Category Archives: in the 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

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!

RMU Recognized in Best Online Cyber Security BS Degree Programs by Learn.org

RMU was named as one of Learn.org’s 2020 Best Online Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degree Programs, ranking in at #7:
https://learn.org/articles/best_online_schools_for_cyber_security.html

You can learn more about RMU’s Cybersecurity B.S. program here:
https://www.rmu.edu/academics/undergraduate/cybersecurity-bs

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 Gaming Marathon is Underway – Help Them Raise Money for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

The Top Secret Colonials’ 48-hour Gaming Marathon in underway (April 17-19, 2020).  This year, the marathon is being held virtually since the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow for it to be held on campus.   You can find out more about the event and how you can participate here:
rmu.edu/tsc

The Top Secret Colonials have been hosting this event for seven years.  They normally raise money for various children’s charities, but this year, the group decided to raise money for an organization that is helping the people of Pittsburgh during this pandemic – The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The Tribune Review has published an article featuring this great event that has already raised over $3,000 for this cause!  Read the article here:
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/robert-morris-students-raise-money-for-food-bank-with-gaming-marathon/

Even if you do not want to participate in the gaming marathon, you can still contribute to the cause by donating directly to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank using the event’s GoFundMe page.  You can donate here:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/48-hour-virtual-gaming-marathon

Well done, Top Secret Colonials!

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.

RMU Named in Best Masters’ in Internet Security Programs for 2020

masters_internet_securityIntelligent.com, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, announced their Top 30 Master’s in Internet Security Degree Programs for 2020.  Robert Morris University made the list for our Master’s in Cyber Security and Information Assurance.  This ranking was based on an assessment of 191 accredited colleges and universities in the nation. Each program was evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation, and post-graduate employment.

RMU Students win TRISS Scholarships

TRISS Picture
Congratulations to Brandon Nelson, Christopher Cullen, and Kaden Mahsoob, who each won a $1,000 scholarship, awarded by the Three Rivers Information Security Symposium (TRISS) planning committee. Thanks to Professor Karen Paullet for her recommendation. Professor Paullet and the Top Secret Colonials have been active supporters of the TRISS the symposium and the TRISS Scholarship Program.

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.