A team of experts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania is part of the annual Health, Safety, Security, and Environment Conference and Exhibition sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago.

The conference, “Managing Risk in Economic Uncertainty,” is expected to draw more than 300 professionals from the business community, public sector, regulatory agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. In its 19th year, the conference is the primary initiative for the promotion of health, safety, security, and environmental issues. It is being held October 7 and 8, 2015.

For the first time, the conference will include a cybersecurity track, which was coordinated by Bill Balint, IUP's chief information officer.

“IUP is extremely proud of its expertise in the areas of information assurance and cybersecurity,” IUP Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy Moerland said. “It's extremely gratifying to have an international organization come to us for our expert faculty and administrators. This is just one more illustration that IUP's outstanding reputation for faculty and program excellence is well deserved.

“This is also a great opportunity for IUP to continue our work to build academic partnerships and to further develop contacts and relationships in this region and with international companies like BP Trinidad and Tobago, Chevron, Shell, and many others who are heavily involved with this conference,” Moerland said.

IUP 1980 business administration graduate Colonel Tracy Settle connected the organization with IUP.

“The objective is to put IUP ‘out in front' of the government and business communities through participation in the AMCHAM's HSSE conference, building relationships, and exploring mutually beneficial partnership opportunities,” Settle said. “Taking IUP to this area provides IUP faculty and staff with unique opportunities to engage in consulting, research, and collaboration with interested and willing business and government partners to share ideas, best, and current practices, and work together on focused projects of mutual interest and benefit.

“The HSSE event showcases IUP's academic strengths and expertise in the business and government sectors related to safety sciences, criminology, security, and cybersecurity and serves to further mature the relationships that have already been established.”

Settle, a 2014 recipient of the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award, has more than 33 years of military and business expertise as an Army officer, commander, and program manager. He is the former director of the National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program and was the former acting director of the National Guard Counterdrug Program. He is also a recipient of the Suriname Military Medal of Meritorious Service and the Department of Defense Legion of Merit and is recognized by Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow.

IUP faculty and administrators invited to present at the conference include:

  • Mark Correia, dean of the IUP College of Health and Human Services. His academic background is in criminology and he has published widely in his field on criminal justice issues. The primary focus of his research is the impact of informal social networks and organizational behavior on police-community relations. His most recent research examines the impact of police actions on the perceptions of the legitimacy of their authority.
  • Ben Dadson, coordinator of IUP's desktop services team in Information Technology Services. He supervises the team responsible for deploying comprehensive IT security solutions to IUP's 4,500 personal computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. He will present on “Future of Security and Technology.” Dadson has been quoted in national publications and has been an invited presenter at national conferences about mobile device security.
  • Jennifer Gossett, associate professor of criminology, a recipient of the IUP Sponsors Programs Award for Outstanding Achievement in Curriculum and Instruction for her National Science Foundation grant to further student interests in cybersecurity majors. Her research focus is on various dynamics of cybercrimes. She will present on “Corporate Fraud Prevention.”
  • Craig Pluchinsky, a senior security analyst in the Information Technology Security office. He works with security for IUP's enterprise services, storage, and network. He will present on “Design and Mitigation.”
  • Zavin Nazaretian, assistant professor of criminology, who specializes in opportunity theories of crime and crime prevention strategies, notably Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). He is a member of the International CPTED Organization. He is currently working on a mobile phone application focused on mapping crime in order to better understand where CPTED strategies are most needed. He will present “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.”

Members of IUP's Research Institute also were invited to be part of the event and will be continuing work to develop opportunities for IUP partnerships with business, industry, and education.

IUP has a history of excellence in the field of cybersecurity and information assurance.

IUP was recognized in a 2014 national survey of “Best Schools for Cybersecurity” by HP Enterprise Security. The university was ranked in the top 25 percent of all cybersecurity programs in the nation. Only four Pennsylvania colleges and universities were rated in the top quartile.

IUP is a National Cyber Security Alliance “Champion,” recognized by the National Cyber Security Alliance.

The university is a recent recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to support women and minorities in cybersecurity. It has received several NSF grants related to this discipline.

IUP was first selected as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, a recognition that the university continues to hold. IUP's program is unique because of its interdisciplinary character, blending the disciplines of criminology and computer science. In addition to the development of computer programs and systems for cybersecurity, IUP's program focuses on cybercrime detection, loss prevention, and how to collect the evidence to prosecute cybersecurity offenders.