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Alumni from our Global Campuses

Our UNCOMN Cybersecurity Center is home to the state-of-the-art Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Laboratory and the Cybersecurity Academic Advisory Council. The center promotes undergraduate- and graduate-level cyber education, while serving as a venue for collaboration between faculty, students and community members on cybersecurity issues.

UNCOMN logoIn 2023, Webster University partnered with UNCOMN, a local agency providing business-to-business management and technology consulting services. This partnership will help the next generation of cybersecurity experts by connecting Webster undergraduates with resources and nontraditional pathways to careers in cybersecurity. Through firsthand exposure to industry scenarios and the opportunity to network with current professionals, cybersecurity students at Webster will be thoroughly prepared to enter the workforce. 



Top-Notch Facilities

Student at computer screen that reads "Principles of Information Security, Fifth Edition; Chapter 2: The Need for Security"

Students have the tools they need to learn to address issues concerning:

  • Digital information protection
  • Cyber terrorism
  • Cyber fraud and theft
  • Cyber intelligence and counterintelligence
  • Digital forensics
  • Preemptive and strategic force operation application situations
  • Social engineering
  • Cloud security

Webster is a Member of the CAE Community Badge

In 2019, Webster University was welcomed into the Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) Community by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who designated Webster University’s undergraduate cybersecurity programs as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD). 

According to the NSA, “The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure. Students graduating from CAE-CD institutions are considered to have received the finest levels of formal cybersecurity education."

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Student Testimonial

“The instructors are attentive and regularly engage with students through discussion threads. The classes are challenging, but the assignments and projects are useful learning tools.”

Computer screen that reads "Webster University"
Max Pippa

MS in Cybersecurity

Professor, leaning student, and sitting student, in front of laptops, talking.

Cybersecurity Lab

Professor, leaning student, and sitting student, in front of laptops, talking.

The dedicated Cyber Lab at Webster University is located in the East Academic Building, home of the Walker School of Business & Technology. It is available exclusively for students enrolled in cybersecurity courses.

Cybersecurity Department Information

Geneva, Switzerland Campus

Ray Bonnan, PhD
Mario Campanelli, PhD
Claude Chadet, PhD
Sebastian Dubail
Arash Golnam, PhD
Viktor Polic, PhD
Daniel Schneider, PhD
Vivian Synteta

St. Louis Metro Campuses

Kenneth Ackerman
Oladipupo Adefala
Michael Anson
Wayne Bell
Hubert (Ted) Biggs II
Paul Biolchini
Del Brashares
Catherine Button
Jacob Curtis
James Curtis, PhD
Mark Dalle
Teddy Dawson, PhD
Brian Dickerman
Todd Dill
Robert Fried
Lasanthi Gamage, PhD
Larry Granda, PhD
Jason Ham
James Jenkins
Jerome Jose
Al Keeler
Ronald Krutz, PhD
Julie Lowrie, JD
Peter Maher, PhD
Reshmi Mitra, PhD
Ron Monard
Smantha Muehlenbeck
Ali Ovlia, PhD
Charles Painter
Bree Perdun
James Roller
Ken Roth, JD
Surinder Sabharwal
Kun (Quinn) Shao
Martha Smith, PhD
William Smith, ABD
John Sprague
David Sun
Xiaoyuan Suo, PhD
Frank Tempia
Kevin Thomas
Steffany Tinnin
Deborah Torres, EdD
Jiangping Wang, PhD
Bradley Wors
Yimin Zhu

1st in Missouri ranked Webster University No. 1 Best Cyber Security college in Missouri for 2021.

And Webster's Online MBA in Cybersecurity program is rated 5th in the nation's best Cybersecurity MBAs by Online MBA Today.

Cybersecurity Academic Advisory Council (CAAC)


To review, assess, support, and provide guidance on the Cybersecurity Programs at Webster University. The CAAC members will advise the University regarding the substance of the curriculum, effectiveness as applied to the discipline of cybersecurity, industry trends, and other related aspects of the program for the purpose of continuous improvement and responsiveness to the needs of industry and government. The council members will also support an ecosystem whereby a pipeline for students to intern with regional organizations, along with supporting opportunities for students to engage in research projects with cybersecurity experts, practitioners, and teams from industry/government IT organizations.


  1. Types of Representatives: Members are solicited from small, medium, and large IT organizations representing the 16 national critical infrastructures and business types, combined with their ability to meet the purposes of the advisory council.
  2. Member Conflict: Members/Nominees MAY NOT be a member of Webster University's Board of Trustees.
  3. Membership: The membership body will be comprised of a minimum of five and a maximum of eight member organizations.
  4. Service Tenure: Membership tenure is three years, with a one-time renewal allowed. No member may serve for more than a total of six years. (Note: The initial cohort has half of the members on a two-year membership to ensure continuity as members rotate off the CAAC)
  5. Task forces/subcommittees: If the members determine there is a need to address a specific aspect of cybersecurity, special task forces or subcommittees may be established with the approval and oversight of a majority of the CAAC members. The special task force or subcommittee must articulate the purpose/goals of the task force, a clear and finite timeline with measurable outcomes, membership on the task force, and reporting structure.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Attendance at CAAC meetings (general meetings will occur every four months).
  2. Serve as an advocate for the University Cybersecurity programs.
  3. Provide support to the Cybersecurity program students through mentoring, internships, competitions, and other related activities to enhance the student's Cybersecurity education and prepare them for careers in the discipline.
  4. Provide advice and council regarding trends & market responses to academic initiatives.
  5. Development of external partnerships and creation of avenues for collaboration and networking in the community for students and college representatives.
  6. Provide expertise and connections within individual CAAC member's professional field.
  7. Assist in the selection, support, and sponsorships of academic symposiums and college guest speakers, and attend events.

Role of Webster University College Representatives

  1. Advanced Notice of all CAAC meetings
    1. Host, plan, and serve as the facilitator of meetings.
    2. Meetings should include:
      • Updates on college/school enrollment
      • Academic presentations
      • Philanthropy activities and results for the college
      • Updates on any significant alumni accomplishments.
  2. Provide communications to CAAC whenever needed:
    1. Follow-up meetings on special initiatives/task forces/subcommittees
    2. Time sensitive information re: college activities, events, special news of accomplishments, etc.
    3. Provide an avenue of social interaction, networking, and collaboration. between the college and members to create a tighter sense of community
  3. Review the Goals of the CAAC & cybersecurity academic program at the beginning of each academic year.

Marc Ashworth

Marc Ashworth, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer — First Bank

Marc Ashworth is a respected IT executive with over 30 years of experience in cyber and physical security, IT/security architecture and project management, and is an author and a public speaker. He is a board member of the St. Louis Chapter of InfraGard, co-founded the State of Cyber annual security conference, and a lifetime member of FBI Citizens Academy. Possessing security certifications in CISSP, CISM, CRISC, Security+ and other certifications, Ashworth currently oversees First Bank’s information security, fraud, physical security and the network services departments. He can be contacted at,, or on LinkedIn.


Patrick GrimsleyPatrick Grimsley, Chief Information Security Officer and Chief, Information Security Division, Command, Control, Communications and Cyber Systems Directorate, U. S. Transportation Command — Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.   

Patrick Grimsley serves as the USTRANSCOM senior cybersecurity advisor on key cybersecurity issues. He represents the USTRANSCOM Commander and Chief Information Officer at senior level national, DoD, and industry committees and working groups. He also oversees cybersecurity assessments of Information Technology systems and software operated on the USTRANSCOM network. Grimsley is responsible for preparing and delivering strategic communications to senior military leaders on matters relating to cybersecurity and defensive cyber operations. He develops cyber operations goals and objectives, employs cyber best practices and innovates tools and practical solutions to enhance capabilities and operational effectiveness. He began his career with the United States Air Force in 1998. He worked in contracted Information Technology support for 4 years before transitioning to federal civilian service in 2010.  He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois. In 2015, he became certified as Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) V3 Expert in IT Service Management, Service Strategy, Service Operation, Service Design, Service Transition, Operational Support and Analysis, Managing Across the Lifecycle; in 2016 - Certified Information Security Manager, Information Systems Audit and Control Association. He received the Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and in 2018 and 2019, the NSA Rowlett Organizational Award.


Gary Harbison, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) — Bayer

As the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Bayer, a leading global agriculture company, Gary Harbison leads the Information Security Office with global responsibility for cybersecurity, privacy and business continuity management. Harbison is also a member of the IT Leadership Team helping to define and drive the company's global IT strategy. Harbison has 19 years of overall IT experience, with 17 of those focused in the information security domain. He received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Webster University in St. Louis. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Cybersecurity master's program at Washington University in St. Louis.


Jeff Horton

Jeff Horton, Senior Manager — Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis

Jeff Horton's responsibilities include developing and executing on strategic roadmaps for applications that support and manage the finances for the United States and other Federal Government Agencies. His professional expertise includes over 17 years of experience assisting multiple Fortune 500 organizations on data privacy and cybersecurity initiatives. He is a versatile technical leader, strategist and security practitioner, with exceptional interpersonal, problem-solving and communications skills. A proven thought leader in building the security governance, security culture and security capabilities for some of the world's top organizations. Horton received his bachelor's and master's degree from Webster University in St. Louis, and is currently pursuing his Juris Doctorate Law Degree. He currently holds professional security certifications that include CCSP, CISSP, CISM, ENCE and CEH.


Dan Henke, Vice President, Information Security Officer — Mercy Healthcare

Dan Henke joined Mercy in March 2013 as Vice President, Information Security Officer. He is responsible for all areas of the Mercy Information Security Program and acts as the Chief Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Security Compliance Officer. Prior to joining Mercy, Henke was the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) with Maritz Holdings, Inc., in St. Louis where he led a strong security program attaining Payment Card Industry (PCI) certification and consistently passed demanding security audits and assessments of Fortune 500 clients. He came to Mercy with over 20 years of Information Technology leadership experience and a track record of contributing to business success through technology, building strong technical teams and developing internal and external stakeholder relationships. Dan was recently named one of the "32 Hospital and Health System CISO to Know in 2018" by Becker's Hospital Review. Henke holds a bachelor's degree and MBA from St. Louis University. In addition, he is a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and assists the pastor at Holy Infant Church in Ballwin, Missouri.


Chris NiekampChris Niekamp, Director of Security Operations and Deputy Chief Information Security Officer — Meridian

Chris Niekamp has spent his career in Information Technology, working as part of various teams to deliver innovative solutions for customers. With a consistent focus on collaboration and partnering with others he has worked to evolve the overall security posture of BJC, while leading highly skill people who consistently look to improve processes and leverage industry-leading technology.

As the Director of Security Operations and Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, Niekamp is responsible for the Security Operations Center, Architecture, Access, Engineering, Security Project Portfolio and Strategy teams for BJC Healthcare, and acting on behalf of the BJC Healthcare CISO in certain delegated capacities. As the Director of Security Operations and Deputy CISO, he advocates for BJC’s total information security needs and is responsible for the development and delivery of the operational components of Information Security around incident response, technology roadmaps, support and maintenance of security technology, providing guidance to IT and other organizations within BJC, and the execution of projects key to the mission of Information Security at BJC. Niekamp holds a Bachelor of Science in Administrative Management from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.


Pat Origliasso

Pat Origliasso, Managing Director, Information Security and IT — Spire

As Managing Director of Information Security and IT for Spire, Pat Origliasso is responsible for leading the cybersecurity team in protecting Spire’s employees, assets and data, while managing cyber-related risks and defending against threats to the organization. He leads the implementation of federal regulatory requirements placed on critical pipeline operators while also providing leadership within the application development, infrastructure and support teams at Spire.

Origliasso joined Spire in 2019 after serving in various information security roles with Enterprise Holdings for nearly 20 years, ultimately responsible for the development of strategic roadmaps and operational performance for multiple teams in the Security Operations division.

He holds two bachelor’s degrees from Lindenwood University in Computer Science and Mathematics and a master’s degree from Lindenwood in Business Administration. In the community, he is an advisory board member for the Joshua Chamberlain Society and a member of the Webster University Cybersecurity Academic Advisory Council.


Shrikant Ramachandran

Shrikant Ramachandran, Global Vice President and Chief Information Officer — Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

As Global Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Shrikant Ramachandran has global responsibility for the company's Information Technology. He assumes responsibility for partnering with the various divisions, regions, local markets and global support functions to deliver appropriate IT systems. Ramachandran also directs all IT activities, including applications, infrastructure and projects in North Americas, Europe and Asia, with the regional head of ITs reporting directly to him. He has extensive global IT experience from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, which includes time living and working in Asia, Australasia, Europe and the U.S. Prior to joining Mallinckrodt, he was the Global VP and CIO for Synthes and was also responsible for the integration and merger of Depuy Synthes, a Johnson & Johnson family of companies. Previously, Ramachandran held the position of Consulting Director at Deloitte working with several Fortune 500 clients in North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to Deloitte, he worked with CapGemini, IBM and SGS Thomson Microelectronics. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University, India, a Masters of Engineering from Canterbury University, New Zealand, and an MBA from Smeal School of Business at Penn State University, U.S.

Cybersecurity Resources

Protecting computer systems and networks from information disclosure, theft of or damage, as well as disruption or misdirection of services is a major concern in today's environment. Discover more resources that will help complement your academic progress in Cybersecurity.

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