The mission of the Center for Cybersecurity at Webster University is to promote cyber education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Center is home to the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Laboratory, located in the East Academic Building, and to the Cybersecurity Academic Advisory Council (CAAC).

The Center is also a venue for collaboration between Webster University faculty, students, and community members on cybersecurity issues. Activities in the Center allow the University's cybersecurity program offering to remain current.

Our programs prepare students and professionals for demanding positions in public and private sectors overseeing, operating, or protecting critical computer systems, information, infrastructures, and communications networks from cyber crime, cyber fraud, social engineering, and cyber espionage. Webster University students who complete an undergraduate degree with an emphasis in cybersecurity, a cybersecurity degree, or a graduate certificate program are able to effectively propose solutions to securing cyber networks and ensure online security.

Students will be well-versed to apply their knowledge and critical thinking related to domestic and international legal systems, private and public policies, and ethics, as they apply cybersecurity to:

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

In 2019, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Webster University’s undergraduate program as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD).  According to NSA, “The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise.” Students graduating from CAE-CD institutions are considered to have received the finest levels of formal cybersecurity education.

Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (Laboratory)

Webster University is home to a dedicated Cybersecurity Center of Excellence lab to facilitate student learning. The Center provides students with access to technologies and tools to help them learn both business and technical aspects of information security. The Center also provides faculty and students resources for engaging in research projects.

Cybersecurity Academic Programs & Faculty

Geneva, Switzerland Campus

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

Irvine, California Campus

Marca Atencio, PhD; Max Boedder, DBA; Aaron Despain; Amanda Monard; Ronald Monard; Don Nguyen; Ali Pabrai; Pramod Pandya, PhD; Tom Ruffolo; Guido Solares, PhD; Billy Spears

St. Louis Metro Campuses

Kenneth Ackerman; Oladipupo Adefala; John Aleshunas, PhD; 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; Paul Frazier; Robert Fried; Lasanthi Gamage, PhD; Larry Granda, PhD; Jason Ham; James Jenkins; Jerome Jose; Al Keeler; Douglas Kelly, PhD; 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

Cybersecurity Academic Advisory Council (CAAC) Charter & Members


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 & 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
          a. Host, plan, and serve as the facilitator of meetings.
          b. Meetings should include:
               • Updates on college/school enrollment
               • Academic presentations
               • Philanthropy activities & results for the college
               • Updates on any significant alumni accomplishments.
     2. Provide communications to CAAC whenever needed:
          a. Follow-up meetings on special initiatives/task forces/subcommittees
          b. Time sensitive information re: college activities, events, special news of accomplishments, etc.
          c. 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.

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) - United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) 

Mr. Cronin serves as the USTRANSCOM senior cybersecurity advisor on key externally-facing cybersecurity issues. He represents the USTRANSCOM Commander and Chief Information Officer at senior level national, Department of Defense (DoD), and industry committees and working groups. His current efforts include working with government and commercial partners to improve the cybersecurity posture across the transportation enterprise, which includes Government, DoD, and commercial networks. Under this initiative, he is working with Government and industry partners to sharing best practices, threat, and vulnerability information with goal of increasing the ability of USTRANSCOM and its industry partners to conduct the transportation mission in an increasingly contested cyber domain.

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) - Monsanto

As the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Monsanto, 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 define and drive Monsanto's global IT strategy. Harbison has 19 years of overall IT experience, with 17 of those focused in the information security domain. Harbison received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Webster University in St. Louis. Harbison is also an Adjunct Professor in the Cybersecurity master's program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Senior Manager - Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis

Jeff Horton 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 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, security capabilities for some of the world's top organizations. Jeff received his bachelor's degree and master's degree from Webster University in St. Louis, and he is currently pursuing his Juris Doctorate Law Degree. Jeff currently holds a number of professional security certifications including CCSP, CISSP, CISM, ENCE, & CEH 

Vice President (VP), 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, Dan 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 twenty 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. Dan holds a bachelor's degree and MBA from St. Louis University. In addition, Dan is a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and assists the pastor at Holy Infant Church in Ballwin, MO.

Vice President (VP) & Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) - BJC Healthcare

Matthew Modica is responsible for the strategic direction, planning and implementation of enterprise IT systems, business operation and facility defenses to protect against security breaches and vulnerability issues. He has the responsibility for establishing, meeting and continuously monitoring the information security goals and objectives, while maintaining alignment with the strategic goals and priorities for BJC. Modica has a long tenured career in the Information Security field at multiple Fortune 1000 companies in the financial services, healthcare and data services industries. Modica holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Southeast Missouri State University and is currently attending Webster University's MBA program. He is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Modica is passionate about preparing the next generation to serve in CyberSecurity and STEM related roles. He serves on the St. Louis CISO board and CyberSecurity advisory committees for Southeast Missouri State University, Webster University, Washington University, SecureWorld St. Louis and the Evanta STL CXO Summit. Additionally, Modica sits on the Autism Speaks STL Golf Committee whose mission is to raise funds to support research and services for those on the Autism spectrum.

Global Vice President (VP) & Chief Information Officer (CIO) - 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. Shri 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. Shri has extensive Global IT experience from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, which includes time living and working in Asia, Australasia, Europe and the US. Prior to joining Mallinckrodt, Shri was the Global VP and CIO for Synthes and was also responsible for the Integration & merger of Depuy Synthes a Johnson and Johnson family of companies. Previously, Shri held the position of Consulting Director at Deloitte working with several Fortune 500 clients in North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to Deloitte, Shri worked with CapGemini, IBM and SGS Thomson Microelectronics. Shri holds 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, US.

Cybersecurity Information & Resources

Webster University is home to a dedicated cybersecurity lab to facilitate student learning. The Cyber Lab provides students with access to technologies and tools to help them learn both business and technical aspects of information security. The Cyber Lab also provides faculty and students resources for engaging in research projects.

The Cyber Lab at Webster University is location in the East Academic Building, Home of the Walker School of Business & Technology. Entrance to the lab is by card access only and is limited to students enrolled in cybersecurity courses.

Our mission is to protect both personal and sensitive information promoting transparency for prospective students, current students, faculty, adjunct faculty, alumni, employees and all other constituents of Webster University. We work diligently to preserve individuals' privacy. We strive to be a valued partner and adviser to the entire University community, to protect the integrity of data collected, created, transmitted, released, stored and otherwise processed by Webster University.

This University is dedicated to preventing unauthorized access to information, maintaining the accuracy of information, and ensuring the appropriate use of information. We strive to put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial safeguards to secure the information we collect in all formats: on paper, electronically, and verbally. These security practices are consistent with the policies of the university, with the laws and regulatory practices of multiple federal agencies, as well as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As more U.S. regulations/laws come into effect we will work diligently to align the University's best practices with those newly implemented regulations.

We invite you to visit this website often to learn more about security and privacy topics, access pertinent forms and notices, and to learn more about awareness training, guidance and consultation in furtherance of the University's mission, and applicable privacy laws and regulations.

For further information, please review our General Data Protection Regulation information and Acceptable Use Policy

For any remaining questions, please contact:

Kevin Heuser
Senior Director of Information Security
(314) 246-3150

Jeanelle Wiley
University Secretary and Webster Senior Privacy Director
(314) 246-7123

Edna Schick-Bodric
Director of Privacy and Information Security Operations
International Campuses



Nearby NSA Centers of Academic Excellence (CAEs) Degrees

Associate Degree
Undergrad Certificate/Minor 
Graduate Certificate
Graduate Degree
PhD Degree

Webster University

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University of Missouri-Saint Louis

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Missouri University of Science & Technology-Rolla


University of Missouri-Columbia


Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City


School of Business & Technology

The George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University is a leading provider of business education worldwide. With an international student body and a network of campuses throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and cyberspace, we know firsthand what it takes to succeed in the dynamic global business environment.