Leadership & Staff

Brian K. Payne

Coastal Virginia Node Director



Brian K. Payne is the vice provost for academic affairs at Old Dominion University, where he is tenured in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. He serves as director of the Coastal Virginia Center for Cyber Innovation. His research interests are pedagogy, elder abuse, cybercrime, and white-collar crime.

He is a former editor of the American Journal of Criminal Justice and past president of the Southern Criminal Justice Association and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Payne is the author or co-author of more than 160 journal articles and seven books including White-Collar Crime: The Essentials; Family Violence and Criminal Justice; Crime and Elder Abuse: An Integrated Perspective; and Introduction to Criminal Justice: A Balanced Approach. He is the founding chair of the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce, and Economic Development Alliance. Payne is currently PI or co-PI on three NSF grants totaling $1.6 million. Payne received his all of his degrees – a B.S. in sociology and an M.A. and Ph.D. in criminology – from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Mike Robinson

Coastal Virginia Node Deputy Director


cq5dam.web.1280.1280Mike Robinson is the Deputy Director of COVA CCI and the Director of ODU’s Center for Innovative Transportation Solutions. He has been at ODU since 2004. His work is focused on simulations in three areas: transportation, evacuations, and pedestrian modeling. His work incorporates decision-making and behavioral influences. Mike’s degrees include from Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation, Old Dominion University, (2010), M.S. in Physics, Naval Postgraduate School, (1987), and B.S. in Political Science, U.S. Naval Academy, (1980).



John Costanzo

Coastal Virginia Node Chief Administrative Officer and Program Manager



John Costanzo is the Chief Administrative Officer for COVA CCI. Prior to this position, John was the Associate Director for Old Dominion University’s Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, where he worked with students, faculty and staff on academic advising, student engagement and other student focused activities. Before joining ODU in 2013, John served over 26 years in the United States Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. John has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Averett University, a Bachelor of Arts in History from Old Dominion University and is a Project Management professional.

Research Committee Co-Chairs

Hongyi Wu, Old Dominion University


hongyiwuHongyi Wu is the Batten Chair of Cybersecurity and the director of the School of Cybersecurity at Old Dominion University. He is also a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Computer Science. Wu’s research focuses on networked and intelligent cyber-physical systems for security, safety, and emergency management applications. Before joining Old Dominion University, Wu was an Alfred and Helen Lamson Endowed Professor at the Center for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. A Fellow of IEEE, Wu has chaired several conferences such as IEEE Infocom 2020, IEEE WoWMoM 2016, and IEEE Globecom Wireless Communication Symposium 2015. He also served on the editorial board of several journals including IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, and IEEE Internet of Things Journal. He received an NSF CAREER award in 2004, a 2011 Distinguished Professor award from University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the IEEE Percom Mark Weiser Best Paper award in 2018. He earned both a Ph.D. in computer science and a M.S. in electrical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a B.S. in scientific instruments from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.


George Hsieh, Norfolk State University



Chung-Chu (George) Hsieh is a professor of Computer Science and the PI/PD for the Center of Excellence in Cyber Security at Norfolk State University. His research interests include cybersecurity, cloud computing, big data, and AI/ML.

Before joining Norfolk State University, Hsieh worked for twenty years at Bell Laboratories of AT&T and Lucent Technologies as a member of technical staff, technical manager, senior manager, and director. He had a variety of roles and responsibilities at Bell Labs including applied research and product development, technical and project management, and business and organization management.

At NSU, Hsieh served as the graduate program coordinator for the master’s in computer science program since its inauguration in 2003 to 2013. He was awarded the Distinguished University Professor of the Year in 2013 by NSU. Hsieh has been very active in sponsored research, having served as PI, co-PI, or research team leader for 14 externally funded programs with approximately $40.4 million in total funding. George received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois in 1982 and 1980, respectively, and B.S. in Nuclear Engineering degree from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, Republic of China, in 1973. He is a member of IEEE Computer Society, ACM, Tau Beta Pi, and Upsilon Pi Epsilon.


Academic Curriculum Committee Co-Chairs

Saltuk Karahan, Old Dominion University



Saltuk Karahan is Program Coordinator at the School of Cybersecurity at Old Dominion University and a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Geography. Karahan’s research interests and projects revolve around the central theme of information technology development as it impacts various international security and foreign policy-related phenomena. In particular, his work broadly falls into two veins – (1) the study of how the globalization of information technologies impacts international conflict dynamics and national security processes, and (2) the examination of how new digital information dynamics affect both state and non-state actors’ influence on the policy process. Before joining Old Dominion University, Karahan worked in various leadership roles within NATO. Karahan’s long military career was focused on national security strategy, transformation in national and international organizations and technological capability development. He earned his Ph.D. in International Studies from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA with a concentration on Conflict and Cooperation and his Master’s in Modeling and Simulation from Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA with a concentration on Human-Computer Interaction. 




Kimberly Perez, Tidewater Community College



Professor Kimberly Perez holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Degree in Information Science from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA; a Master’s of Science Degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and a Master’s of Science Degree in Information Systems from Strayer University, and is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Information Systems program with a specialization Information Assurance and Cyber Security at Capella University. She also holds multiple industry certifications. Professor Perez began her teaching and research with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a graduate teaching assistant in 1994. She taught various courses in information systems technology. In 1997, Ms. Perez joined the University of Maryland, University College where she taught different Information Systems Technology courses and mentored students in Japan. In 1998 Ms Perez transferred to the European Division of the University of Maryland, University College and taught in England and Turkey. Over the period 2000-2005, she served as an adjunct professor for Saint Leo University, also serving as an academic advisor. Ms. Perez joined Tidewater Community College’s Information Systems Technology department in 2000 and is currently the lead faculty member for the Cyber Security program and Department Chair for the Virginia Beach campus.

Experiential Learning Committee Co-Chairs

Karen Sanzo, Old Dominion University



Dr. Sanzo is a Professor of Educational Leadership and the Graduate Program Director for the Educational Leadership Services program. She is also the Provost’s Fellow for Design Thinking and Strategic Planning. She has degrees in Ed.D. in Education Administration and Policy Studies, The George Washington University, (2006), M.A. in Education and Human Development, The George Washington University, (2000), and B.A. in History and Elementary Education, The College of William & Mary, (1998)






Stephanie Blackmon, College of William & Mary



Stephanie Blackmon is an associate professor in the William & Mary School of Education. She teaches qualitative research courses and courses related to college and university teaching and learning, with a particular emphasis on areas such as technology integration and experiential learning. Her research explores the qualitative experiences people have with the following: technology integration in higher education and professional development settings; trust and privacy in learning and data analytics use; and trust and privacy with the use of internet-connected devices such as wearable technology, mobile technology, and in-home technology. Blackmon is currently the lead PI on an interdisciplinary CCI grant that includes colleagues from ODU’s Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies and the Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center (VMASC). The research project is rooted in universal design (UD) and universal design learning (UDL), equity, and justice, as the team studies the experiences people with disabilities have with trust and internet-connected devices. Stephanie holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, B.A. and M.A. in English

External Partnership Committee Co-Chairs

Daniela Cigularova, Old Dominion University



Daniela Cigularova serves as the Executive Director for Advising Administration and Transfer Initiatives at Old Dominion University (ODU). She works directly with university leaders, academic departments, and support units to enhance enrollment and retention and develop effective policies and practices impacting student success. Daniela Cigularova is a member of the SCHEV State Committee on Transfer and Transfer VA, National Academic Advising Association ( NACADA), ODU Women’s Caucus Board, ODU Association of University Administrators, among others.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance from the University of Economics in Bulgaria and Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. Daniela Cigularova is a graduate of the 2015-2016 Senior Leadership Seminar for Women Administrators. She has been serving as the Co-Chair for the External Partnership Committee for Coastal Virginia Center for Cyber Innovation. Daniela’s career spans 19 years of service to students in Europe and the United States. She continuously strives to forge new connections and partnerships in support of student success.



Tracy Gregorio, G2OPS



Tracey Gregorio is the CEO of G2 Ops, Inc. Under her leadership, G2 Ops continues to grow at a double-digit pace, providing model-based systems engineering (MBSE) and security engineering solutions to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, and numerous small, medium, and large businesses. G2 Ops’ customer base employs systems within some of the most challenging environments imaginable and relies on G2 Ops for cyber resiliency, systems and data modeling, and risk analysis solutions. G2 Ops expanded its offices in Virginia Beach and Arlington, Virginia and San Diego, California this past year due to phenomenal grow. Along with their growth came service excellence recognized by numerous awards from the Department of Defense for innovation in engineering and the Patriotic Employer Award in 2018. The Inc. 5000 List recognized G2 Ops for the third time as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies. Gregorio is committed to maintaining a strong community presence by presiding as the Cybersecurity Committee Chair of the Virginia Ship Repair Association and serves on the boards of the Virginia Maritime Association and ODU Research Foundation. Ms. Gregorio earned an M.S. in Computer Science from Old Dominion University and a B.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. She is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and received a certificate in Cybersecurity: Technology, Application, and Policy from MIT.

Institutional IT Security Committee Co-Chairs

Doug Streit, Old Dominion University



Doug Streit is the Executive Director, IT Security & Planning for Old Dominion University. Doug has served at Old Dominion University for over 20 years, working as a systems engineer, server-systems support manager and technical director. He accepted the responsibilities of Information Security and Identity Management in 2011. Current responsibilities include strategic and operational planning, the Information Security Program, in-house identity and middleware development, IT Project Management, and University Records Management. He enjoys working with a very talented and committed team of developers, security administrators, managers, and directors within his organization. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering with an emphasis in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy and he maintains a certification as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).





Peter Kellogg, College of William & Mary


kellogg_pPete is a graduate of Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. He went on to receive an MBA from the Mason School of Business from William & Mary in 1997. Pete holds professional certifications from the nationally recognized Project Management Institute as well as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. As the Chief Information Security Officer for W&M, Pete directs and manages the university’s Information Security program and plays a key role in several college-wide committees.

COVA CCI is supported by the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative and funded through the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Contact: covacci@odu.edu