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NOVA Professor Margaret Leary named 2017 Outstanding Faculty by SCHEV

Dr. Margaret Leary

Dr. Margaret Leary, professor of information technology at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College and director of NOVA’s Cybersecurity Program, has been named a 2017 Outstanding Faculty of the Year by SCHEV (the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia). This award is the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities. Leary is the 13th NOVA Professor to have received this prestigious honor since the award’s inception in 1987.

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, D.C., area. She is the Cybersecurity Program Head for NOVA and teaches a variety of cybersecurity courses at the Alexandria Campus. NOVA’s Cybersecurity program provides a curriculum that is mapped to Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Administration cybersecurity education standards and is designated by the agencies as a Center of Academic Excellence for two-year institutions (CAE2Y). She 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.

In 2016, Leary assumed the first endowed faculty chair in the history of the Virginia Community College System, becoming Edward H. and Marilynn D. Bersoff Endowed Chair for Computer and Information Sciences thanks to the generous contributions of Dr. and Mrs. Edward Bersoff.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the Commonwealth of Virginia has affirmed what we already knew—that Dr. Margaret Leary is among the best and the brightest faculty in Virginia,” said NOVA President Scott Ralls. “NOVA is a ground breaker in Cybersecurity education, a critical area of study for students in this region, and our program is what it is because of the great work of Dr. Leary!”

This year marks the 31st anniversary of the statewide awards program, which honors faculty members for excellence in teaching, research, knowledge integration and public service. Leary was one of only 12 recipients selected from a pool of 97 nominees. Awardees hailed from such schools as Emory & Henry College, Sweet Briar College, James Madison University, University of Mary Washington, George Mason, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University, UVA at Wise and Virginia Highlands Community College—the only other community college represented.

Recipients will be recognized at ceremony in February in Richmond. Each will receive an engraved award and $5,000, underwritten by Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources and parent company of Dominion Virginia Power.


Media Contact: Kathy Thompson | 703.764.0896 | kthompson@nvcc.edu


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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.