GCU hits enter on new Technological innovation leaders

&#13 Dr. Pam Rowland (left) and Dr. Brandy Harris, the new Engineering Associate Dean and


Dr. Pam Rowland (left) and Dr. Brandy Harris, the new Engineering Associate Dean and Assistant Dean, respectively, hit the floor managing at this summer’s GenCyber camp for K12 teachers, which centered on cybersecurity. There is much extra to appear for the new leaders as the 2021-22 educational calendar year launches.

Story by Lana Sweeten-Shults
GCU News Bureau

Sometimes you don’t pick out your tale from time to time it chooses you.

The tale, in quite a few techniques, selected Dr. Pam Rowland, Grand Canyon University’s new Associate Dean of Computer system Sciences and Know-how. While she attained her bachelor’s diploma in commercial economics, it was not economics she turned to when, in her 30s, soon after her small children ended up creating their individual plotlines, she paused, took a deep breath and then wondered: “What am I going to do with myself?”

Rowland taught at Dakota Condition College in Madison, South Dakota, prior to her shift to GCU.

What she did, at a time when new technologies in property and office environment computing was getting its very first child steps, was choose baby measures ideal together with it.

“I taught myself Microsoft Business and just was loving it,” mentioned Rowland, who has been learning the ropes of her new leadership role this summertime alongside Dr. Brandy Harris, the Higher education of Science, Engineering and Technological innovation’s new Assistant Dean of Technology.

Rowland would dabble in instructing. When men and women located out she realized her way close to Microsoft Business office, they would check with for her assistance. “I’m in a small neighborhood, so I didn’t have to promote. People today just knew, ‘Hey, Pam may possibly be out there.’

“So I would do these Microsoft trainings for a corporation identified as Heartland Technologies wherever I would, 4 or 5 times a month, assemble in a meeting room with a business and instruct their personnel what to do with these new models they were being offered.”

She beloved educating so a lot she made a decision to pursue a master’s degree. She gained her master’s in information and facts technology, commenced educating entry-degree technological know-how courses at Dakota Condition University in Madison, South Dakota, wherever she’s from, and in her late 40s, made a decision to go for her doctorate.

“Interestingly ample, because I like training, I assumed, I must get a educating diploma,” she reported. But when she discovered from university counselors that she would will need to generate a 2nd bachelor’s in educating, she switched gears. “… They stated, we have this new application identified as info technological know-how.”

She just essential to take a pair of programming classes, and that was that — the commencing of a new chapter in her story.

Rowland went on to instruct at Dakota Condition, digging her heels into numerous roles, which include Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity, Director of the Center of Excellence for Pc Information Devices and Coordinator of the Grasp of Cyber Protection system.

“You typically listen to, do what you’re passionate about,” reported Rowland, nevertheless she did not know she was passionate about know-how right up until she began following a path she did not know she’d ever observe. “Sometimes you adhere to your route and you just GET passionate.”

What Rowland certainly turned passionate about in her many years of instructing engineering is earning certain ladies can see that path — and follow it, if they, much too, learn a enthusiasm they never knew they experienced.

Rowland co-launched CybHER, a program to get girls fascinated in cybersecurity. (Image: PCmag.com)

A single of the achievements she’s most very pleased of is cybher.org and the CybHER Stability Institute at Dakota Condition, which she co-launched with Dr. Ashley Podhradsky.

The organization’s mission is to introduce far more ladies to cybersecurity and give sources to them, from center college by their university a long time.

“We located out that ladies simply did not know what it was or how they could discover that region simply because they just weren’t provided the information,” Harris claimed.

“And, also, you simply cannot be what you really don’t see. They weren’t observing girls leaders in cybersecurity. They had been observing their mothers as this or that, their aunts, their pals .. and not in technological innovation,” said Rowland, who turned familiar with GCU throughout visits to relatives in the Phoenix area.

A deficiency of girls in cyber definitely is not the case at GCU, whose management involves not only Rowland but new Assistant Dean of Engineering Dr. Brandy Harris.

A lot like Rowland, Harris’ tale early in her career didn’t incorporate quite lots of passages about know-how or educating.

Her bachelor’s diploma is in audio and theatre.

Harris started off her occupation at GCU as a curriculum developer right before getting the Application Director for Technological innovation and, now, Assistant Dean of that department.

“I experienced no intention of having into education at all,” said Harris.

But then she obtained a position at Goodwill Industries as an outreach specialist. She worked with older people with disabilities, getting them career placement and teaching schooling classes. Then when she moved to Phoenix in 2002 from Michigan — “I’m very confident I’m allergic to snow,” she said with a snicker — she started operating at a non-public specific training university undertaking the similar sort of do the job.

All those actions in her everyday living led her to a 15-year vocation as a public-university instructor at the high college level.

“That’s my qualifications — schooling and college schooling and operating with instructors to make improvements to their pedagogical capabilities. I really don’t have the identical field history I have instructing,” Harris claimed, nevertheless she is operating on a Learn of Science in Cybersecurity degree.

She produced the conclusion after about a decade in teaching to go for her doctoral diploma in Organizational Leadership at GCU to buoy her master’s in particular education and learning.

She remembers becoming on campus for an night cohort. It was Halloween, “and there is kids almost everywhere from the group. They just flooded the entire Quad, and each club had a booth out there exactly where all of these children had been trick-or-dealing with.

“As a initial-generation higher education college student who grew up in poverty, this was Awesome to me that all of these college students had been staying brought on to a campus just for pleasurable and to help them understand that they belong right here. That they can be right here, that this (school) can be an selection for them.

“I fell in adore with GCU at that minute and made a decision I preferred to function right here for the reason that I consider so strongly in the community outreach that we do and trying to lift up a group that does not normally see the opportunities that are there.”

She firmly thinks that education — and getting someone who supports you in your instructional journey — would make all the variance.

Harris (3rd row from the bottom, on the still left) and Rowland (bottom row, on the suitable) with superior university instructors at this summer’s GenCyber camp.

“That’s the only motive I created it to in which I was,” Harris stated. “My mother insisted schooling was the most crucial detail in my lifetime. She would do my chores to make sure I had time to do my research in purchase to assistance my educational results.”

Harris wishes to be that kind of guidance for the students at GCU — and has been considering the fact that arriving on campus six decades ago.

She commenced her vocation right here as a curriculum designer in Curriculum Layout and Development and ended up on the CSET team. When she moved up to a curriculum designer guide place, she centered on know-how. She labored intently with the college’s preceding dean, Dr. Heather Monthie, and obtained to know the workforce so very well that Monthie moved her to CSET as the Application Director for Know-how, a placement she held for 3 decades.

In her new function as Assistant Dean of Know-how, she performs closely with the faculty, interfaces with other departments at the University in working day-to-working day functions, and oversees curriculum.

And she works closely with Rowland, whose function is a little far more outward going through. Rowland concentrates additional on program and division expansion and focuses on marketplace connections.

Together, the two will be that drive in Technologies that pushes the department outside of its successes in the earlier few of a long time.

In 2019, the Countrywide Security Company and Section of Homeland Stability awarded a prestigious designation to the IT-cybersecurity’s bachelor’s diploma program, naming it a National Centre of Academic Excellence in Cyber Protection Schooling. And in 2020, the bachelor’s degree plan in Pc Science received a really sought-immediately after ABET accreditation.

Rowland and Harris are previously helming some large adjustments.

Just throughout the hallway from their places of work on the 3rd floor of the Technology Developing, crews are relocating the Cyber Center of Excellence, previously in Constructing 66 at 27th Avenue. Some 44 new computers, alongside with new servers and the like will be ready to be fired up by the time students get there for classes in the fall.

Talks are just commencing, also, for an Augmented Truth/Virtual Reality area that will tout 5 stations for guests to knowledge students’ AR and VR assignments.

“We’re creating out our engineering labs to be a little bit much more of a showpiece,” Harris said. “We’re doing such wonderful items in excess of here, but it is sometimes really hard to see. It is not a actual physical product or service, like the engineering staff. If you are creating this lovely program, you simply cannot put that out on the Quad and display it off, so we are making an attempt to develop out the technologies labs wherever we can definitely showcase the scholar perform and show potential pupils what they can do when they come listed here.”

Additional Rowland, “Brandy and I are on the very same webpage when it arrives to continuing to aid and build our faculty. The specialist passions they have are significant on our list.

“And we want to carry on to look for national recognition for the courses that we have, and to genuinely aid our pupils on their journey toward their ambitions,” she explained, regardless of whether that journey is a story they opt for or, like Rowland and Harris, is a tale that chooses them.

GCU senior author Lana Sweeten-Shults can be arrived at at [email protected] or at 602-639-7901.


Linked material:

GCU These days: GCU allows lecturers boot up their cybersecurity competencies

GCU Right now: Technology Division awarded GenCyber grant

GCU Today: IT-cyber program receives NSA, DHS stamp of acceptance

GCU Nowadays: Code Pink: GCU powers up cybersecurity aim

GCU These days: GCU courses earn prestigious ABET accreditation