Category Archives: faculty

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

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

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.

Dr. Charles Woratschek honored as an AITP-EDSIG Fellow

woratschekThis week, the CIS Department congratulates Dr. Charles Woratschek who was inducted as an AITP-EDSIG Fellow at the annual 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. Woratschek is Professor Emeritus of Computer and Information Systems at Robert Morris University. His career in teaching began in middle school science where he taught for four years. He took a leave of absence in his fifth year to pursue a Master’s Degree in Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh and never looked back. Point Park University hired him as an adjunct faculty in 1982 to teach courses in FORTRAN, data communications, and database. He remained in that position for six years. Robert Morris University hired him full time in 1983 to teach COBOL and Introduction to Computing. During his 33 years at Robert Morris University he went on to teach a variety of courses in programming languages, human computer interaction, database management systems, operating systems, and data warehouse. His first EDSIG conference was in San Antonio, Texas in 1998. Since then he has served as program co-chair, papers co-chair, new member orientation co-chair, and on the editorial board for the Journal of Information Systems Education. Dr. Woratschek has a B.S., M.S.I.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.S.Ed. from Duquesne University.


Pictured above is the induction ceremony with past AITP-EDSIG Fellows, from left to right: Paul Leidig, William Tastle, Charles Woratschek, Alan Peslak, and Bruce White.

Congratulations, Dr. Woratschek, on receiving this prestigious honor recognizing your career-long dedication and service to the field of information systems, and your students.

Dr. Ping Wang and Dr. Sun-A Park Receive Best Research Paper Awards at IACIS 2017

SAP2PWDr. Ping Wang and Dr. Sun-A Park have been recognized for research that was presented at the 2017 International

Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) conference.  The conference took place Oct. 4-7 in Philadelphia.

IMG_0405Dr. Wang, a professor in SCIS’ Department of Computer and Information Systems, earned the Best Paper Award – Pedagogy, Honorable Mention for “A Constructive Team Project Model for Online Cybersecurity Education,” a paper he authored with Dr. Raed Sbeit, a senior manager at Verizon.

“The study suggests that an effective online team project model can enable students to succeed both individually and as a team,” Dr. Wang said.

Dr. Wang and Dr. Park co-authored “Communication in Cybersecurity: A Public Communication Model for Business Data Breach Incident Handling.” That paper received Best Paper Award – Research, Honorable Mention.  Dr. Park is an associate professor in SCIS’ Department of Communication.

“Our research has valuable implications on corporate communication with various publics, such as stakeholders, customers, media, and industry regulation authorities, as part of cybersecurity incident response and handling,” Dr. Wang said.

Dr. Park added, “Our case study of the massive Yahoo data breaches indicates that the timing of incident response may be more important than the communication strategies in shaping public perception on the company’s incident handling responsibility and subsequently the company’s reputation.”

“I am immensely proud of the SCIS faculty for their commitment to teaching, research and service,” AnnMarie LeBlanc, the SCIS dean said. “The honors bestowed by this international organization of their peers is testimony to the quality of Dr. Wang and Dr. Park’s scholarly endeavors. Together with their colleagues, I congratulate them.”

Dating to 2012, faculty in RMU’s Department of Computer and Information Systems have been honored with paper awards at four of the six IACIS conferences.

Dr. Karen Paullet presents NSF-funded research on Mobile Forensics & Security at the RMU Research & Grants Expo

paullet-nsf-grant-expoOn April 24, 2017, RMU held a Research & Grants Expo highlighting a variety of faculty research and grant projects.  All of the RMU campus was invited to attend this event.  Dr. Karen Paullet presented the Mobile Forensics and Security Project, an NSF-funded grant.  Dr. Paullet is the PI on the grant, along with Dr. Jamie Pinchot (Co-PI), Dr. Sushma Mishra (Co-PI), and Dr. Fred Kohun.  Mobile security and forensics is an underrepresented area of study that is increasingly important in our current society.  This research will advance knowledge in the field of mobile cybersecurity and mobile forensics through a train-the-trainer program for 50 faculty members from universities across the United States.  Twenty-five faculty were trained in July 2016 and the remaining half will be trained this year.  Dr. Paullet also highlighted a new online certificate offered by RMU in Mobile Forensics and Security (MFS).  This certificate is now available and you can learn more about it here: Mobile Forensics and Security Certificate Program.

CIS Faculty Participate in the RMU Research & Grants Expo

On March 15, 2016, RMU held a Research & Grants Expo in Sewall Center highlighting a variety of faculty research and grant projects.  All of the RMU campus was invited to attend to learn more about the research going on here at RMU.  The CIS Department’s own Dr. Fred Kohun was a speaker/panelist, along with other faculty members from RMU, CMU, and Pitt for a Panel Discussion titled Research First or Grant First:  The Dilemma.

Dr. Peter Wu

Dr. Peter Wu

Several other CIS faculty members showcased their research during the Poster Exhibition at the event, which highlighted 39 research posters and 13 grant-funded research posters.  Dr. Peter Wu presented his research titled Making a Difference in Software Quality – The Journey, a grant-funded research project that he co-authored with Sushil Acharya (SEMS, Engineering), Priyadarsdhan Manohar (SEMS, Engineering), Connie Ruzich (SCIS, Communication), and Mary Hansen (SESS, Education).  Software quality is a crucial issue in software development.  Industry’s general lack of appreciation of verification and validation (V&V) benefits, and more importantly the shortage of V&V practitioners poses a multitude of problems in the software industry.  This project will improve software education at the undergraduate level and enhance on-the-job professional training, thereby increasing the pool of professionals with V&V knowledge and skills.

Dr. Jamie Pinchot and Dr. Sushma Mishra

Dr. Jamie Pinchot and Dr. Sushma Mishra

Dr. Jamie Pinchot presented her research titled Mobile Forensics and Security Project, an NSF grant-funded project.  Dr. Pinchot is a Co-PI on the grant, along with Dr. Karen Paullet (PI), Dr. Sushma Mishra, (Co-PI), and Dr. Fred Kohun.  Mobile security and forensics is an underrepresented area of study and research.  This research will advance both knowledge and education in the field of mobile cybersecurity and mobile forensics by creating an online Mobile Forensics and Security certificate program and developing a train-the-trainer program for Computer Information Systems faculty.  The researchers will be involved in training an additional 50 faculty members from universities across the country in mobile security and forensics.

Dr. Wenli Wang

Dr. Wenli Wang

Dr. Wenli Wang presented her grant-funded research titled Contemplative Information Systems Use – Find the Balance from the Inside Out.  Technology addiction, technology-induced stress, and information overload have become both individual and societal problems.  With a combination of economic analysis  of opportunity cost, experiential learning, and cognitive reflections, this research aims to demonstrate that recognizing and developing one’s own inner “technology of the mind” through contemplative practices would reduce a technology user’s attachment to the outer technology.  Dr. Wang’s research will examine the roles of spiritual intelligence, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness in mediating the relationship between contemplative practices and technology use.