Category Archives: campus news

Netflix Founder to Fund 20 Full Scholarships at RMU in Technology and Mathematics Fields

Reed Hastings, founder and co-CEO of Netflix, will give $3 million to Robert Morris University to fund 20 full scholarships — including room, board, and textbooks — beginning with students entering the university in the fall of 2021. 

The RMU Next Century Scholarships will be open to applicants from underrepresented groups and others who demonstrate a commitment to empowering members of underrepresented groups, and are aimed at students who wish to pursue careers in technology or mathematics-related fields. Recipients will be able to choose from several degree programs at RMU, including:

  • Computer and Information Systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Actuarial Science
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics and Predictive Analytics
  • Computer Science
  • User Experience User Interface Design (UX-UI)

Excerpt taken from the full article, which can be found here:
https://www.rmu.edu/about/news/netflix-founder-fund-20-full-scholarships-robert-morris-university

Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program Grant

Dr. Ping Wang

Congratulations to Dr. Ping Wang!

The Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This grant will establish a new DoD Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) at RMU to recruit and prepare cyber talent for the DoD cyber workforce and to enhance the national pipeline for qualified cyber professionals. The grant funding provides support for three (3) graduate student scholarships and for faculty research on cybersecurity education and mentoring. Students graduating from the CySP program will be placed and serve professional positions of cybersecurity within DoD agencies.

This award was possible as RMU is designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by NSA/DHS. This designation must be in good standing to apply for this competitive grant.

Dr. Ping Wang is the Principal Investigator (PI) of this grant project. The project period is 12 months and the grant is valued at $243,465. For 2020-21, three students have been awarded this scholarship. Each student will receive $68,660 (to cover full tuition & fees, living stipend, laptop computer, and textbook allowance) and is eligible to take up to 18 credits per semester.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Wang!

Top Secret Colonials win 3rd Place in SGA Shark Tank Competition – Will Host a Comedy Night for Charity

IMG_5605Members of the Top Secret Colonials (TSC) won 3rd place in the Student Government Association (SGA) Shark Tank competition. They won $2000 to host an event for charity in the Fall 2020 semester. Pictured from left to right are: Taylor Passerini, Nathan Sullivan, Evan Kinney, and Taylor Priore. Pictured at right is Zaithwa Gwaza, SGA President, presenting the team with the check.

This is the 4th year in a row that the club has won 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in the SGA Shark Tank competition. Each year they host a campus-wide event to raise money for a charity. This year, the students will once again host a Comedy Night in which they will raise money for the Stanley Marks Blood Cancer Fund for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This coming year, students will have the opportunity to compete to be the opening act of the headliner. TSC will hold an open mic night a week prior to the event where they will be asking students, faculty, and staff to be the judges. The winners will open at the main event to raise money for Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Congratulations, Top Secret Colonials! This is a great accomplishment, and will benefit another great cause.

Dr. Laverty honored as AITP-EDSIG Fellow

lavertyThe CIS Department congratulates Dr. J. Packy Laverty who was inducted as an AITP-EDSIG Fellow at the 2019 EDSIG Conference for Information Systems and Computing.  AITP-EDSIG Fellows are inducted in honor of their long-term, meaningful, and effective support of AITP-EDSIG in its mission to improve information systems (IS) education and foster the careers of IS faculty.

Dr. Laverty is a Professor of Computer Information Systems and Coordinator of Enterprise Systems at Robert Morris University.  Prior to his time at RMU, he held faculty positions at University of Pittsburgh, St. Vincent’s College, Community College of Allegheny County, and Carlow College. He has 35 years of professional consulting experience which includes working closely with IBM on its z-System academic initiative and curriculum. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Accounting and a MBA from Duquesne University. He received his Ph.D. in Academic Computing from University of Pittsburgh. In addition, he has obtained numerous IT-related certifications. During his 44 years as an information systems and business administration educator, he has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate classes including Linux, Java, IBM DB2, Unix, COBOL, Oracle, HTML, JavaScript, and MySQL-PHP, just to name a few.

During his time in academics, Dr. Laverty has established a consistent research record including publications and innovative outcomes assessment initiatives. He has consistently published in the Information Systems Education Journal and Issues in Information Systems journal, as well as presented his research at numerous international and national conferences. Dr. Laverty has been actively involved with EDSIG throughout the years serving as the workshop chair, publishing papers, making presentations, and always willing to help out wherever needed.

Congratulations, Dr. Laverty, on receiving this prestigious honor.

RMU Designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

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Robert Morris University (RMU) has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (NSA/DHS). Dr. Ping Wang, Professor of Computer and Information Systems, is the official POC (Point of Contact) for RMU’s CAE-CDE designation.

 

 

New Year Brings New Director to SCIS’ D.Sc. Program

mishraDr. Sushma Mishra is the new director of SCIS’ D.Sc. program. She succeeds Dr. David Wood, who stepped down at the end of the fall semester.

“My number one priority as the director is to highlight and communicate the value that this program provides to people seeking a terminal degree in an applied field such as information systems,” Dr. Mishra said.

“We have a unique program in terms of balancing rigor and relevance,” Dr. Mishra noted. “The rigor of the program comes from well-designed courses in areas of research design, methods and content that are taught by our dedicated faculty. The relevance of the research comes from the applied nature of problems that professionals seek to investigate in this program.”

She added that the answers that develop from the research are transferred from the classroom and into the organizational settings where the students work.

“The program is designed for students to succeed,” Dr, Mishra said. “We have one of the highest rates of graduation in this program. Being able to complete course work and individual research in three years requires lot of dedication from students and faculty members. We are able to accomplish this as a team.”

Dr. Mishra said she often is asked by prospective students why a D.Sc. degree might be a better choice than a Ph.D. degree.

“In my opinion, a D.Sc. program is more applied in nature,” she stated. “Our students are investigating real organizational problems and taking the skills and solutions to their work place to address more relevant issues. This makes our program different as the applicability of knowledge is high and not just a theoretical exercise.”

Dr. Mishra noted that her predecessor set quite the bar as a leader.

“David’s leadership and mentorship encouraged new ideas to be discussed and implemented in the program,” she said. “His dedication to student success has generated goodwill throughout the region.”

AnnMarie LeBlanc is the dean of the School of Communications and Information Systems. She is confident Dr. Mishra will demonstrate the same skills as an administrator that she does as a teacher and scholar.

“I look forward to witnessing Dr. Mishra’s leadership,” Dean LeBlanc said. “Her vision, wisdom and collaborative nature will most certainly enhance the Doctor of Science curricular offerings and add value to the degree.”

Because she is taking over what she called “a fundamentally solid program,” Dr. Mishra doesn’t envision making structural changes. But she does have clear goals in mind.

One is to work with the D.Sc. faculty to explore how the program needs to adjust to ever-changing technology trends. A second is to ensure that relevant current topics are integrated into the curriculum.

Dr. Mishra will continue to teach one D.Sc. course in the fall semester in her new administrative role. She also will teach one Master’s level course in the spring term.

“I have been teaching in this program for few years and have really enjoyed the enthusiasm of all the people involved in making it successful,” she noted.

“I am a firm believer of this program, and I hope all our students are proud of their experiences here and their degrees.”