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Cybersecurity faculty members are recognized as leaders who are inspiring change within the information security workforce

ADELPHI, Md., (Aug. 31, 2017)—Mansur Hasib, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) graduate Cybersecurity Technology program chair, and Jesse Varsalone, the university’s collegiate associate professor of Computer Networks and Cybersecurity as well as academic advisor to UMUC’s Cyber Padawans competition team, have been named finalists in the seventh annual Americas Information Security Leadership Awards (Americas ISLA®).

Part of the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² Global Awards Program, Americas ISLA® celebrates industry leaders throughout the Americas from the private and public sectors—those outside the U.S. government—who are inspiring change within the information security workforce.

Hasib and Varsalone were two of the four finalists nominated in the Senior Information Security Professional category. A nine-member judging committee of (ISC)² North American and Latin American Advisory Board members selected 2017 finalists, who will be celebrated during the Americas ISLA luncheon at the seventh annual (ISC)² Security Congress on September 26.

Hasib was recognized for his work in advancing the Cybersecurity Technology degree program at UMUC, and Varsalone was nominated for his efforts in positioning the award-winning Cyber Padawans as one of the highest ranked cyber warrior teams in the world.

“Cybersecurity has always been more about the leadership of people than technology,” said Hasib. “This nomination reflects my passion for preparing today’s information security workforce to succeed.”

Varsalone commented that his nomination, “reflects the [Cyber] Padawans’ commitment to providing students, faculty and industry professionals the opportunity to go beyond the classroom to solve real-world security problems.”

Finalists represent an influential group of professionals, said (ISC)² CEO David Shearer. “[They are] dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of our homes, businesses, communities and critical infrastructure. Honoring them at (ISC)²'s Security Congress is a highlight of our event.”

The (ISC)² is an international nonprofit membership association best known for its award-winning Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) certification, according to its website. The Global Awards Program aims to recognize the achievements of outstanding industry professionals who have led a workforce improvement initiative, program or project. The Americas ISLA®  component acknowledges professionals who are leading initiatives that result in a more proficient and resilient information security workforce in Central, North and South America.

About University of Maryland University College

UMUC is a world leader in innovative educational models, with award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. Now celebrating its 70th anniversary, UMUC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of adult students whose responsibilities may include jobs, family and military service. For more information about UMUC, visit