Faculty Biographies

Faculty Biographies

Kwabena Konadu

CISSP, CASP, CEH, CEI, MCSA, MCP, WPCNE, Sec+, Net+, A+, AWS Developer Associate
Discipline Chair, Cybersecurity A.A.S.
NSA CAE, Point of Contact

Kwabena Konadu brings over 20 years of experience in Systems Engineering and IT infrastructure protection as discipline chair of the Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Cybersecurity and Cloud Computing program. Before NVCC, Mr. Konadu worked as an engineering contractor for the government and private sector. In 2012, Konadu worked tirelessly with selected nuclear scientists and engineers to help investigate an anomaly that brought down a critical space application program. His interest in information security goes back to the first time his company asked him to design and build a Sensitive Compartment Information Facility (SCIF). He describes himself as called to help prepare the next generation for future cyber-attacks. He loves engaging his students in cybersecurity competitions and hackathons. Since 2008, Konadu has been running IT/cybersecurity certification boot camps and prep courses for NVCC's Regional Workforce Division. He graduated with a B.S. in Electricals Engineering and M.S. in Telecommunication Networks from George Mason University. He is an award-winning professor and holds multiple industry certifications. 

Jonathan Adams


Department of Defense contractor and civilian employee and manager. He has systems administration experience managing both Windows and Unix systems. He has development and content management experience building full-stack enterprise systems on a variety of platforms. He has additional experience in information assurance and program management. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Computer Information Science from Benedict College and a Master’s of Science degree in Computer Science from Howard University. He is pursuing a Doctorate in Information Technology with a focus on Cyber Security. He currently holds numerous Cyber Security industry certifications, including the CISSP, Security+, and SANS GSEC, GCIH, and GCIA. Research interests include Wireless Network Security & Risk Management and Ethical Considerations in Cyber Security .

Wilmot Adekoya, PhD


Dr. Adeklya serves as the Joint Chief of Staff System Administrator at M.C. Dean. He has extensive subject matter expertise in data communication, computer networking, Cisco products, network security, Microsoft systems,  and network design, e-commerce, and e-business and has published many papers on cybersecurity. He holds a Ph.D. from Walden University in Public Policy & Administration with Homeland Security Coordination .

George Alves

CAP, Security+, Ethical Hacking Techniques, Network Security Vulnerability Technician, Information Assurance Manager

George Alves serves as a Deputy CIO, Cybersecurity for a federal agency. He holds a master's degree in Information Technology with a minor in Information Assurance from Capella University .

Henok Asfaw


Senior Threat Researcher at Cylance and Adjunct Professor of Cybersecurity at NOVA and Marymount University. He has a dual MSc In IT and Cybersecurity from Marymount University .

Marouane Balmakhtar, Ph.D., DSc


Dr. Marouane (Mar1) Balmakhtar is an (ISC)² global achievement Senior Professional Award Recipient. A prolific American inventor with 60+ U.S. Patents (both issued & pending) and over 16 years of experience in the Telecommunications/Cybersecurity industry. An Outstanding Adjunct Faculty recognized by the state of Virginia for excellence in leadership, teaching, and dedication. Dr. Balmakhtar currently serves as a Principal Technology Strategist at a major Telecommunications Service Provider working on evaluating upcoming technologies, helping to deliver early product prototypes in emerging areas such as universal connectivity, transparent supply chain security, and other innovative initiatives. Dr. Balmakhtar has actively contributed to various efforts to help advance 5G Cybersecurity and is a frequent speaker/active participant in both industry and academia. Dr. Balmakhtar serves as an Adjunct Professor of Cybersecurity at local colleges/universities. Dr. Balmakhtar served on Academic Curriculum Advisory and Cybersecurity Boards, reviewing programs and certification courseware for academia. Dr. Balmakhtar received his Doctor of Philosophy in Business/Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, both Doctor of Science in Information Assurance and Master of Science in Information Security Management from University of Fairfax, Master of Science in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Old Dominion University. Dr. Balmakhtar is also an IEEE senior member and volunteers as a Director of Technology at a local Northern Virginia (ISC)² Chapter promoting both academia and practice and assisting in organizing educational workshops to help establish a Cybersecurity community.

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.

Emile Beshai


In August 2014, Emile joined Freddie Mac as a Senior Architecture Technology Leader. Previously, Emile directed the DHS Information Sharing Systems Interoperability and Portal Consolidation Architecture. Emile also worked for the Department of Treasury, serving at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) initiating and directing the development of BSA analytical systems and the Egmont Secure Web Platform, which continue to grow as a secure global network of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) in over 115 countries collaborating in fighting crimes including fraud and money laundering. Emile earned a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in Business and Information Technology from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree in science from Ain Shams University.

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 NOVA Online. 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.

Johnson Chen


Chen has over 15 years of experience in IT and spent 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.

Brian Cheng


Professor Cheng is an adjunct faculty of Information Technology (IT). Brian Cheng has a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech. Brian is a cyber-focused software engineer. He recently completed the Masters Certificate Program in Incident Response with the SANS Technology Institute.

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 an M.S. in Computer Science. He has 18 years of work experience in academia, government, and the non-profit sector.

Terrence Clapp


Professor Clapp has a B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University and an M.S. in Information Systems from Golden Gate University. He formerly served as an Information Technology Specialist at DISA.

Akette Cowart


Certified Information Systems Security Professional with over fifteen years of Information Technology and Information Security experience. Possesses an extensive background in computer and network security, system administration, and customer service to name a few. I also have specialized experience in incident response handling, developing and implementing policies, physical and personnel security, and vulnerability management. Champlain College with a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensic Science. I also have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Forensics and Digital Investigations. Currently, a certified Incident Responder and a certified Digital Forensic Examiner through the Department of Defense and hold GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner and Blackbag Technologies Blacklight Tool Examiner certifications.

Robert E Daniels


Masters of Art (Information Technology); (Acquisition Management); and (Management) all from Webster University; Bachelor of Art Industrial Arts University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Arkansas and a Certified Operations Research System Analyst U.S Army Logistics Management College Fort Lee Virginia. I am an Information Technology Program Manager for the Department of Defense. Retired US Army Officer. Over 30 years in the information technology arena.

Santwana Das

Campus POC 

Santwana has a master's degree in Information Security and Assurance from George Mason University. She has experience in system analysis for large-scale enterprise implementations in the 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 a secure execution environment on Android for enterprise users. Das has a bachelor's in Physics from Calcutta University (India).

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.

Gail Drake


Gail has more than 30 years of experience in IT as a manager of information systems, chief operating officer, and professor. Gail holds an M.S. in Computer Systems, and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, and is pursuing a master's in Cybersecurity from Marymount University. She is also heavily involved in the field of robotics. Gail works with the VDOE on cybersecurity, information technology, robotics, and computer science curriculum.

Robert Dusek


Robert Dusek is an associate professor at the 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 sectors.

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 B.S. and an M.S. 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 U.S. federal government staff in a three-letter federal agency.

John Fiess


Fiess is an adjunct instructor of IT/Cybersecurity at the Woodbridge Campus and NOVA Online. He has over 15 years of experience in information systems and systems security, with a primary focus on 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 also serves as a faculty mentor and team coach for students competing in the National Cyber League. He is a member of Infragard.

Hatim Hussein, Ph.D.

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

Professor Hussein has a master's degree 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 .

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 exploit 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 cybersecurity practical to students. He also leads a team at a non-profit science and technology company that focuses on Cloud Security, FedRAMP, Data Forensics, and Big Data Analytics .

Babur Kohy

CEH, CASP, Security+, Network+, ITILv3, and Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

Babur Kohy is an accomplished technology leader with a demonstrated record of delivering solutions. He has proven experience helping clients manage their cybersecurity and business risks while achieving organizational objectives. Babur also teaches Cyber and IT courses at the Loudoun Campus.

Based in Washington, D.C., Babur leads a variety of engagements serving as an associate director for young professionals, ISACA Greater Washington, D.C. (GWDC) chapter, and assists academic outreach efforts. Babur holds an M.S. in Cybersecurity from Marymount University and a B.S. in Business from Longwood University.

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.

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 completed the coursework and comprehensive examination in support of his Ph.D. requirements. Professor McLaughlin’s main research interests include the integration of cybersecurity, cyberforensics, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems security.

Richard (Rick) W. Miller


Rick is an adjunct assistant professor working mainly at the Annandale campus since joining NOVA in 2000. He holds a master’s in Computer Science from California State University Long Beach. A former naval officer, Rick has worked in a variety of IT and Cybersecurity related positions as a contractor for defense and intelligence clients. He currently works in the Labs division at IronNet Cybersecurity where he researches and develops online click-fraud detection and countermeasure applications using Amazon Web Services and related technologies. Rick has authored numerous textbooks on programming languages including C++, Java, C#, and ASP.NET. Certifications include: ITIL, Certified Java Programmer, Certified Java Developer, AWS Cloud Practitioner. Teaches ITP 270 – Programming for Cybersecurity and ITN 276 – Computer Forensics I.

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.

Brian Ngac


Brian is an assistant professor at NOVA and has over four years of experience in Application Security, Process Improvement, Project/Program Management, and Training. He received both his B.S. and M.S. in Applied IT with a cyber focus from George Mason University, and he plans to pursue his doctorate there. He is currently a manager within the Space & Technology Group at Parsons Corporation focusing on technology development and integration programs. Brian is also an adjunct professor of Information Sciences & Technology at GMU; he is a member of PMI, (ISC)2, ISACA, and ISSA-NOVA.

Miguel Pabon


Miguel Pabon is an Information Technology professional with extensive experience including Cyber Security, Risk Management, Threat Modelling, Security Strategy, Incident Response, Forensic/Malware/Intrusion Analysis, Penetration Testing, Network Architecture, Cloud Computing Security, and Systems & Software Engineering. Mr. Pabon earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez, a Master’s degree in Engineering Management & Systems Engineering from George Washington University, and is a graduate of the MIT Management & Leadership Executive Program. Mr. Pabon has also earned multiple industry certifications, including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), GIAC Reverse Engineering Malware (GREM), Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA), Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA), and GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN). Mr. Pabon is currently a Cyber Security Engineering Manager at a large US defense contractor.

Walter Pehrsson


Professor Pehrsson is a full-time Assistant Professor at NOVA. He holds a B.S. in Information Technology from Briarcliff College and an M.S. in Network Security from Capitol Technology University.

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 used to work as a Senior IT Manager for IT Governance and Risk Management, Network Operations Manager and Security Engineer, and Network Engineer.

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 also served as a faculty mentor/coach for the CCDC and other cyber competitions.

Jamal Said


Professor Said has more than 18 years of experience in IT and Cybersecurity. He spent 11 years of that time working as a Network Engineer, and the past seven years in cybersecurity within federal government training and working full-time as a U.S. federal government employee in a three-letter federal agency leading an end-to-end threat and risk modeling program. He has an M.S. in Telecommunications and a graduate certificate in network topologies and application from George Mason University. Professor Said teaches several cybersecurity courses at the Alexandria Campus. He is also a member of ISSA-NOVA.

Fernando "Alex" Seminario 

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 .

Shatsha  Smith


Smith is an adjunct instructor of IT/Cybersecurity at the Woodbridge Campus and NOVA Online. 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 an M.S. 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 cybersecurity 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 .

Joseph Walker


Professor Walker is the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Security/Cybersecurity Authorization Working Group (DSAWG) Chair. As DSAWG Chair he is responsible for the first accreditation or accreditation review level for the transport, network management, and network segments for the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) of the Department of Defense Information Networks (DoDIN). He previously served as the U.S. Navy’s Director of Cybersecurity, and Enterprise Architect (Policy). He graduated with an M.S. in Information Systems (Network Security/Data Mining) from George Mason University, and with an M.S. In Telecommunications Systems Management (Internet Encryption Technologies), with Distinction, from National University. Additionally, he graduated from National Defense University with post-graduate work and certification as a Federal Chief Information Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, NSTISSI 4011 Information Assurance/Security Specialist, and Federal IT Program Manager. He also holds a Master's Certificate in Federal Acquisition Contracting from the George Washington School of Law/Business ESI program. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity Leadership from Capitol Technology University.

Dr. Kenneth Williams


Dr. Williams is an adjunct professor at NOVA, teaching ITN 261 and ITN 263.