Category Archives: faculty

Dr. Peter Draus Wins 2021 TRETC Innovation in Education Award

Dr. Peter Draus was the recipient of the 2021 Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC) Innovation in Education Award! The theme of this year’s TRETC Conference was Next Level EDTECH.

Dr. Draus was nominated for the award by an RMU student, Danielle Wicklund (’20), now a graduate of RMU, having earned her BS in Business Administration (Accounting) and MS in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance in December 2020 via RMU’s 4+1 program. Ms. Wicklund noted that “During this challenging semester, Dr. Draus went above and beyond his methods of teaching and made online learning interesting & enjoyable. Thus, I nominated him and submitted a letter of recommendation.”

The application for the award included a video that was produced by Ms. Wicklund and Dr. Draus. During the closing ceremony at the TRETC Conference on January 18, 2021, the video was showcased as Dr. Draus was announced as the recipient of the Professor – Innovation in Education Award. The video that was showcased can be viewed here:

Ms. Wicklund commented about the award, “Aside from acknowledging Dr. Draus’ mentorship skills, it also reflects the high caliber of professors at RMU (specifically in the Department of Computer and Information Systems and School of Informatics, Humanities, and Social Sciences). This award is for the Colonial nation. I am proud to be an RMU alum.”

Congratulations, Dr. Peter Draus, on this stellar accomplishment!

CIS Faculty Win Awards at EDSIGCON 2020 Conference on Computing Education

Dr. Paul Kovacs
Dr. Wenli Wang

Dr. Paul Kovacs, University Professor of Computer and Information Systems, and Dr. Wenli Wang, Professor of Computer and Information Systems, received the Best Paper Award at the 2020 Conference on Computing Education (EDSIGCON) for a paper that they co-authored with Dr. Alan Peslak (Penn State University) and Dr. Lisa Kovalchick (California University of Pennsylvania). Their award-winning paper was titled “Effectiveness of Educational Delivery Modes: A Study in Computer Information Systems.”

Dr. Jamie Pinchot
Dr. Karen Paullet

Dr. Jamie Pinchot, Professor of Computer Information Systems, and Dr. Karen Paullet, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Systems, received the Distinguished Paper Award (Top 10%) at the same 2020 Conference on Computing Education (EDSIGCON) for their paper titled “Using Student Choice in Assignments to Create a Learner-Centered Environment for Online Courses.”

The EDSIGCON 2020 Conference was held virtually this year on November 4-7, 2020. Congratulations, faculty!

Dr. Pinchot and Dr. Cellante Win Distinguished Paper Award – Top 5% at CONISAR 2020

Dr. Jamie Pinchot
Dr. Donna Cellante

Dr. Jamie Pinchot and Dr. Donna Cellante, both Professors of Computer and Information Systems, received the Distinguished Paper Award (Top 5%) at the 2020 Conference on Information Systems Applied Research (CONISAR) for a paper that they co-authored. The CONISAR 2020 Conference was held virtually this year on November 4-7, 2020.

Dr. Pinchot and Dr. Cellante’s paper was titled “Privacy Concerns and Data Sharing Habits of Personal Fitness Information Collected via Activity Trackers.”

Congratulations on this award!

Dr. Ping Wang wins Best Paper Award – Pedagogy at IACIS 2020 Conference

Dr. Ping Wang, Professor of Computer and Information Systems, and co-author Dr. Hossein Zare (Johns Hopkins University) received the Best Paper Award – Pedagogy from the 60th Annual International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) Annual Conference. The IACIS 2020 Conference was held virtually this year on October 7-10, 2020.

Dr. Wang’s paper was titled “Teaching Internet of Things (IoT) through Software Simulations with Packet Tracer.

Congratulations, Dr. Wang!

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.

NSF Research and Scholarship Grant – CIS Cyber Scholars

The Department of Computer and Information Systems has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) research & scholarship grant for a 5 year project titled CIS Cyber Scholars Program. Dr. Diane Igoche is the Principal Investigator (PI) for this grant. Co-PI’s are Dr. Karen Paullet, Dr. Natalya Bromall, Dr. David Wood, and Professor John Turchek.

The total grant amount is $998,060 with $600,000 going towards student scholarships and $398,060 towards faculty research. The grant will provide a $10,000 scholarship per year for 2 years for low-income, academically talented community college transfer students in cyber forensics, computer information systems, data analytics, or information science. A total of 38 students are expected to benefit from this scholarship money.

Congratulations to Dr. Igoche, Dr. Paullet, Dr. Bromall, Dr. Wood, and Prof. Turchek!

Dr. Davis, Dr. Sullivan, and Dr. Stewart Receive Best Paper Award at IACIS 2018

best-paper-iacis2018Dr. G. Alan Davis, Professor of Computer and Information Systems, Dr. Adam Sullivan, Manager, Instructional Design and Faculty Support Services, and Dr. John Stewart, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Systems (not pictured), were honored for excellence in research at the 58th Annual International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) conference in Clearwater, FL.

On October 5, 2018, Dr. Davis, Dr. Sullivan, and Dr. Stewart received the Best Paper Award in the Pedagogy category, for their paper titled EdTech Effectiveness: Using Screencasts to Increase Learning Outcomes in Information Systems Curricula.

Academic research papers accepted and presented at the IACIS conference are published in the Issues in Information Systems (IIS) journal, a double-blind refereed, serial publication (ISSN 1529-7314).  IIS publishes research in both practice and pedagogical topics focused on the field of information systems.

Congratulations to the authors on their dedication to excellence in scholarship.

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.”

Dr. Ping Wang receives NSF grant for Cyber Defense Education

PW
Congratulations to Dr. Ping Wang!

Dr. Ping Wang has received a grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a partnership with CyberWatch West and Whatcom Community College for participation in the Application Assistance Program (AAP) for National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE). The NSF funding, which covers mentoring, stipends, and travel support, is to assist Dr. Wang in the application for RMU to become a national CAE-CDE designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The grant is valued at $10,000.

Dr. Robert Skovira receives a Greater Pittsburgh Community Media Award

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Congratulations to Dr. Robert Skovira, who was honored with a Greater Pittsburgh Community Media Award.  Dr. Skovira received an award for MCA-TV Best Informative Program on October 19, 2017.  Moon Community Access Television (MCA-TV) is a center for the production and distribution of public access, educational, and governmental programming over the cable system serving Moon Township.