2022 CybER Con Speakers

Keynote Speakers


Dr. Ambareen Siraj

Dr. Ambareen Siraj is currently serving as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation as a member of a team overseeing Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development initiatives of NSF nationwide. She is the Founder of the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) non-profit organization. As Professor of Computer Science, she has served as the Founding Director of the Cybersecurity Education, Research, and Outreach Center at Tennessee Tech until June 3, 2022. Dr. Siraj’s research areas of interest include smart grid security, sensor alert fusion with alert correlation and alert clustering, security metrics, security education and workforce development. She has authored/co- authored more than fifty journal and conference articles in these areas. She has led National Science Foundation Projects “Tennessee Cybercorps: A Hybrid Program in Cybersecurity”, “Tennessee Tech Gen-Cyber Camps”, “Capacity Building in Cybersecurity: Broadening Participation of Women in Cybersecurity through Women in Cybersecurity Conference & Professional Development”, “CyberWorkshops: Resources and Strategies for Teaching Cybersecurity in Computer Science”, and “Security Knitting Kit: Integrating Security into Traditional CS Courses”. You can see her complete bio here


Moe McClanahan

Moe McClanahan is a High-Tech Crime Specialist with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). After 20 years in law enforcement, Moe retired from the Christiansburg Police Department (CPD) in Virginia. Moe served her last 8.5 years at CPD as the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Investigator. She has been trained and has worked both reactive and proactive cases including National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cybertips, peer-2-peer investigations, and undercover investigations. During her time as an ICAC Investigator, she trained and educated over 10,000 children, parents, and police officers in Internet safety. Aside from her work at NW3C, Moe also serves as the Director of Training and Education with the Safe Surfin’ Foundation where she continues to educate on Internet safety and volunteers her time with Special Olympics.
Moe earned both her master and bachelor degrees in Criminal Justice from the University of Northern Colorado.


Danelle Barrett

Former Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett is mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend. She was born in Buffalo, New York and is a 1989 graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in History where she received her commission as an officer from the U. S. Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in a ceremony aboard USS Constitution.  She holds Masters of Arts in Management, National Security Strategic Studies, and Human Resources Development.  She also earned a Master of Science in Information Management.

As an admiral, Danelle served as Director of Current Operations at U.S. Cyber Command, and as the Navy Cyber Security Division Director and Deputy Chief Information Officer on the Chief of Naval Operations staff.  In her last position in the U.S. Navy, she led the Navy’s strategic development and execution of digital and cyber security efforts, enterprise information technology improvements and cloud policy and governance for 700K personnel across a global network.  An innovator, she implemented visionary digital transformation to modernize with unprecedented speed, significantly improving Navy Information Warfare capabilities.  Her numerous operational assignments included deployments to Iraq, on an aircraft carrier in support of operations in Afghanistan and to Haiti providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after the 2010 earthquake.  

She currently executes a portfolio of work that includes being an Independent Director on several Corporate Boards, consulting, public speaking, and writing with over 41 articles published.  Her book “Rock the Boat:  Lead Change, Encourage Innovation and Be a Successful Leader” was released on June 22, 2021 and is an Amazon Best Seller in Business Leadership Training, Business Mentoring and Coaching, and Management Skills.  Oh, and most importantly for fun, she signs up to be an extra in movies. You can see her complete bio here

Apprenticeship Panel


Dr. Edwin “Leigh” Armistead

Dr. Edwin “Leigh” Armistead is the President of Peregrine Technical Solutions, a SBA 8(a) certified, Alaskan Native Corporation (ANC), small disadvantaged business (SDB), operating with a primary NAICS code of 541513, under the $30.0M size standard. In March 2013, he was recognized for innovative efforts through a grant from York County (VA), and he is also the Chief Editor of the Journal of Information Warfare, the only double-blind, peer-reviewed academic Journal on Information Warfare, in the United States. He collaborated over the four years (2013-2107) with the National Security Agency on a special edition and is now collaborating with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for a three-year span on (2019-2022).  Peregrine is also the first corporation in the United States to develop a registered Cyber Apprenticeship – http://www.gbpts.com/content/cyber-apprenticeship, at the adult (Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP)) and at the high-school level (Youth Registered Apprenticeship (YRA)). Dr Armistead has served as the PM on recent efforts where Peregrine SMEs have been conducting vulnerability assessments (VA) focused on control systems (CS) for the Department of Defense (DoD) and in particular the US Air Force (USAF) over the last four years with two contracts from OASD EI&E (Platform Resilience Mission Assurance (C5-17-0005) and UAV Cyber Study (HQ0034-14-C-0209) at the following locations: Creech AFB (2X), Nellis AFB, Ramstein AFB, Joint Base Langley – Eustis, Cannon AFB, Tinker AFB, Buckley AFB, Wright-Patterson AFB, Springfield ANG Base, McConnell AFB and Vandenberg AFB. The latter was conducted in February 2018 as part of an FY2017 NDAA Sec. 1650, Evaluation of Cyber Vulnerabilities of DoD Critical Infrastructure effort. In addition, Peregrine is collaborating with the OASD, USAF AF-A4, US Army HQDA G-3-5-7, DTRA and JHU APL to develop a methodology to meet this Congressional mandate. In addition, his staff updates the official DoD website for FRCS and add new content development to help other organizations conduct Risk Management Framework (RMF) efforts using NIST 800-82 overlays. A retired Naval Officer, Dr Armistead wrote his PhD on IO, and is the Program Director of the International Conference of Cyber Warfare and Security and the Vice-Chair Working Group 9.10 – ICT Uses in Peace and War.  


Nancy Prather-Johnson

Nancy Prather-Johnson is the Dean of Business, Computer Science and IT at Tidewater Community College. She received her MBA degree in Managerial Technology and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting from Johnson & Wales University located in Providence, Rhode Island and is currently working to attain a doctoral degree in Management at North Central University. she previously worked as the Director of Financial Planning for ten years, worked for a non-profit as a Program Director for 4 years, and then decided to teach for 10 years on both the High School level as well as the college level as an adjunct instructor. During these years, Nancy continued her passion for entrepreneurship and owned several businesses. Some of her business included a math tutoring business, a Zumba & Weight Loss studio for women, and currently an LLC Franchised owner of Signature Cleaning which is a commercial cleaning business of which she partners with her husband to successfully run since 2006. Because of her passion and love for helping people, she also volunteers for several organizations to help mentor young people and teaches the Bible to those who want to learn. Dean Prather-Johnson works with students and faculty to ensure quality education and success. In this role she has developed many collaborative partners internally as well as externally with industry, non-profits, public schools, 4-year colleges, and the four cities where our campuses are located. She has created innovative programs, built pathways, and formed industry and community partnerships that she hopes will impact and sustain our higher education environment, the students of which we serve, and the economic conditions of the communities of which we serve. In addition to business, professional, and educational achievements, she is the recipient of an educational award from the Hampton Roads Committee of 200 Plus Men, Incorporated – Carter G. Woodson. Her contributions to education are empowering and inspiring to students and leave a very positive and indelible imprint relative to effectively and efficiently providing support and guidance for students in pursuit of their education, personal and career goals, and ultimate success.


Ursula Jones

Ursula Jones is the Lands Manager for Goldbelt, Inc. where she manages over 30,000 acres located in southeast Alaska. Throughout her career, she has held positions within the Federal Government, working as an administrative staff member for over 20 years. After leaving government service and moving to the private sector, she began her career in cyber security where she worked for Peregrine Technical Solutions. She was the first Cyber Security Analyst Apprentice in the United States where she completed over 12,000 hours of on-the-job training and received both Security+ and A+ certifications. Ursula currently holds three degrees – an Associates in Computers; a Bachelor of Business – Information Technology Management; and a Master’s in Business Administration. 


Patricia “Trish” Morrison

Patricia (Trish) Morrison joined the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry in June 2016 and is the Director, Division of Registered Apprenticeship. However, from March 2007 to December 2012, she was the Assistant Director in the Division. In the 3 and ½ years in between, she worked as the Manager of the Dispute Resolution Unit for Consumer Protection within the Office of the Attorney General. Trish has a background in mediation and has done that for the Commonwealth since 2000.  Trish graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Conflict Resolution degree and a Human Resource Management degree.  Originally from Illinois, Trish attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. One of the main focuses of the Director position is to broaden the reach and utilization of Registered Apprenticeship in many different industries and business models.  The flexibility of the earn-while-you-learn workforce model allows employers to get their needs closely met.  Additionally, a Registered Apprenticeship commitment creates an environment for collaboration with Economic Development, K-12 administrators, parents, local government and workforce development practitioners.  Trish is promoting the dialogue surrounding the various workforce initiatives so that Virginia can be always considered a great place to do business. Diversification in how Registered Apprenticeship approaches different audiences will be key to being even more inclusive and widely embraced as an employment training model.  We will be striving to provide the basics to many different stakeholders in the upcoming year. 

Internship Panel


Debbie Murray

Debbie Murray is the Manager for Internships and Research Experiences with the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC). She manages VSGC’s Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP), a state-wide internship program in support of Virginia’s Workforce Development Initiative which includes the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative partnering award,  and the STEM Takes Flight with Virginia’s Community Colleges NASA Research Experiences Program. She has 33 years of success in program management with student internships and faculty fellowship programs including Program Manager for the NASA Langley Faculty Fellowship Program and Program Coordinator for the NASA Langley Aerospace Research Student Scholars (LARSS) Program for VSGC. Her passion is working with students and industry in preparation for future workforce needs. She particularly loves when students share the life-changing impact internship experiences have had on them. She has membership and roles in many professional organizations.


Henry Bass

Henry Bass is the founder and president of Automation Creations, Inc. a 24-person custom software development firm in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center for 26 years.  He is an entrepreneur, a Retired Army officer, and a civic volunteer for FIRST Robotics, Scouts BSA, the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council, and chairs both the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery County Education Foundation. He holds Masters degrees from Virginia Tech and Washington University in St Louis, as well as professional certifications in software development and systems engineering.  Henry serves as the senior moderator for LXCouncil, a CEO Mastermind group with 3 councils in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. He is also a founder of the New River Robotics Association where he mentors several competitive robotics teams with fierce names such as the Red Beard Pandas, CivilBots, Panda Cubs, Gazelles, and Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies.


Bobby Keener, Jr.

Bobby Keener, Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer for CivilianCyber. As an executive-level leader in the private, non-profit, education and public sectors, Bobby has provided leadership in innovation, cybersecurity, data and technology, education and workforce development to organizations as diverse as Google, Metropolitan Museum of Art, CarMax, Harrah’s Casino and the intelligence community. Under his guidance, CivilianCyber has established itself as a leader in technology-driven workforce development and the company serves as the workforce lead for various prominent state and national initiatives. As Chief Technology Innovations Officer at the Virginia Department of Education Bobby was nationally recognized as a Top 25 innovative technology leader by EdScoop.com and served as a Governor appointee to the Virginia Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC). He has also overseen technology services for over seventy state agencies, was a founding member of national #GoOpen movement, chaired the Generate Data Governance Group to automate federal data collection and reporting, and currently serves on the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Cybersecurity Center Advisory Board. Many of his programs have served as national models to include the GoOpenVA Open Education Resource (OER) initiative, the K12 Learning Infrastructure Program (KLIP), the Virginia Cybersecurity Summer Camps, and the White House recognized Student-Led Ideation Challenge (SLIC). Bobby earned his Executive MBA and his Master of Information Systems Management from VCU, both with honors, and he is a veteran of the United States Army where he was a Non-Commissioned Officer, Certified Jungle Operations Expert and recipient of the Humanitarian Services Medal.


J.J. Ruscella

A pioneer of immersive learning, J.J. Ruscella serves as Chief Immersive Officer and EVP of AccessVR. Most recently, his Immersive Design taxonomy was IEEE published and adopted by the Air Force University in their training curriculum.  J.J. founded and led the Shenandoah Center for Immersive Learning at Shenandoah University as Executive Director. While there he won the H.Hiter Harris III Award for Excellence in Instructional Technology as well as the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council’s Innovation in Higher Education. Prior to Shenandoah, he founded the Interactive Performance Lab at the University of Central Florida, designing one of the first live simulation stages, StoryBox, that was housed at Lincoln Center 2016-17. Published author, award-winning film director, and critically acclaimed theatre director, Ruscella is an expert in applied story, with more than 25 years of experience in simulation and training. He holds an AA from Seminole Community College, a BA from the University of South Florida, and an MFA from Rutgers University/Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Demon Panel #1 - SCAP Dashboard

Dr. Dorothea La “Chon” Abraham

Dorothea La “Chon” Abraham, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where her research and teaching involve cybersecurity related topics, business intelligence, data management, and health information management. She is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and has a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia as well as a MBA from Old Dominion University. Additionally, Chon is an alumna of the US Air Force Air War College and is a certified public data governance professional. She currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel and Cyber Officer in the United States Air Force Reserve based at the Pentagon in the Chief Data Office with duty as the liaison officer for Air Combat Command on enterprise data and cybersecurity governance. She is a 2008 Fulbright Scholar to Japan and a 2017 Abe Fellow (US/Japan) awarded by the Social Science Research Council for research involving data and innovative technology and cybersecurity strategy at the national and international levels for critical infrastructure sectors such as academia, healthcare, and defense. The Federal Bureau of Investigations Cyber Division has recognized her for efforts in supporting private sector partnerships as an invitee to the Chief Information Security Officer Academy. Chon publishes in top tier scholarly journals such as MIT Sloan Management ReviewEuropean Journal of Information SystemsJournal of the Association of Information SystemsJournal of Strategic Information SystemsInternational Journal of Medical Informatics, and Decision Support Systems. Dr. Abraham coauthored a 2018 book titled Hacking HealthcareUnderstanding Real World Threats. Dr. Abraham engages in theoretical and applied research for academics, organizational leaders, managers, and frontline personnel.

Joshua “Jay” Lavoie

Joshua “Jay” Lavoie is a Doctoral Student in Marymount University’s Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity program and currently works for the Marine Corps Systems Command. In addition to his studies at Marymount, he has received several assistantships through COVA CCI since 2020. The most recent assistantship has aligned him with William & Mary where he has been working alongside Dr. Chon Abraham supporting industry partner, Airius Internet Solutions, LLC. Jay serves as a program manager for the SCAP Dashboard Project since October of 2021 managing software development interns. He currently serves as President of the Quantico Chapter of Toastmasters. Jay has also served as a mentor and tutor to other students since he began his undergraduate studies and has been highlighted as a peer tutor volunteer. Jay has stated that he is a lifelong learner of IT, and he enjoys being able to pay forward the time others have invested in him in effort to continue to build a strong cybersecurity community.

Joshua “Jay” Lavoie

Joshua “Jay” Lavoie is a Doctoral Student in Marymount University’s Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity program and currently works for the Marine Corps Systems Command. In addition to his studies at Marymount, he has received several assistantships through COVA CCI since 2020. The most recent assistantship has aligned him with William & Mary where he has been working alongside Dr. Chon Abraham supporting industry partner, Airius Internet Solutions, LLC. Jay serves as a program manager for the SCAP Dashboard Project since October of 2021 managing software development interns. He currently serves as President of the Quantico Chapter of Toastmasters. Jay has also served as a mentor and tutor to other students since he began his undergraduate studies and has been highlighted as a peer tutor volunteer. Jay has stated that he is a lifelong learner of IT, and he enjoys being able to pay forward the time others have invested in him in effort to continue to build a strong cybersecurity community.

Ernest Park

Ernest Park has been involved with technology and security for more than two decades. After starting his career at Netscape, he quickly worked up to an executive role. During the early days of the internet, executives were shared within strategic partnerships. Mr. Park had executive roles at both Sun and AOL at the same time. As a favor to Sun Microsystems, Mr. Park developed formulas and an algorithm that properly calculates resources required based on current load. This was published in Sun documentation and also on Sizing.org. The 1990s marked the creation of online brokerage, and Mr. Park was in demand for his expertise.  During this time, he started Airius Internet Solutions with his wife to focus on transactional, sensitive internet business infrastructure. Mr. Park and his team were responsible for the success of almost $200 million in software sales annually. He helped build sites National Discount Brokers (now TD Ameritrade) and eTrade. Following the dramatic changes in the industry, including significant financial contractions, Mr. Park moved to senior roles at EMC, PWC and Palamida, where he served as CTO. As CTO, he developed technology that allowed the open source community to use “free” software and technology while collectively managing and mitigating risk. While there, he was invited by DHS to develop and implement information exchange protocols that evolved into Security Content Automation Protocol, or SCAP. He and his team developed working implementations of each protocol and the entire platform of complex security data. After presenting this at one of DHS’ annual “Build Security In” symposiums, he was invited to do the same for Depository Trust Clearing Corporation.  In the decade and a half since the initial ideas, designs and functional prototypes, not much has changed in the industry. Mr. Park and the team of engineers at Airius have worked the entire time to develop a platform to invite global collaboration regarding risk and event information. The community concepts that Mr. Park focused on at Palamida spread into here, so he and Airius are focused on using the strength of the global technology community to make technology safer and more secure.


COVA CCI CybER Con is sponsored by the Coastal Virginia Center for Cybersecurity Innovation (COVA CCI) and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI).

For additional information email covacci@odu.edu.