08/10/2021 – 09:00am | By: Van Arnold
The School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering (CSCE) at The University
of Southern Mississippi (USM) will feature several new faculty members when the fall
2021 semester begins later this month.
CSCE Director Dr. Sarah Lee notes that the new faculty cohort will help further the
school’s mission as a leader in computing and cybersecurity education and training.
New full-time faculty in CSCE:
Dr. Nick Rahimi – New Assistant Professor
Rahimi comes to USM from the Southern Illinois University, where he earned his PhD
on computer science and worked as an assistant professor. His teaching and research
interests and experience in cybersecurity include Machine Learning with Applications
in Cybersecurity and Applied Cryptography.
Chad McDaniel – New Instructor
McDaniel, a native of Fulton Miss., attended Itawamba Community College and graduated
from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in software engineering.
After earning his master’s degree in computer science at MSU, he joined the MSU Department
of Computer Science and Engineering faculty in 2018 as an instructor.
Dr. Charan Gudla – New Assistant Teaching Professor
Gudla received his graduate degrees from USM and has worked as a visiting instructor
in the School of CSCE since fall 2019. He holds a number of industry credentials including
Cisco’s Certified Network Associate, CyberOps, and DevNet. Gudla has completed EC-Council
Ethical Hacking Training and will be important to the evolution of our cybersecurity
Dr. Mandrita Banerjee – New Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor
Banerjee received her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University
of Texas at San Antonio, where she worked as a research assistant for four years.
Her research and teaching interests are hardware-assisted security mechanisms and
security of IoT Systems.
New part-time instructional faculty in CSCE:
· Anna Harrison CISSP, cybersecurity engineer at H2L, earned a master’s degree in computer science from
Mississippi State University where she was a CyberCorps scholar. Harrison is a native
of Meridian Miss. In 2019, she was awarded Information Security Practitioner of the
Year by (ISC)² – the world’s largest nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity
· Sandra Gibson – She holds a bachelor’s in software engineering and a master’s degree in computer
science from Mississippi State University, where she was a CyberCorps scholar. She
is employed with the U.S. Government Small Business Administration, and previously
worked as a lecturer at MSU.
· Jason Hillman CISSP PMP is a Cyber Strategist for the US Army. He holds a BS in systems engineering from
the US Military Academy at West Point and furthered his education in cybersecurity
in the executive education program at Harvard Kennedy School.
· Eleashia Hodges, from Canton Miss., is a cybersecurity engineer who holds a master’s degree in computer
science and cybersecurity from Jackson State University, and a bachelor’s degree in
software engineering from MSU where she was a CyberCorps scholar.
· Dr. Silvia Preston, a USM alum, is a computer science instructor at Pearl River Community College, with
extensive teaching experience including in the online environment. Before joining
the faculty at PRCC in 2012, she worked in iTech at USM.
· Dr. Mark Boutwell works for the Department of Defense and brings a wealth of Cybersecurity, Data Analytics,
Forensics, and Intelligence Analysis experience to the classroom. He holds degrees
in information technology and computer science.
· Darwin Rivera CISSP PMP – a US Air Force veteran, brings over 15 years of information technology and cybersecurity
risk management experience. He holds a master’s degree in management information systems
and is pursuing a doctorate in business management and information systems.
· Charlie Hudnall is a vice president and chief technologist at Mercury Systems. He holds a bachelor’s
in computer engineering from MSU and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from
Southern Methodist University. He brings current, leading-edge technical knowledge,
skills, and abilities to our computer engineering program.
“Dr. Rahimi will be a critical part of our cybersecurity education strategy and growth
of the information technology program,” said Dr. Lee. “Mr. McDaniel and Mr. Gudla
will enhance our student-centered focus in our undergraduate programs and help support
Regarding the adjuncts, Lee said: “In the computing and cybersecurity domains, it
is important to inject recent real-world experience into the learning environment.
We are excited to have this elite group of adjuncts who will bring a diverse set knowledge
and skills to our USM students.”
To learn more about the School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering, call
601.266.4949 or visit: https://www.usm.edu/computing-sciences-computer-engineering/index.php