Information Systems


Atef Bader

Atef Bader has been working in the IT industry for many years and currently is a member of the technical staff at Lucent Technologies. He is a recognized expert in object-oriented technology, automated software testing, concurrent software systems and software architecture. His technical papers have been presented at numerous conferences and published in technical journals. Bader holds a PhD in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Currently teaching:Project Management Concepts

Gunther Branham

Gunther Branham is a seasoned senior level IT executive. His experience includes CIO level responsibility for several global corporate functions for a Fortune 100 company. His responsibilities included systems planning, budgeting, software delivery and systems operations for Global Engineering and Quality and Regulatory Systems. Additional experience includes IT leadership for commercial, manufacturing and distribution, research and development, medical, regulatory and sales and marketing systems. Other significant accomplishments include initiating corporate-wide offshore IT services sourcing, starting an enterprise applications integration technology center, launching and managing key e-commerce activities and integration and startup of manufacturing facility systems. Branham earned a BA in physics from the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and an MS in Business Management from the University of Northern Colorado.

Currently teaching:Information Technology Strategy

Jeffrey Gott

Jeff has more than 35 years of multifaceted information systems experience gained from a variety of positions in multiple companies and IT functions as both an individual contributor and manager of IT professionals. His management experience includes more than 25 years as a manager and director leading the IT functions of Global Information Services Planning, Enterprise Architecture, Disaster Recovery Planning, Corporate Business Systems, Manufacturing Planning Systems, and Operations. His experience includes business relationship management consulting with business leaders to establish strategic information system programs and projects, strategy and service planning for centralized and distributed IT functions, managing programs and projects to implement new business and IT capabilities, disaster recovery planning and testing, facilitating enterprise architecture, leading systems development, IT supplier relationship management, enterprise software license management, and systems operations and administration. Jeff has experience managing information systems to support key business processes in Manufacturing, Finance, Quality, Legal, Human Resources, Marketing, Information Systems, and various corporate administration functions. Jeff is currently an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies developing and teaching classes in information technology management and business analysis.

Currently teaching:Information Technology Management

Christopher Hield

Christopher Hield is the director of software development and system testing at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. As director of CBOEdirect, CBOE’s state-of-the-art electronic financial trading system, he is responsible for the design, development and maintenance of multitiered, service-based software. Before joining CBOE, Hield worked as a senior software engineer and business consultant with Hitachi Computer Products America, developing object-based data mining and data exploration tools for the healthcare industry. Before then he spent 13 years in the decision and information sciences division at Argonne National Laboratory as senior software engineer and technical lead in the information systems section; his duties included developing object-based information systems as well as object-oriented frameworks to support distributed multidisciplinary modeling, simulation and visualization applications. Since 2001 he has been an instructor at Illinois Institute of Technology and DePaul University as well as Northwestern, teaching courses in software design, development and testing. Hield holds an MS in computer science.

Currently teaching:Project Management Concepts

James Kerwin

James Kerwin is an experienced senior IT and R&D executive having worked in the pharmaceutical business. His IT experience includes systems responsibility for several areas including finance, pricing, contract management, sales, e-marketing, marketing management, learning management, project management, medical services and IT service management. Additionally, his experience includes leadership of pharmaceutical IT strategy and planning for over a decade and the oversight of several IT merger and acquisition events. Significant accomplishments include initiating systems standardization and globalization, initiating portfolio management practices, establishing a pharmacy solutions platform, outsourcing various IT services, standardized asset management, instituting client management functions, and developing several future key leaders both in IT and the business. As an R&D executive Kerwin led programs in the neuroscience and urological diseases areas and has several publications and patents. Kerwin earned a BS in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in organic chemistry from the Yale University.

Currently teaching:Information Technology Strategy

Charles Pak

Charles Pak has taught information systems courses for over 25 years as an IS practitioner and professor. Professionally, he has managed U.S. Federal Government data centers, and has designed, tested, implemented, and maintained many of these enterprise network sites that encompass distributed sites across the U.S. and internationally. He has managed state-of-the art systems for military and federal government missions for which he was deployed. His research topics include cyber security, critical infrastructure protection (CIP), PKI, cyber counter terrorism, and risk assessment and management. His recent publications include;Near Real-time Risk Assessment Using Hidden Markov Models. Nova Southeastern University, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Risk Forecast Using Hidden Markov Models. Research in Information Technology (RIT), ACM, SIGITE, 7(2), 4-15, Asset Priority Risk Assessment Using Hidden Markov Models. Proceedings of the 10th ACM SIGITE, Fairfax, Virginia, 2009, 65-73, The near real time statistical asset priority driven (nrtsapd) risk assessment. Proceedings of the 9th ACM SIGITE, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2008, 105-112. Pak holds several industry certifications: CISM, CRISC, CISSP, ITIL, SSCP, MCSE, MCT, and CCNA.  He earned his PhD in information security from Nova Southeastern University, a MS in network security from Capitol College, and a BS in electrical engineering from Penn State University. 

Currently teaching:Management of Information Security

Sana Samawi

Sana Samawi is a program manager at IBM, leading global and cross-functional teams and developments to deliver value to customers and business partners. She has more than 23 years in business transformation and information technology services in industries ranging from banking and finance to e-commerce and in the government sector. She was selected to attend IBM Leadership Exchange, which recognizes the contributions of IBM leaders across the globe and facilitates cross-cultural interchange. Samawi earned both BS and MS in computer science from DePaul University and a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University. She has PMI (Project Management Institute), IBM senior project manager and IBM executive project manager certifications.

Currently teaching:Project Management Concepts

Kevin Vaccaro