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Program Faculty

Information Systems

Faisal Akkawi is the faculty director of the Master of Science in Information Systems Program. His area of specialization is software architecture for concurrent systems, and his research interests also include reactive/adaptive intelligent systems and design issues of concurrent programming languages. Selected for the NASA Faculty Fellowship Program in 2003, Akkawi designed and implemented a framework that was used in the advanced diagnostic and caution and warning system for the International Space Station. He has an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology.


Kayed Akkawi

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Currently teaching:
Object-Oriented Programming

Kayed Akkawi is the dean of Morris Graduate School of Management at Robert Morris University. He has extensive teaching experience at the graduate level, including at Illinois Institute of Technology. His professional projects have included developing a natural language interface for information retrieval, a search engine for accessing large-scale databases, and a toolkit for measuring retrieval accuracy for bilingual information. Akkawi serves as the chair of the educational committee for the Chicago-Amman International Sister Cities Program. Other professional memberships include the Association for Computing Machinery and the Arab-American Association of Engineers and Architects. He has a PhD in computer science and an MS in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.


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.


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.


Mark Clare

Mark Clare

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Currently teaching:
Foundations of Leadership

Mark Clare, founder of New Value Streams Consulting, has more than 20 years of experience in knowledge management, strategic change and informatics with Fortune 200 companies, including 3M and Allstate. His previous executive positions include vice president of knowledge and informatics management at Parkview Health, a nine-hospital system in northeast Indiana. Clare is author of many publications, including the book Knowledge Assets and a series of articles in KM Review on “Solving the Knowledge-Value Equation.” He holds a patent in artificial intelligence and has several more patents pending. Clare has an MS in physics, an MA in analytic philosophy and a Six Sigma Black Belt.


John Cooper

John Cooper

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Currently teaching:
Foundations of Leadership

John Cooper is a managing partner of Milestone Partners. His 30 years in business include line management, internal and external consulting, effectiveness training, strategic planning, organization design, change management, and executive coaching. He has served dozens of clients in the Chicago area, including Fortune 100 companies and nonprofit organizations. Cooper is former president of the Organizational Development Network of Chicago, has served on the board of directors of the Human Resource Association of Chicago, and has been certified in various development tools, including Center for Creative Leadership Benchmarks 360 and Hogan Leadership Assessment Series. Cooper has an MS in organizational development from Aurora University and advanced coaching training through the International Gestalt Coaching Program.


Terrance Cottrell

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Currently teaching:
Advanced Cyber Security

TBA


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.


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.


Sunil Kakade has over 18 years' experience in various technical and leadership roles focused on lT transformation initiatives, analytics driven software development and big data technologies. Sunil is a big data and data science evangelist with hands-on expertise in implementing Hadoop and NoSQL technologies. Sunil leads the architecture and delivery of business systems for a fortune 100 company. His areas of interests include machine learning, data science, legacy systems modernization and open source technologies. His research papers have been presented at multiple international conferences and published in technical journals. He has patents pending in areas of IT and retail processes. Kakade has a MS in information technology and management from the Illinois Institute of Technology at Chicago and a MS in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, researching applications of artificial intelligence to manufacturing processes.


Nebiyou Kedir is Director of Application Development at Symphony Asset Management (Nuveen Investments Subsidiary Hedge Fund) in San Francisco, CA. Kedir is an electrical engineer with masters in information systems management whose current responsibilities include application development team leadership and mentorship, project prioritization and management, hands-on software development and application lifecycle management, helpdesk triage/task prioritization, hands-on support and maintenance of systems and processes, business and systems analysis/design, stakeholder communication and vendor collaboration on emerging technologies and solutions like Blockchain /Machine Learning/Bots. Kedir has instructed Microsoft Official Curriculum courses on database development and database administration as well as application development and web design courses. Kedir was also an adjunct instructor for OOAD using C++ and UML.


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.


William Lester

William Lester

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Currently teaching:
Foundations of Leadership

William Lester is the MPPA faculty director and a scholar of political science and public administration. His research interests include leadership and ethics, public administration, disaster response, organizational theory, public personnel, and American politics. He has published in Public Administration Review and The Public Manager, among other journals, and is on the editorial board of Public Voices. He has a book forthcoming in the American Society for Public Administration series entitled Transformation and Leadership in Disaster Response. Lester was named a 1999 Civitas Scholar and was also a 2009 participant in Minnowbrook III. Recently, Lester was named a Fulbright scholar, teaching and researching in Moscow. He received his MPA and PhD from Texas Tech University with specializations in public administration, American politics, and political theory.


Patricia McNally

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Currently teaching:
Foundations of Leadership

Patricia McNally is assistant dean in the medical education department at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She is a Harvard Macy Scholar with 20 years of experience working with adult learners in a variety of areas, including management, leadership, organizational development, human resource development and medical education. McNally draws from corporate, higher education administration and instructional experience to bring her learners a multifaceted view of organizations and organizational learning. McNally received her doctorate in education from National-Louis University.


Russell Roberson

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Currently teaching:
Foundations of Leadership

Russell Roberson is vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for a global medical company, assuring that products and services are designed, manufactured, distributed, and serviced properly. He has responsibility for an extensive portfolio of healthcare software products in both medical (pharmacy, imaging, electronic medical records, and prescription management products) and nonmedical (financial and data-privacy products) device areas affected by global regulation. Roberson is a frequent speaker at global conferences on such topics as software design processes, regulatory affairs, and quality management systems. A licensed professional engineer, he holds professional certifications in engineering, auditing, and management; is active in several professional societies; and sits on his college fraternity’s national board of trustees. Among his publications are two books on leadership and cancer management. Roberson has a doctorate in business administration and management, an MBA degree, and a MS in mechanical engineering.


Gabriel Schofield has more than 20 years of experience as a financial services technology professional. Schofield enjoys applying technology to solve complex business problems and has led teams that have delivered industry-leading solutions for a variety of front and back-office financial applications. Schofield has coauthored a book, MCSA Guide to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and has been a proactive member of several industry groups that define financial data and messaging standards. Schofield has an MBA from Durham University, an MS in information systems from Northwestern University, and is a CFA charterholder.


William Sunna has more than eight years of data solutions experience in industry as a principal consultant to several Fortune 500 companies in insurance, retail and financial services. He also teaches courses in programming, database concepts and design, web development and other computer science areas at the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as Northwestern. He has presented his research in multiple conferences and workshops and has coauthored articles in more than 12 publications, including Transactions in GIS, Journal of Visual Languages and Computing and International Journal of Electronic Government Research. Sunna earned a PhD in computer science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, researching automatic alignment of heterogeneous ontologies in the geospatial information domain.


Kevin Vaccaro has 25+ years’ experience working in Information Technology. He has also been teaching various topics in IT ranging from service and repair to Cybersecurity for 20+ years. He is a full time faculty member at Moraine Valley Community College and an adjunct Industry Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology. He has written several articles on digital forensics for eforensics magazine. Kevin holds a MS in Information Technology from Illinois Institute of Technology and several industry certifications including CISSP and CEH and also is an authorized trainer.


William Waas is the founder and CEO of the Information Technology Executive Exchange, an industry association for IT executives. His previous experience was as executive vice president of ValCom, a $135 million systems integrator, where he was responsible for operations and marketing; senior vice president of service and support at Vanstar Corporation, a $2.5 billion dollar system integrator, where he headed the $250 million service organization, with responsibility for field service, help desk and logistics and helped the organization grow from $15 million in 1990 to over $250 million in 1997; vice president of value-added services at Dell Computer Corporation, responsible for the sale and delivery of software, peripherals and system integration services in a $750 million division of Dell; as a manager in strategic planning, finance and service management at Grumman Data Systems Corporation. Active in the industry, Waas is chairman of the Illinois Technology Foundation, cofounded the Service Section of CompTIA and was a member of its board and chairman from 1995 to 1997. He also served on the board of the Association for Service Management International from 1997 to 2000. Wass holds a BBA in accounting and an MBA in finance from Hofstra University.


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