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News | May 6, 2013

NDU iCollege Graduates 245 Students and Honors Award Winners

By Patricia Coopersmith

Washington, DC. Friday, May 3, 2013. In a formal ceremony, the National Defense University (NDU) iCollege honored 245 students with over 400 graduate certificates in a variety of Cyber and IT leadership disciplines. Categories included: Cyber Security; Cyber Leadership; Chief Information Officer (CIO); Chief Financial Officer (CFO); Chief Information Security Officer (CISO); Information Technology Program Management (ITPM); Enterprise Architecture (EA); Government Strategic Leader (GSL); and, Advanced Management Program (AMP). The graduates represented the Services and Combatant Commands within the Department of Defense, other US Government agencies, private sector organizations, and international defense ministries (Czech Republic, Sweden, Republic of Korea).

Dr. Robert D. Childs, Chancellor of the NDU iCollege, welcomed graduates, guests, and faculty members. Dr. Childs talked about the college’s successes and perseverance through recent government cutbacks and the way ahead for education in the cyber arena. He also discussed the college’s current initiatives to collaborate with National Intelligence University (NIU) on a cooperative Master’s Degree in Cyber, integrate cyber coursework and a possible Master’s Degree into Joint Professional Military Education (JPME), host a “Cyber Beacon” focus group in July 2013 to ensure the best cyber education at NDU, and continue current work with U.S. Cyber Command and the COCOMs to help meet their leadership education needs. Finally, Childs highlighted the recent college effort with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to educate 250 GS-15s in a new, mandatory 24-month program that DISA Director Ronnie Hawkins established, requiring his leaders to complete education at the NDU iCollege.

Dr. Childs then introduced the guest speaker, Ms. Melissa Hathaway, former acting senior director for cyberspace at the National Security Council. Ms. Hathaway directed Cyberspace Policy Review at the White House for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama until August 2009, when she left to establish Hathaway Global Strategies, LLC. She led President Obama's 60-Day Cyberspace Policy Review from February-May 2009. Ms. Hathaway guided the graduates through a brief history of IT and cyber and outlined her thoughts for the future of cyber security and information leadership.

Additionally, several of the NDU iCollege’s partners presented honorary awards to distinguished graduates as follows:

  • OMB presented the CFO Program Award for Academic Excellence to Mr. Chris Fredericks,
  • AFCEA presented the CIO Program Award to LTC Bradley Cook and the Advanced Management Program (AMP) Award to Mr. Jeffrey Whiddon,
  • CACI Technologies, Inc. presented the Cyber Security Program Award to Lt Col Mark Steven Danehy (in absence),
  • AMP Director, Dr. Gerry Gingrich, presented the AMP plaque to Dr. Childs.

Two additional awards were presented at the ceremony. The John M. Carabello Prize (named for the first Dean of the iCollege) was presented by the NDU Foundation to Professor John Saunders for excellence in teaching, research, and outreach. Dr. Saunders has conducted many years of research in the field of critical infrastructure protection and has become well known and

much sought after for his work and teaching in this area. Finally, the college named its 2013 inductee into the NDU iCollege Hall of Fame - the Honorable John G. Grimes, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration and DOD CIO from 2005 to 2009. Mr. Grimes was honored for his continued and ongoing support the NDU iCollege, both nationally and internationally.

After the ceremony, students, family members, special guests, and the college staff/faculty enjoyed a reception in honor of the graduates. The reception was sponsored by the NDU Foundation. The NDU iCollege holds its annual certificate graduation ceremony each spring. The college’s Master’s Degree graduates will join the larger NDU Graduation in June 2013.