columbia University,” continued Plancer-Murphy. “People are always shocked and surprised but she said it all came down to the direct and continuous access to professors, research projects, and full-time support from the staff.”
“I am extremely proud to be a legacy student! I hope to have as many great memories!”