Webster Receives $7500 for Cybersecurity Scholarships

On January 10, 2018, in In the News, by Walker News
Webster University receives check from Gateway 2 CyberCity

Left to right: Eric Gorham, CIO, REJIS; Kay Barnes, Development Director and Paul Fraizer, Cybersecurity Program Lead, Webster University Walker School of Business & Technology; David Kocs, Principal, TDK Technologies; Jim Alexander, Sr. VP. Economic Development and Len Reynolds, Director Financial Services, St. Louis Regional Chamber.

On Wednesday, January 3, Webster University received a $7500 check from Gateway 2 Cybercity.  The ceremony was held at the One Metropolitan Building, St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce Offices with Paul Frazier, Cybersecurity Program Lead and Kay Barnes, Development Director representing Webster and the Walker School.

The funding came from proceeds from the 2017 Gateway 2 CyberCity annual event held on November 2, 2017 at America’s Center. The event attracted over 350 cybersecurity professionals, students and entrepreneurs from across the country and featured leading presentations and discussions on critical cyber security threats and best practices. The one-day conference was organized by the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the Security Advisor Alliance, the Society for Information Management (St. Louis Chapter), and the St. Louis Chief Information Officer Board. Frazier and Dr. James Curtis from the Walker School have been involved in this effort and are conference presenters. The 2018 conference is scheduled for November 1 at the America’s Center.

G2C has made it a priority to give back to the community.  100% of proceeds from the conference are distributed to community outreach programs focused on growing the region’s Information Technology industry. Community organizations include: Entrepreneurial Start-Ups, STEM Initiatives, Scholarships, Technology for Kids and Career Days. In 2016, $5000 was awarded.  That amount increased to $30,000 in 2017, including the award granted to Webster. The funding will be used to provide scholarships that will be distributed annually beginning in 2018.

The Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster offers an MS in Cybersecurity, a BS in Computer Science with Emphasis in Cybersecurity and a graduate certificate in Cybersecurity Threat Detection.

Dr. Jim Curtis, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity & Computer Science

Dr. Jim Curtis, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity & Computer Science

This year, the Walker School of Business and Technology welcomes a new faculty member that truly embodies the Webster University mission and values: Dr. Jim Curtis.

Dr. Curtis is an assistant professor of Cybersecurity and Computer Science. He has lifetime career experience in the Cybersecurity industry at the federal and private levels. He had been teaching courses as an adjunct professor until the opportunity arose to dedicate his career fully to educating.

Curtis grew up in Gilman, Illinois, and studied at Texas State University and the University of Oklahoma. As a young man, Curtis considered an occupation as a history professor. This was inspired by one of the most influential figures in his life, Abraham Lincoln. Despite forgoing that path, he was later able to be a part of American history himself by serving in the Air Force. Curtis dedicated 25 years of service to our country in the Air Force, including a tour in the White House as a communications officer for President Bush (41) and Clinton.

Curtis describes the job of a White House communications officer as one that took him “all over the world,” where he was a part of many historical moments. Some of the moments that stand out to him include: having dinner in the Queen’s Throne Room in Buckingham Palace, riding in Air Force One, viewing the signing of the START II nuclear treaty by President Bush and President Gorbachev in the Kremlin, witnessing Clinton nominate Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, and Michael Jackson singing at Clinton’s Inauguration. His military experience includes spending 2,000 hours in EC-135 “Looking Glass” aircraft and serving in the Gulf War.

After retiring from the Air Force, Curtis worked in private industry at A.G. Edwards until the events of 9/11. At that point, he decided he wanted to serve the country again. He then worked on government defense contracts at SRA International as a Vice President until transitioning to full-time teaching.

His experiences have given him the ability to integrate real cybersecurity experiences and scenarios into his curriculum. He is enthusiastic about the importance of the program and its high career projections. Curtis believes that academia is a crucial component to private and public partnerships to unite for the common goal of cybersecurity in America.

His career experiences and global perspectives will greatly enhance the program and have a lasting benefit to students. We are very fortunate to welcome such a valuable asset to the Walker School family.

Cybersecurity Program Expands to New Locations

On April 22, 2014, in Announcements, by Walker News

Will be offered in St. Louis, San Antonio, Orlando and Washington D.C.

Webster University’s Cybersecurity Program, which was launched in Colorado Springs earlier this year, will be expanded to four more Webster University locations. The announcement of the expansion was made just days before the Gateway to Innovation (G2I) technology conference taking place in St. Louis on April 23. Webster University is a platinum-level sponsor of the event.

One of the main topics of discussion at G2I will be network and data security. Webster University will host two discussion panels to explore different aspects of Cybersecurity. Webster University President Elizabeth “Beth” Stroble and other university representatives will speak at the conference.

“Webster University is proud to serve as a platinum sponsor for the Gateway to Innovation conference,” Stroble said. “Just as St. Louis historically served as a Gateway to the West,  Webster University, a truly global university, leads in developing innovative programs and partnerships to secure a prosperous future here and around the world.”

Webster’s George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology (Walker School) graduate-level program will be offered in the Washington D.C. area this summer, followed by Orlando, San Antonio and St. Louis.

The field is exploding with job opportunities. According to a recent report by the labor-market analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies, postings for cybersecurity jobs have grown 74 percent since 2007. In 2013 alone, the report said, there were more than 200,000 postings nationally for cybersecurity jobs, with an average salary of $93,028. That’s more than $15,000 higher than other IT positions as a whole. And because the number of qualified candidates for these cybersecurity jobs far lags the number of open positions, these postings tend to remain open much longer than other IT jobs, according to the Burning Glass Technologies report.

“There is a growing demand for employees who can manage complex cybersecurity programs for the government and for private enterprise,” said Tom Johnson, associate vice president and chief of strategic initiatives at Webster University. “We launched the Cybersecurity program in Colorado Springs because of a demand for it from members of the military there, and now we are expanding to other areas of the country because of growing demand from those regions.”

Barrett J. Baebler, Walker School associate professor and Management Department Chair agreed this is the right degree at the right time. “The foundation of today’s global commerce is built upon numerous channels delivering materials, services and data,” Baebler said. “Protecting the security of these channels is a top priority.”

Webster’s new master’s degree program in cybersecurity was established to help fill a staggering demand for cybersecurity training in the Colorado Springs area. The U.S. Air Force Space Command approached Webster to create the program because it has 1,400 employees who need training in cybersecurity.

“Webster University is continuing to be on the forefront of addressing the growing needs in our society and business community,” said Julian Schuster, provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Webster University. “Our uniquely designed Cybersecurity program is another prime example of  Webster’s commitment  to creating  relevant and highly-impactful educational  programs.”

One of the topics taught in the Cybersecurity Program – the security concerns created by an increasingly mobile workforce – will be the center of one of Webster University’s two panel discussions at the G2I Conference. Professor Ross Mayfield, an adjunct professor in the Cybersecurity program and a recognized expert in information systems and computer law enforcement investigations, will lead the discussion along with Jeff Villmer, senior director of information technology at IntelliSpend and Rick Powell, with information technology security at REJIS.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University’s campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.