Information Technology Faculty
Purdue Global Leadership
Jeffrey Buck brings more than 20 years of teaching and higher education administration experience to his role as dean of the School of Business and Information Technology. As a faculty member, Buck earned tenure as a marketing professor and taught internationally in Lithuania. In addition, Buck has extensive experience at the director and executive levels in higher education, primarily working with adult and graduate programs. In his leadership roles, he has championed the development and implementation of several academic initiatives to include an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, post- and pre-MBA certificate programs, a concurrent MBA/Master of Science in Technology (MST) program, a joint MBA/Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, and an MBA program designed for Filipino nurses.
Education: PhD, University of Mississippi; MBA and BS, Ball State University
Publications: Innovative Higher Education, Journal of Applied Business and Economics
Honors and Achievements: Served in the U.S. Army
Memberships: Leadership positions with the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Research Interests: Organizational commitment, services marketing, factors impacting adult student satisfaction and successJeffrey Buck Link
Tina Burton has been the associate dean for the School of Business and Information Technology at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) since 2011. Prior to Purdue Global, Burton served in a variety of roles at different universities, from program chair to program director.
Education: DM, MS, University of Phoenix; BA, California State University
Research Interests: Virtual internships, extracurricular student projects such as Capture the Flag competitions, activities that enhance learning and student engagementTina Burton Link
Stephen Beyer has been a faculty member in information technology for 20 years and in higher education administration for 10 years. At Purdue Global, he teaches various undergraduate courses in IT, with a special emphasis in programming, database development, and website development. Beyer oversees numerous innovations in curriculum, including use of multimedia in the classroom, modularized curriculum, customized programs, and competency based programs.
Education: PhD, University of North Texas
Honors and Achievements: Teaching and service honors
Research Interests: Instructional media for student academic successStephen Beyer Link
After working in the IT industry for 7 years, Jay Blatt shifted his focus to academia. He has been a department chair at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) for over 10 years, overseeing the Network Department and all of its full-time faculty and adjunct faculty. Prior to Purdue Global, Blatt was the dean of information technology at South Florida's American InterContinental University (AIU), managing 46 faculty and 3 department chairs, as well as Academic Scheduling and Academic Advising. He was also in charge of all curriculum development and course delivery for the brick and mortar campus.
Certifications: CNE, MCSE, A+, Security+Jay Blatt Link
Kristina Setzekorn is an academic department chair in the School of Business and Information Technology at Purdue Global. She oversees graduate IT programs as well as undergraduate project management and internship courses. Her team developed the master’s degree in cybersecurity management, implementing a graduate thesis and virtual internship option. Prior to earning her doctorate, Setzekorn sold agricultural chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Before joining Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2011, she held traditional faculty positions at Oakland University and the University of Evansville.
Education: PhD, MBA, Southern Illinois University; BS, Iowa State University
Research Interests: IT value, impact of faculty gender on student performance and persistenceKristina Setzekorn Link
Purdue Global Full-Time Faculty and Full-Time Adjuncts
At Purdue Global, Rhonda Chicone teaches IT and cybersecurity courses and is responsible for design and course creation of the master’s degree in cybersecurity management program. Her background includes 27 years of experience in the software industry, taking on roles as a software engineer, software architect, engineering manager, vice president of engineering, chief technology officer, chief security officer, and president. Chicone publishes and presents at national conferences frequently.
Education: PhD, Northcentral University; MS, Kent State University; BS, Youngstown State University
Research Interests: Cybersecurity, cybergames and competitions, software development and quality assuranceRhonda Chicone Link
At Purdue Global, Desiree Depriest teaches systems analysis and design, DSS (artificial intelligence systems) in the Master of Science in Information Technology program. Her publications include research in persuasive and predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality, and pattern recognition.
Education: PhD, Capella University; MS, Information Systems, Keller Graduate School; MS, Telecommunications, Keller Graduate School
Publications: Quantum Teaming: The Primer
Honors and Achievements: 2017 CDLT Best Practice Award in Distance Learning or Technology for Adult Learners (American Association of Adult Continuing Education)
Research Interests: Neural correlates of consciousness (NCC), quantum teaming (QT), cognitive coupling (CC)Desiree DePriest Link
Carol Edwards-Walcott teaches a variety of undergraduate courses in information technology at Purdue Global. Before beginning her teaching career, she was an academic advisor/administrator at American InterContinental University (AIU). Her focus and specialization is in student retention. She has publications in student retention, student persistence, innovative technology, and e-learning.
Education: PhD, Northcentral University; MEd, BIT, American InterContinental University ERT
Publications: ProQuest, Journal of Online Higher Education, MERLOT Journal
Certifications: CAEL certified portfolio evaluator, Microsoft Office Specialist
Honors and Achievements: Four time award recipient: Peer Reviewer Extraordinaire for MERLOT/OLC; Outstanding Dedication to Students Award, Academic Award for Scholastic Achievement
Memberships: MERLOT Board, Association of Computing Machinery, Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Kappa Delta Pi, Golden Key, and Great Emerging Methods (GEMs)
Research Interests: ELearning, education technology, student persistence, student engagementCarol Edwards-Walcott Link
Chris Esquire has over 4 years of teaching and curriculum design experience in a variety of content areas and across several colleges and universities. Before joining the University, Esquire worked in public, private, and government sectors in IT and cybersecurity and is also an Army veteran. He has presented nationally and internationally, has several publications, and has award-winning cybersecurity research.
Education: DBA (ABD) Computer and Information Security, Northcentral University; JD, Birmingham School of Law; MSISM Project Management, Grantham University; BSIS IT & Accounting Fraud and Forensics, University of Alabama in Birmingham
Publications: International Guide to Cybersecurity, 2nd edition; There Was a Data Breach…Now What?; Data Breach Liability: The Cloud Is Not an Imaginary Place; Data Breach Liability: Protecting Your Clients, Customers, and Employees From Data Breaches; Addressing Privacy: GDPR, Cloud, and You; Applying the Risk Management Framework to the Cloud; Hacking Your Way at Sea: A Look Into Maritime Cyber Legal Issues; Critical Infrastructure Protection: Protecting Others by Protecting Yourself
Certifications: GPEN, CEH, CCSK, CSSGB
Honors and Achievements: First place award, November 2017: “Hacking Your Way at Sea: A Look Into Maritime Cyber Legal Issues”; Maritime Risk Symposium Alabama Legislature Medal of Honor Army Achievement Medal
Memberships: American Bar Association Privacy and Computer Crime, Vice Chair, 2017–present; Cloud Security Alliance Incident Management and Forensics Workgroup, 2015–present; American Bar Association YLD Law Practice Committee, Vice Chair, 2017–2018 term; ISACA Birmingham Chapter Academic Relations/Research Committee Director, 2016 term
Bar Memberships: Supreme Court of the United States, 2019; U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, 2016; Veterans Affairs Accreditation, 2016; State of Alabama, 2015; U.S. District Court Northern District of Alabama, 2015; U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit, 2015
Research Interests: Game theory, privacy laws, cyber laws, international cybercrime, risk assessment, security governance, information security, project management, maritime security, cloud technology, technology laws, data breach liabilityChris Esquire Link
Susan Ferebee has been a professor in the information systems discipline for over 15 years and has been with Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) since 2010. In addition to teaching graduate courses in writing and cybersecurity at Purdue Global, she serves as dissertation chair to a number of doctoral students outside the University. Prior to moving into teaching and research, Ferebee worked at Intuit, Lucent Technologies, AOL, and Tier3.
Education: PhD, Nova Southeastern University
Honors and Achievements: 2017 Faculty Scholarship Award (Kaplan University), 2017 McJulien Scholar Best Paper Award (AECT International Conference), 2017 Best Conference Presentation (Academic Forum), additional teaching and research honors
Research Interests: Developing narrative inquiries on unique needs of students in underserved populations, including Native American students, first-year online students, and home-schooled studentsSusan Ferebee Link
Tamara Fudge began her career at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in Davenport, Iowa teaching writing, critical thinking, diversity, and communication classes before moving to teaching online courses in the School of Business and Information Technology. She specializes in web development, interface design, communication, and analysis and is a frequent collaborator, writer, and presenter. Prior to Purdue Global, Fudge taught music at the college and university level for over 20 years. She has sung opera and oratorio, and her compositions have been played on public radio and featured at a state choral convention.
Education: DMus, Florida State; MSIT, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); MMus, BMus, Indiana University
Publications: Quad City Times
Certifications: Microsoft Office Specialist Master
Honors and Achievements: Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award, Innovations Lab Fellow (Center for Teaching and Learning, Purdue Global)Tamara Fudge Link
Glen Jenewein is the director of undergraduate internships for the School of Business and Information Technology at Purdue Global. In his classes, he focuses on ways to use new technology to enhance the student learning experience. Jenewein has worked as a professor in the technology field for over 15 years, including as the director of distance learning at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. He was also a full-time professor at Portland Community College, where he taught in the computer information systems program and served as the chair of the department. Before his academic career, Jenewein spent 8 years in the U.S. Navy as a communications officer and was instrumental in establishing communications from South Pole, Antarctica to Paramus, New Jersey, for the National Science Foundation.
Education: PhD, Oregon State University (in progress); MSIT, Western Oregon University; BS, University of Nevada
Research Interests: Convergence and impact of video elements in the online learning environmentGlen Jenewein Link
Robert Kayl recently joined Purdue Global as full-time faculty and teaches undergraduate courses in programming and databases. He has taught IT classes, as adjunct faculty, for 23 years covering many different areas in the field. Prior to joining Purdue Global, Kayl spent 33 years in the IT field specializing in databases, software engineering, and cybersecurity. In the last few years, Kayl spent time reversing and ethically hacking mobile applications to better the software development processes and writing smart contracts for a variety of blockchain technologies.
Education: MS in Software Engineering, University of Maryland University College; MS in Government Information Leadership, National Defense University; MA in Human Relations, University of Oklahoma; BS in Electronics Management, Southern Illinois University
Certifications: GSLC, Security+, Network+, CEH, CHFI, ITIL
Research Interests: Blockchain, analytics, cybersecurity, databases, software engineeringRobert Kayl Link
Jason Litz began his academic career in the School of Business and Information Technology at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2002. He currently serves as a full-time faculty member and course lead for programming concentrations. Litz teaches undergraduate courses in IT with a special emphasis on programming and has worked on a variety of course development projects, including competency-based curriculum development. Prior to Purdue Global, Litz was employed as a software developer working on banking transaction and health care processing applications, as well as large-scale projects such as Y2K and HIPAA conversions.
Education: MS, BS, AAS, Columbus State UniversityJason Litz Link
Stefanie Litz has been teaching IT courses in the School of Business and Information Technology at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) since 2002. She serves as a full-time faculty member in the web and programming department. Litz began her career working at a major transaction processing company in various roles, from software development and maintenance to database administration, before moving to IT education.
Education: MS, BS, Columbus State University
Honors and Achievements: 2017 Full-Time FT Adjunct Excellence Award (Kaplan University)Stefanie Litz Link
Donald McCracken began his career at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2004 as an IT professor. He teaches various undergraduate courses in IT and cybersecurity, with a special emphasis on operating systems, routers, and switches. McCracken oversees numerous innovations in assessment curriculum, including modularized curriculum, customized programs, and competency based programs. Most recently, he has been collaborating with colleagues and instructional designers to improve the course curriculum in Brightspace and working with vendors to improve student interaction and learning. Prior to Purdue Global, McCracken was in active duty service in the U.S. Navy and worked in IT positions at Wachovia Bank and Lowe's Companies, Inc., until 2013.
Education: PhD, Northcentral University; MS, Capella University; BS, Appalachian State University
Certifications: Industry certifications from Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Novell, CompTIA
Research Interests: Cloud computing, cybersecurity with artificial intelligenceDonald McCracken Link
Kathi Nicholson teaches undergraduate courses at Purdue Global, including website development, web graphics, and database concepts. She also develops modularized and competency-based courses within the technology program and has authored several website development courses for the University. Nicholson works to enrich the online learning environment for IT students through interactive activities and exercises that promote problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. She began her career at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a graduate assistant, became a professor in 2007, and earned full-time adjunct status in 2016. Prior to Purdue Global, Nicholson worked as a website design consultant for iDesign Tech for more than 12 years and acted as a freelance development specialist for multiple organizations.
Education: EdD, Northcentral University (in progress); MBA, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Alan Rynarzewski teaches various undergraduate courses in cybersecurity and IT at Purdue Global, with an emphasis on security and networking. He led a University initiative to train companies on certifications, such as the CISSP, where his Department of Defense (DoD) experience and understanding of the DoD 8570 made positive impacts. Prior to Purdue Global, Rynarzewski taught at the Cisco Academy and worked at the Department of Defense for 12 years.
Education: DSc, Capitol Technology University (in progress); MIS, BS, University of Phoenix
Certifications: IT and network security certifications from Cisco, ISC2, EC-Council, CompTIAAlan Rynarzewski Link
Donna Sanders joined Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a faculty member in 2004 and teaches various undergraduate courses in the information technology programs. She is currently the IT133 course lead. Previously, Sanders taught at North Carolina Community College (18 years), Jones International University (3 years), and Strayer University (2 years) and currently practices corporate and personal tax consulting and preparation. She presented nationally (Certification 2016) and lectured on the advantages of the MOS certification in the current business environment.
Education: MBA, BS, High Point University
Certifications: MOS Excel 2016 Expert, Certified Tax Preparer (North Carolina)
Honors and Achievements: Faculty Excellence Awards, Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC); additional teaching and community service honors
Memberships: North Carolina Community College Faculty Association (NCCCFA), American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), USPS Advisory Committee (High Point, North Carolina)
Research Interests: Microsoft Office applications (Excel) in today's business environmentDonna Sanders Link
Stephen Savage is a full-time professor and course lead at Purdue Global. He teaches undergraduate courses in technology with an emphasis on databases, computer architectures, systems, and communications infrastructure. Savage oversees numerous innovations in curriculum, including modularized curriculum and customized and competency-based programs. He enjoys developing software solutions related to online learning with an emphasis on project-based and collaborative learning.
Savage began his academic career at the American Intercontinental University (AIU) and has been an IT professor for 19 years. Prior to AIU, he worked as an IT professional for 15 years, implementing a major distributed logistics system for the Hostess Frito Lay Company and spending 3 years as a customer relationship management (CRM) software consultant. Savage has continued to consult part-time on IT application development projects since beginning his teaching career.
Education: MITE, BA, Dalhousie UniversityStephen Savage Link
Randy Stauber teaches in the School of Business and Information Technology at Purdue Global. Before joining the University, he was the senior security engineer for a company that performed risk assessments throughout the United States. In addition to his professional experience, Stauber has over 10 years of teaching and curriculum design experience in a variety of content areas and across several colleges and universities. Stauber is an active member of ISSA and ISC^2 where he regularly presents on topics related to cybersecurity and global threats.
Education: PhD, Capella University (in process); MS, Capitol College (now Capitol Technology University):
Certifications: CISSP, MCSE
Memberships: International System Security Association, International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Federal Information Systems Security Educators’ Association (FISSEA), Adam Smith Institute, MensaRandy Stauber Link
Lynne Williams has taught IT courses for over 20 years and joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a full-time faculty member in 2007. She teaches graduate courses in IT with an emphasis on cybersecurity and oversees numerous innovations in curriculum, including modularized curriculum and competency-based programs. Williams started her academic career at the University of New Mexico and has taught at Northern New Mexico Community College and Santa Fe Community College. Her research has been published in a variety of journals and books and she has been cited for her expertise on cybersecurity and online privacy issues.
Education: PhD, MS, Capella University; BA, New Mexico State University
Publications: Computer Technology Review, Techonomy, Computer World
Honors and Achievements: 2014 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member (Kaplan University), additional teaching, research, and service honors
Research Interests: User attitudes and involuntary reactions toward information securityLynne Williams Link