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Faculty Biographies

  • NOVA instructor reviews cyber security with class

Alexandria Campus

Margaret Leary, Ph.D.

Program/Campus POC

Dr. Leary has more than 30 years of experience in IT (the most recent 12 in cybersecurity) and is a Senior Security Policy Advisor to government agencies in the Washington, DC, area. She is the Cybersecurity Program Head for NOVA and teaches a variety of cybersecurity courses at the Alexandria Campus. Dr. Leary is a member of the National Cyberwatch Center Leadership team, where she serves as the Director of Curriculum, advocating for community college cybersecurity programs. She is also a member of Infragard, ISSA-NOVA and the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu.

Hatim Hussein, Ph.D.

CCNP Security, CCNP Routing, CCNA Security, Security+, CACI, MCSE

Professor Hussein has a master's in Information Systems and a Graduate Certificate in Information Security Assurance from George Mason University. Professor Hussein teaches ITN 263 – Internet/Intranet Firewalls and ITN 260 – Network Security Basics (a Security+ prep) at the Alexandria Campus.

Kevin Reed


Professor Reed is an Associate Professor of Information Technology at NOVA. He teaches a variety of IT and security-specific programming special topics courses such as Gray Hat Hacking, and Developing Security Tools and Threat Analysis using Python. He has a master's in Information Technology from John Hopkins University. Professor Reed's research has included RFID and intelligent agents in security. He has served as a faculty mentor/coach for the CCDC and other cyber competitions.

Vincent Sritapan


Sritapan is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Alexandria Campus. He has a bachelor's in Information Systems from California State University Northridge, a master's in National Security Studies and a MBA in Information Assurance & Security Management from California State University San Bernardino. He is a Scholarship for Service CyberCorps alumnus and currently serves as an IT Specialist (InfoSec) with the Department of Homeland Security. Professor Sritapan is also a Faculty Coach for the NOVA Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) teams.

Steve Ward

Security+, CEH

Professor Ward has 32 years of experience in IT/Security within federal government service. He has a master's in Engineering Management from The George Washington University, a master's in Public Administration (MPA) from Troy University, and is working on his Ph.D. Professor Ward teaches ITN 260 - Network Security Basics at the Alexandria Campus.

Johnson Chen


Chen has over 15 years of experience in IT; the past five years specializing in cybersecurity. He holds dual MBA degrees in Information Assurance & Security Management and Entrepreneurship from California State University, San Bernardino. Professor Chen is a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service alumnus and currently serves as an IT Specialist (InfoSec) at the Department of Homeland Security. He has served as a faculty mentor for NOVA's Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition team and teaches at the Manassas Campus.

Marouane Balmakhtar 


Professor Balmakhtar holds a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech and is completing a Ph.D. from the University of Fairfax. He possesses more than 13 years of systems engineering/consulting experience. He has worked as a Professional Services Sr. Engineer/Consultant for the mobile software industry, production support and operations and has been a key player in end-to-end strategy for product deployments and integrated solutions at top world class carriers/service providers. He has eight years of experience with Network and Computer Security, including Firewalls, Systems Hardening and Intrusion Detection/Intrusion Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS).

Jason McHuen

CISSP, CEH, CEI (Certified EC-Council Instructor), GWAPT, GXPN, Security+

Professor McHuen serves as the Senior Manager, IT/Cyber Security, for Parsons Corporation and holds a master’s degree in Information Technology Management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He also teaches at Woodbridge Campus.

Annandale Campus

Dr. Necmi Mutlu


Dr.  Mutlu is an associate professor at the Annandale Campus. He has more than 10 years of experience in IT; including physical layer chip design for Alcatel/STmicroelectronics. He holds a Ph.D. in IT from George Mason University. Dr. Mutlu has been teaching engineering and IT classes at NOVA since 2009.

Dr. Mark Beattie


Dr. Beattie teaches at the Annandale Campus. He has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in science from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, UK. He also has a college teaching certification from the University of  Strathclyde in Scotland, UK, and a doctorate from George Mason University and a certificate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology's online extension school (MITx). Dr. Beattie has many years of experience working as both a systems software engineer and a systems network manager.

Fernando Seminario (CEH)

Campus POC

Professor Seminario teaches IT and security courses at the Annandale Campus. He has over 12 years of experience in IT. He has worked on securing federal grants for physical security projects and has managed various projects involving building security, electronic door access, biometrics, intrusion detection and camera surveillance systems. Professor Seminario has a master’s degree in Information Systems Network Management.

Zenaida Bodwin (CEH)


Zenaida Bodwin teaches telecommunication, network engineering and security courses  at the Annandale Campus. She has a master's degree in Distance Education and developed online versions of the courses she teaches for our Extended Learning Institute (ELI). She completed cybersecurity training and workshops at the Naval Post Graduate School, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Marymount University. Cisco recognized Bodwin's 15 years of active participation and services in the Cisco Networking Academy program.

Loudoun Campus

Khanh Dinh

CISSP, CEH, Security+
Campus POC

Dinh is an assistant professor at the Loudoun Campus. He obtained his master's degree in Telecommunications and Master Certificate in Telecommunications Forensics and Security from George Mason University. He was a Senior Information Security Analyst supporting various government contracts.

Chola Chhetri

MS, M.Sc. CCSK, Security+, Network+

Professor Chhetri is a full-time IT faculty member at the Loudoun Campus. He is currently working on a doctorate degree in Information Technology at George Mason University. He has obtained a master's degree in Information Security & Assurance and a Master of Science in Computer Science. He has 18 years of work experience in academia, government and the non-profit sector.

Robert Dusek


Robert Dusek is an associate professor at Loudoun Campus and has taught a variety of networking classes since 2001. He received a master's degree in Computer Science and Telecommunications from the University of West Bohemia. Dusek has over 20 years of IT experience in the public and private sector.

Kazi Fazal


Fazal is an adjunct faculty of Information Technology (IT). He teaches various IT courses, focused primarily on networking and cybersecurity classes at the Loudoun Campus. Kazi Fazal has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in IT and computer systems security from George Mason University. He is a proud former student of NOVA! Kazi Fazal is a network security engineer, having trained and worked full-time as a US federal government staff in a three-letter federal agency.

Mun-Wai Hon


Professor “Mike” Hon has worked with many law enforcement and intelligence government agencies across security domains ranging from computer forensics to completing successful white hat vulnerability exploits with over 20 years of IT experience and 16 years of teaching at NOVA, UVa, and GMU. Published in IEEE, Professor Hon focuses on practical, hands-on tools and examples to make cyber security practical to students. After a full day leading his team at a non-profit Science and Technology company that focuses on Cloud Security, FedRAMP, Data Forensics, and Big Data Analytics.

Manassas Campus

Santwana Das

Campus POC 

Das has a master's degree in Information Security and Assurance from George Mason University. Her experience includes system analysis for large-scale enterprise implementations in retail industry. Das' current research interests include Android system security and malware detection. She also serves as a part-time consultant for a local company focusing on building secure execution environment on Android for enterprise users. Das has a bachelor's in Physics from Calcutta University (India).

Hisham Razaq


Razaq has more than 20 years of experience in IT; including hands-on Networking, Cybersecurity and Forensics. He has a master's degree in Telecommunications from George Mason University with a graduate certificate in Cybersecurity and Forensics. He teaches forensic classes, ITN 260 and ITN 263 at NOVA. Razaq also works as a senior consultant for a government agency, managing the operations of a research network. He has also worked in the past as a Senior IT Manager for IT Governance and Risk Management, Network Operations Manager and Security Engineer and Network Engineer.

Shoeb Siraj


Shoeb Siraj currently works as Vice President, (Systems Integration and Cybersecurity) at Telophase Corporation. Shoeb has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University, a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University, and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Catholic University of America.

Woodbridge Campus

William McLaughlin

CISSP, MA, AGSC, AP, CMSgt (ret)
Campus POC

Associate Professor William McLaughlin (Chief Master Sergeant, USAF, Retired) teaches information assurance courses, including cybersecurity, at the Woodbridge Campus, and was named faculty of the year in 2013. He holds four college/university degrees and has completed the course work and comprehensive examination in support of his Ph.D requirements. Siraj main research interests include the integration of cybersecurity, cyberforensics, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems security.

John Fiess


Fiess is an adjunct instructor of IT/Cybersecurity at the Woodbridge Campus and ELI. He has over 15 years of experience in information systems and systems security, with a primary focus in information assurance in network security monitoring, detection and response. He has a master's degree in Business Administration and a master's degree in Information Systems with a concentration in Computer Security, and multiple DoD IAM Level III and IAT Level III compliant certifications. Professor Fiess serves as a faculty mentor and team coach for students competing in the National Cyber League. He is a member of Infragard.

Shatsha Smith


Smith is an adjunct instructor of the IT/Cybersecurity at the Woodbridge Campus and ELI. She is an Army Veteran with over 10 years of experience in Information Technology, and Information Security with a primary focus in Information Assurance, Problem Management, Incident Response, Risk Management Framework (RMF), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and Security Policy. Smith has a Master of Science in Information Technology/Information Assurance and is DoD IAT Level II and IAM Level I certified. She has provided technology support to over 400,000 military and civilian personnel stateside and in combat environments.

Darren Thomas


Professor Thomas has worked in the field of information technology and cyber security for over 15 years as an engineer, researcher, practitioner and educator. His diverse career has spanned many areas of information security, including research and development of very high assurance, multi-level secure systems for use in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the military, research and development of intrusion detection and security event management systems for the Joint Chief of Staff. Professor Thomas earned his master's degree in Information Technology at Webster. He continues to do research at the Air Force Institute of Technology in Cyberspace exploitation and Cyberspace Planning.