Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Cybersecurity will host three senior personnel—including one IUP graduate, an Indiana native, and a central Pennsylvania native—from the Department of Defense’s Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center on April 11.

Over the last five years, Institute for Cybersecurity director Waleed Farag has secured more than $2 million through a DoD program that has provided 37 full scholarships to students in IUP’s cybersecurity major. Part of the scholarship opportunity is a guaranteed position with the Department of Defense after graduation.

The NAVSUP professionals will meet with IUP President Michael Driscoll, faculty, administrators, students in the cybersecurity major, and students who will join NAVSUP for summer positions.

The NAVUSP Business Center, headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is the Navy’s premier information technology provider, with a responsibility to design, develop, and maintain information systems supporting the functional areas of logistics supply chain management, transportation, finance, and accounting.

The NAVSUP professionals visiting IUP include Retired Lt. Col. Hal Gobin, director of the Technology Services Department, a 1983 graduate of IUP; Kathleen Lancaster, director of Logistics IT System Development, a native of Mechanicsburg, and a Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania graduate; and Ryan J. Nave, deputy director, Analytics Solutions Department, a native of Indiana.

“The program with the Department of Defense continues to provide outstanding opportunities for our talented students in the cybersecurity major,” Faraq said. “We are honored and proud to host these distinguished representatives from NAVSUP, and especially proud to welcome our graduates, and a graduate of one of our Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities, and Mr. Nave, ‘home’ to IUP and to Indiana.

“Not only do these outstanding professionals offer information and a networking opportunity to our students and our faculty, the successes they continue to have in the cybersecurity field are a great inspiration to our students,” he said.

Retired Lt. Col. Hal Gobin

Prior to his current role, Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Gobin served as director of data/analytics for the department and a 22-year career in the Marine Corps, retiring in 2006 while serving as the deputy C4-CIO for the Marine Corps Logistics Command.

Notable assignments during his service included the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Kansas City, Missouri, where he participated in the Capability Maturity Model Level 2 certification for the Marine Corps Total Force System and served as the technical project officer for the Standard Accounting, Budgeting, and Reporting System; operations officer for US Marine Corps Forces Atlantic, responsible for communications solutions for Marine expeditionary units aboard amphibious shipping; and Marine Corps liaison officer in support of US Marine Corps Forces Central Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Gobin earned numerous personal decorations during his service, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and three Navy-Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medals. He was awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal in June 2018 and the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal in November 2012, and he was the Marine Corps finalist for the DoD CIO award in 2002.

In addition to his IUP degree, he earned a master of information systems with academic distinction from Hawai’i Pacific University and a chief information officer certificate program with a concentration in cybersecurity from the National Defense University in 2010.

Kathleen Lancaster

Lancaster leads the Supply Chain S/4 initiative for the NAVSUP Enterprise, aimed at replacing Navy Enterprise Resource Planning as NAVSUP looks to accelerate, modernize, and innovate the end-to-end supply chain. Her most recent position was director of the Data Analytics Solution Department, where she led the organization in utilizing Tableau and Dataiku for self-service analytics while migrating from Netezza to Yellow brick. During her tenure, the department adopted agile methodology for delivering data services to the customer.

She led a blended team of civil service and contractor personnel, organized to deliver daily business operations, system maintenance, and software development activities for Navy ERP, the enterprise financial management and supply system for NAVAIR, NAVSEA, SPAWAR, NAVSUP, ONR, and SSP; 68,000 users managing $65 billion (54 percent of Navy TOA) and $36 billion in supply inventory. Her team delivered the single largest implementation of an SAP ERP solution from Oracle to Hana into the cloud within nine months. She was responsible for clear articulation of information technology, organization, human capital, facilities, and business strategies, integrated with Navy Supply, Navy, and Defense strategies.  

Prior to this, she served in the strategy department, gaining team leader and supervisory experience while directly advising the commanding officer and executive director on problems, priorities, and organizational objectives. 

Lancaster was directly responsible for writing the content for the “commercial”-like proposal for the Navy ERP sustainment work and led the transition of services to Mechanicsburg. She also performed the analysis on the afloat single supply baseline business requirements and ensured that this effort was not duplicating processes and unnecessary technology changes that were currently operating in Navy ERP. She has also held leadership roles as supervisor for the Saudi Naval Forces supply system; Computerized Provisioning, Allowance, and Supply System (COMPASS); as well as the lead business architect for NAVSUP and Navy ERP. 

Ryan Nave

Nave assumed the duties of Code 95 deputy director of Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center in January 2022.

Following active duty in the Navy from 2000 to 2005, Nave began his civilian career with Naval Air Systems Command in 2010 as a warfare analyst in the anti-submarine warfare division. He provided mission-level anti-submarine warfare analysis for several programs, including cost analysis and life cycle costing for campaign warfare teams.

Nave also led a cooperative effort with the Science and Technologies Office to leverage statistical results to gain insight into newly developed technologies through meta-models utilizing design of experiments methodology, briefing senior leaders on methodology and optimal resource allocation.

In 2016, Nave transitioned from analysis work to logistics as the propulsion deputy assistant manager for logistics. There he was responsible for all engine overhaul and repairs for the E-6B. He liaised with the Air Force Logistics Center to meet the mission readiness requirements of the E-6B, successfully negotiated multiple Defense Interagency Support Agreements between the E-6B program office and the Air Force Logistics Center, participated in contract selection boards, wrote performance work statements and statements of work, and developed and monitored team work plan for all contractors across all the individual integrated product teams in sustainment of the E-6B.

In 2018, Nave moved into the supply integration position. There he oversaw assigned supply activities across five government supply requirement teams and 73 contractor logistics support vendor teams with goals of providing the most cost-effective support while maximizing fleet readiness and supply availability.

From 2019 to 2022, Nave served as a first line supervisor and project manager in the Business Analytics Branch of Code 95. During this time, he led a team of business analysts and operations research analysts in supporting critical applications. He provided project management and oversight of Dataiku implementation to further the analytic capability of the NAVSUP enterprise in congruence with the NAVSUP Commander’s intent.

He earned many individual awards during his federal service and was recognized in the NAVAIR Commander’s Team Award, Best Improvement in Readiness, for his contributions as part of the E-6B sustainment team.

Nave graduated with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering in 2008 and a master of science degree in industrial engineering in 2010 from West Virginia University. He is also a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps and earned a master’s certificate in professional project management.

IUP and Cybersecurity — A Pattern of Excellence

For the past 20 years, IUP has been recognized as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency, one of only 16 universities in Pennsylvania to hold this designation. IUP is one of the first universities in the nation to integrate the disciplines of criminology and computer science to support an academic program in cybersecurity.

IUP’s Institute for Cybersecurity has secured more than $15 million in federal funding for IUP-sponsored initiatives and programs, including eight years of funding, totaling more than $1 million, for IUP to enhance cybersecurity training for middle school students and teachers through the GenCyber program. More than 450 middle school students and teachers have completed GenCyber camps since 2016. IUP is the only school in Pennsylvania offering GenCyber student programs.

In fall 2022, Professor Farag secured the largest grant in IUP history—$11 million—to enhance cybersecurity education across Pennsylvania.

The IUP Institute for Cybersecurity also continues to organize and present an annual Cybersecurity Day and conducted a research study during 2020–22 on improving IoT (Internet of Things) systems security, funded through a $250,000 grant from the NCAE-C Cyber Curriculum and Research 2020 Program.

IUP began offering its bachelor of science degree in computer science/cybersecurity track (originally information assurance) and a minor in cybersecurity in 2002. This program combined core computer science and cybersecurity classes with a minor in criminology, creating a novel curriculum that helped students gain a broad understanding of the field and be work-ready.

The Institute for Cybersecurity at IUP was founded in 2005 to further encourage and promote cybersecurity at IUP and the surrounding community.

The IUP cybersecurity program has about 100 students enrolled, and about 20 students annually complete the program and receive their bachelor’s degree in the computer science/cybersecurity track. IUP’s program also focuses on cybercrime detection, loss prevention, and how to collect evidence to prosecute cybersecurity offenders.

IUP has a longstanding commitment to research on all levels and in all disciplines. In 2021, IUP was one of only two public universities in Pennsylvania and one of only 93 public universities in the United States selected for the “High Research Activity” designation by the Carnegie Classification of Higher Institutions of Higher Education.