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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
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
Carol T. Edwards has over 20 years of service and leadership in non-profit, business and the academic arenas. She has instructed IT and cybersecurity courses at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) for over 15 years. Edwards is responsible for course design and curriculum development in IT courses and the creation of a nursing course. She began her academic career as a Business Instructor, after which she served in academic positions as a substitute instructor and an academic advisor for national, international, study abroad and at-risk students at American Intercontinental University (AIU). She has worked in fortune 500 companies, is a notary public and a CAEL certified portfolio evaluator. Edwards is a frequent presenter, collaborator and writer for national conferences.
Education: PhD, Northcentral University; MEd, BIT, American InterContinental University ERT; AS, Essex County College
Publications: ProQuest, Journal of Online Higher Education, MERLOT Journal
Certifications: MOUS, Microsoft, CAEL Certification, GRAPE Camp Peer Reviewer - Merlot & Online Learning Consortium (OLC)
Honors and Achievements: Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award, Innovations Lab Fellow, Peer Reviewer Extraordinaire, Outstanding Dedication to Students Award
Memberships: Great Emerging Methods (GEMs), Merlot, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Technology, Colleges & Community (TCC)
Research Interests: e-Learning, Education Technology, student Persistence, Student engagement, diversity, equity and inclusionCarol T. Edwards 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
Joseph Kovacic joined Purdue Global as an adjunct faculty member in 2019 and attained a full-time faculty position in 2021. Kovacic instructs various courses in database concepts using Microsoft Access , Software Development Concepts, software design and development, database concepts, Python Programming, advanced database concepts, artificial intelligence - deep learning and machine learning, modeling and predictive Analysis, database design and data modeling, and SQL query design. Kovacic has developed graduate-level courses and he currently serves as the course lead for various courses.
Kovacic has instructed undergraduate and graduate courses for over 20 years covering computer science, cybersecurity, information technology, and software engineering topics. Before joining Purdue Global, Kovacic spent 30 years working in the engineering and information technology fields specializing in databases, software engineering, and cybersecurity within the public and private sectors.
Education: PhD, Business Administration - Applied Computer Science, Northcentral University; MS, Software Engineering, Loyola University Maryland; MES, Computer Science, Loyola University Maryland; MS, Nuclear Engineering, University of New Mexico; ME, Mechanical Engineering, Manhattan College; BS, Mechanical Engineering, Manhattan College.
Publications: T.A. Culp and J. Kovacic, “A Methodology for Estimating an Annual Release from a Diffuse Transuranic Source,” Radioactivity & Radiochemistry, Volume 6, No. 3, 1995.
T.A. Culp, J. Kovacic, and R. Deola, “Determination of Releases from a Fugitive or Diffuse Source Using Downwind Air Monitoring and Site-Specific Meteorological Data,” Radioactivity & Radiochemistry, Volume 7, No. 4, 1996." Dr. Kovacic maintains the following professional certifications/licenses: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH); Project Management Professional (PMP); Professional Engineer in Maryland; CompTIA Security+; CompTIA Network+; CompTIA Cloud+; and Oracle Certified Professional (Database Administration). "
Memberships: Member, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).
Research Interests: Cybersecurity, databases, software engineering, programming, analytics, robotic process automation (RPA), and DevSecOps.Joseph Kovacic Link
Deanne Larson is an active data science practitioner and academic. Her research has focused on enterprise data strategy, agile analytics, and data science best practices. Larson holds certifications in Project Management Professional (PMP), Project Management Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP), and Six Sigma. She attended AT&T Executive Training at the Harvard Business School focusing on IT leadership, Stanford University focusing on data science, and New York University focusing on business analytics. Larson has presented at multiple conferences including TDWI, TDWI Europe, IRM UK, PMI, and other academic conferences. She has consulted for several Fortune 500 companies, and has authored multiple research articles on data science methodology and best practices.
Education: PhD, International School of Management; DCS, Colorado Technical University; DM, University of Phoenix
Publications: Multiple scholarly articles on data analytics, project management, data strategy, and text mining
Certifications: PMP; PMI-ACP; CBIP; Certified Scrum Master; Six Sigma Black Belt
Memberships: TDWI; PMI
Research Interests: Artificial IntelligenceDeanne Larson 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
Scott Mensch’s areas of expertise are in network security and business/project management. Shortly after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree and obtaining a position with an engineering firm, he completed his MBA in 1998 and obtained two additional Associate Degrees in Computer Applications and Networking, and he began working in education. In 2007 he completed his PhD in Organizational Management with a Specialization in IT along with post-doctoral studies in advanced telecommunications. Mensch has served in multiple management roles over the past two decades both in the educational and corporate arenas.
Education: PhD, Capella University; MBA, Point Park University
Publications: Over 32 publications since 2007 in various IT and Business related fields.
Certifications: Lean Green Belt, CCNA, MCSE NT4.0, MCSA 2000, A+, Server+, AWS, DevOps
Honors and Achievements: 2013 Best Paper Award at the Clute International Education Conference
2010 Best Paper of Track at the Academic and Business Research Institute (AABRI) Conference
2009 Best Paper of Track at the Academic and Business Research Institute (AABRI) Conference
2009 Outstanding Research Award at the Institute for Business and Finance Research Conference
Research Interests: Cybersecurity, Smart Phone Security, BYOD, Business Continuity Planning, Online Pedagogy
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)
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
Darryl Togashi brings 15+ years industry experience in IT, networking, programming (c/c++, C#, dotNet, Java), web development, server administration, database development, project management, and management of small and large teams. Togashi started as an adjunct professor in 2015 and served as a full-time department chair at Ivy Tech Community College, and then in 2019 he became the director of the cybersecurity program at Indiana Tech. As the Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity point of contact for Ivy Tech and Indiana Tech, he led different teams one for Ivy Tech’s renewal and another for Indiana Tech’s Program of Study cybersecurity program designation. Other hats that he wears are the Vice-President of the InfraGard Indiana, the Midwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MWCCDC) Indiana State Director, working closely with the Regional MWCCDC, getting involved with local events like JA JobSpark, running a competition in cybersecurity at the Northeast Indiana Techfest, Cyber Patriots Camps, and Girl Scout Cybersecurity Badges sessions.
Education: MBA in Management, Indiana Institute of Technology; BS, Computer Science, Indiana University - Purdue University
Certifications: MITRE ATT&CK Defender™ (MAD) ATT&CK® Cyber Threat Intelligence Certification 2021; MITRE ATT&CK Defender™ (MAD) ATT&CK® SOC Assessments Certification 2021; MITRE ATT&CK Defender™ (MAD) ATT&CK® Fundamentals Badge 2021; Applying the Quality Matters Rubrics 2021; Creating Effective Assessments (HLC) 2021; AWS Cloud Practitioner 2018; EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) 2017; Six-sigma White Belt Certification (2016); Online Faculty Certificate 2015
Honors and Achievements: Appointed Vice President of Infragard Indiana 2022; Led the Program of Study for CAE-CD application for Indiana Tech 2022; Parkview Health Cybersecurity Challenge Coin Award 2021; Successfully renewed our CAE-CD designation for Ivy Tech Community College 2018
Memberships: Vice-President for Indiana’s Infragard (2022-Present); Cybersecurity Club Advisor (2021-present); Women in STEM Club Advisor (2020-present); AFA CyberPatriots Mentor/Organizer (2019-Present); Centers of Excellence in Cybersecurity Point of Contact for Indiana Tech (2019-present); FBI Citizens Academy (2018-present); Indiana Executive Cybersecurity Council 2017; National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Director for Indiana (2016-present); Infragard Member in the Education Sector for Indiana (2016-2022); TechFest Digital Forensics and Network Security Competitions Developer/Coordinator (2016-present)
Research Interests: Digital Forensics, Practical Cybersecurity Lab Development, AI and MLDarryl Togashi Link