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Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

About Us

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has been reinventing higher education since 1932. As a leader in STEM, we help students meet the needs of an ever-growing, tech-driven marketplace. This is done with the help of innovative online and on-campus programs, expert instruction, experiential learning opportunities, active alumni communities, global networking events and more.

SNHU has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA). The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity is our validated Program of Study (PoS).

National Security Agency Logo and National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Seal

Related Programs

We believe cybersecurity should be treated as a multidisciplinary practice. As such, our undergraduate and graduate programs integrate a multitude of cyber concepts, ranging from data analytics to web design and development.




Our highly skilled faculty members leverage years of collective experience in the cyber defense field to lead the charge in STEM education at SNHU.

Faculty Image Cheryl FrederickDr. Cheryl Frederick

Executive Director, STEM

Dr. Cheryl Frederick joined Southern New Hampshire University in 2014, having worked in higher education for nearly a decade. She then held a series of progressive roles before transitioning to her current position.

Frederick has over 35 years of experience in STEM. Her interests include active learning, adaptive learning technologies, women in STEM and digital credentials. Outside of academia, Frederick has a demonstrated history in software development for a variety of industries, including aerospace, telecommunications and televised sports.

Frederick earned her PhD in Education from Walden University, where she completed a dissertation titled “Lived Experiences of Instructional Designers Who Designed Online Information Technology Courses with Hands-On Activities.” Prior to that, she earned her MS and BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida and had her master’s thesis (“Development of Techniques to Perform Simulation-Adaptation in a Simulation Training Environment Using Expert Systems Methods”) published.

Jonathan KamyckJonathan Kamyck

Senior Associate Dean, STEM

Jonathan Kamyck is a senior associate dean on Southern New Hampshire University's STEM academic team. He led the development of the university's first competency-driven undergraduate academic program in cybersecurity.

Prior to joining STEM academics, Kamyck served as SNHU’s information security officer. Other industry experience includes working as an information systems security manager (ISSM) for government defense contractors and consulting in the IT/cybersecurity space.

Kamyck earned his MS in Organizational Leadership and BS in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. He is an (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and holds an MS in Information Assurance from Norwich University.

Dennis BackhermsDr. Dennis Backherms

Technical Program Facilitator, Cybersecurity

Dr. Dennis Backherms has over 2 decades of extensive experience safeguarding digital landscapes. Before transitioning to his current position at Southern New Hampshire University, Backherms was an academic partner and adjunct instructor.

Backherms has dedicated his career to fortifying information systems against evolving cyber threats. His wealth of experience spans government and private industry sectors, where he’s implemented effective solutions to innumerable cybersecurity challenges.

In his free time, Backherms acts as a doctoral research dissertation chair, guiding students in their research pursuits. Backherms also regularly contributes to the intellectual discourse of cybersecurity in various publications.

Backherms earned his PhD in Information Technology from Capella University. He holds an array of industry certifications, including Security+ and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP).

STEM Advisory Council

The STEM Advisory Council provides guidance on industry trends, suggestions for academic program improvement, and opportunities to connect learners with experienced professionals in various STEM disciplines.

Albanie Bolton HeadshotDr. Albanie T. Bolton

Dr. Albanie T. Bolton is the safety and mission assurance integration lead at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. She currently works under the project Space Launch System — a heavy-lift expendable launch vehicle.

Throughout her career, Bolton has held roles in various areas of agile development, software, hardware, requirements and testing. She’s also taught courses at both Alabama A&M University and National University, including statistics, neural networks and database systems.

In 2014, Bolton was awarded the MSFC Director’s Commendation Honor Award for her exceptional leadership in the development of Class A tools. Just 3 years later, Bolton was selected as an honoree to be featured in the Women’s History Month display titled “Marshall’s Modern Figures, a Celebration of Women Making a Difference Today.” She was also featured in Google Expeditions as a NASA Modern Figure to teach students about her day-to-day activities at MSFC. Most recently, Bolton was granted the 2019 NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal for her efforts in avionics.

Bolton earned her MA and PhD in Computer Science with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction from Auburn University, along with a BS in Computer Science from Alcorn State University. She is a graduate of NASA’s System Engineering Leadership Development Program.

James BradyDr. James Brady

Dr. James Brady is a healthcare business executive, strategic advisor and Board Certified™ Chief Information Security Officer in cyber/digital technology, with over 20 years of experience in complex regulatory and compliance environments.

Brady currently acts in advisory board roles for 5 public and private cyber/tech companies. Simultaneously, he teaches healthcare administration, informatics, public health and cybersecurity as an adjunct professor at both the University of California, Irvine and National University.

Over the years, Brady has held key executive roles (CIO, CISO, CTO and COO) within mid- to large-size organizations, including M Health Fairview, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Kaiser Permanente Orange County and Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. He’s also authored several healthcare information systems graduate school textbooks.

Brady earned his MS and PhD in Information Systems and Security from Nova Southeastern University. He holds 22 technical and professional certifications, including a Qualified Technology Expert (QTE) certificate and National Association of Corporate Directors Directorship Certified (NACD.DC) designation.

Dr. Laila MorettoDr. Laila Moretto

Dr. Laila Moretto serves as a trusted advisor to various governmental agencies at the MITRE Corporation and is an award-winning associate adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Global College.

Throughout her career, Moretto has directed, managed, consulted and assisted projects in a wide variety of roles at the technical and strategic level, with expertise and focus on systems engineering, artificial intelligence, data science and analytics. She’s a well-known international speaker and has presented at many conferences, including the Latin America Data Management Conference in Brazil, where she was voted No. 1 speaker. She’s also been a guest lecturer at the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and more.

Moretto is a member of the STEM board at SNHU, actively advocating for STEM degrees focused on cybersecurity, data science and data analytics. She previously helped develop SNHU’s data science curriculum.

Moretto earned her PhD in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University, MS in Information Technology from Virginia Tech and BS in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Arlington. She holds a Federal CIO Certification from Carnegie Mellon University.

Andrew NeilsonAndrew Neilson

Andrew Neilson is a business leader, innovator and engineer with over 30 years' experience in the research and development of complex electro-optic systems for bio-medical, industrial and academic research. He’s currently a master research and development scientist/engineer in the cell analysis division at Agilent Technologies.

Neilson was a founder (as well as the CTO) of Seahorse Bioscience, a successful venture-funded biotech company that developed novel instruments and sensors for measuring metabolic processes in cells, tissues and animals. Prior to this, Neilson worked in engineering management positions at Inframetrics Inc. and General Scanning Inc.

Neilson holds over 20 patents for a broad range of inventions in the field(s) of sensors, instruments, optics and methods for cell and tissue analysis. He’s an active member of the Dean’s advisory council for University of Maine Engineering.

Neilson earned his MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and BS in Engineering from the University of Maine.

Scott RappeportDr. Scott Rappeport

Dr. Scott Rappeport has nearly 3 decades’ experience in technical leadership in system engineering design of DoD systems that support enhanced war fighter decision making, communications and data acquisition.

Rappeport has led multiple teams in the development, integration and test/qualification of high capability and high availability network infrastructures. He’s also acted as principal lead for development of advanced systems architectures, system performance analysis and various special technical studies as directed by customers.

Rappeport is a recognized subject matter expert in system integration and the implementation of COTS in Mil-STD environments and COTS long-term OAM support. Additionally, he has field experience in the geology and geophysical characterization of continental shelf sediment transport process and development.

John RoseJohn Rose

John Rose is a business transformations and turnarounds expert who has hands-on experience leading big teams through tumultuous change, while creating business growth, shareholder value, operational efficiency and savings. Most notably, he’s used this knowledge to turnaround business units at Fujitsu, Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation.

Rose is recognized as both an innovator and entrepreneur. He has proven success in developing innovative product and services strategies, in addition to implementing the right leadership team with exceptional operational capabilities.

Over the course of his career, Rose has successfully driven 13 acquisitions for 2 major technology companies with an acquisition value of over $16 billion and successful post-merger management.

Cybersecurity Competitions and Events

SNHU STEM students can compete (and earn credit for participating) in the National Cyber League (NCL) – an inclusive, performance-based, collegiate cybersecurity competition. Since 2017, SNHU participants have consistently earned top 500 national placements in the Cyber Power Rankings. Even more impressive? SNHU is believed to have introduced the first ever all-female NCL team, further expanding our initiative to level the field for women in STEM.

SNHU also offers several STEM experiential learning courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level:

Conferences and SNHU Cyber Community News

Professional conferences offer students the opportunity to learn from and engage with other learners, faculty, industry leaders and tech visionaries. Over the years, SNHU has sponsored student attendees for the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), Women in Cybersecurity Conference (WiCyS) and Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference.

Students are also provided with access to SANS Cybersecurity Community, which offers training, conferences, free workshops, webcasts and much more.

SNHU administrators and faculty are also dedicated to providing opportunities for continual development such as the SNHU Hour of Code, which features week-long activities, lectures, hands-on learning opportunities and challenges.

Thought Leadership @ SNHU

When new vulnerabilities in IT arise, SNHU looks for solutions. Here, we will share the discoveries of our university’s own innovators and influencers shaking up the cyber world.

Institutional Resources 

SNHU provides students, faculty and staff with a variety of institutional resources and opportunities related to cybersecurity, including:

External Resources

SNHU champions a collaborative approach to strengthening cyber defenses in tech-empowered industries. From subject-matter experts to global institutions, here are some of the field's leaders outside of our university: