Staff & Faculty

The staff & faculty at Coleman University bring a wealth of experience and in-depth industry knowledge. We’ve asked our service departments and instructors from all degree programs to share their insight and unique perspective.

If there’s a particular topic you would like to learn more about, or if you have questions, please let us know.

 

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What Does it Take to Become a Graphic Designer in San Diego?

Nearly 30,000 graphic designers work in California, the state with the highest employment level in the field 1.  We recently interviewed Scott Norton, program director for Graphic Design at Coleman, regarding the questions he most often receives about pursuing a design career in San Diego.

Do you need a degree to become a graphic designer?
Obtaining a design degree is important, as employers seek individuals that have mastered tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, PhotoShop, Indesign), which is taught at Coleman. Students also learn fundamental design principles so that students have a working knowledge of the technical aspects of design. In addition, Coleman teaches digital imagery, web and multimedia, vector graphics and typography.

“The advantage of becoming a graphic designer is that the skills you obtain in the classroom can be applied to a wide variety of careers in advertising, web design or game development,” Norton said.

Throughout a student’s career at Coleman, the career services department, as well as graphic design instructors, are available to provide practical advice on creating a resume and developing a portfolio. In 2015, the College Scorecard, an interactive online tool established by the U.S. Department of Education to assist families with college decision-making, ranked Coleman “above average” for high graduation rates and high salary upon degree completion.

How difficult is it to become a successful designer?
“Successful designers make it their passion,” said Norton. “They are constantly working on projects, whether in class or at home. And, they capitalize on social media to help them with their networking.”

While employers still want to see the traditional artist portfolio in-person, the web has become the new tool in showcasing an artist’s talent. DeviantArt.com is the largest online social community for artists and art enthusiasts to display their photos, digital art or paintings. Those interested in comic book creative are flocking to sites like Penciljack.com and DigitalWebbing.com. Employers are utilizing the web, also, often turning to Instagram in search of the next big designer.

However, Norton believes that good old-fashioned networking is still critical for new designers, especially self-employed freelancers. “You never know when the next job opportunity will present itself,” he said. “The key is to stay active in the community, network with others and maintain a positive attitude.” If a client is pleased with your work, sending a hand-written thank you note and asking for a referral are gestures will help generate word-of-mouth about your reputation as a solid designer.

What if I’m not interested in a traditional graphic design job?
The growing popularity of comic-inspired movies, the annual Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, and a recent Washington Post story on record-setting sales for comic books in June, are inspiring a whole new crop of young people to pursue a career in this exciting industry. “The success of leading comic book artists such as Annie Wu and Tradd Moore, is the result of their working harder for longer than other artists in the field,” said Norton. “Comic creative is fiercely competitive, which is why I tell students to continue to take on traditional jobs and seek out networking opportunities that will lead you closer to your ‘dream job.’”

How would you characterize the current job climate for graphic designers in San Diego?
San Diego represents a large and diversified economic landscape. It is home to a booming tourism industry, military and civilian technology, more than 430 biotech firms, and 13 area chambers of commerce in that represent thousands of small businesses. This rich, diverse community lends itself to a myriad of job opportunities for graphic designers.

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About Scott Norton
Scott Norton is the program director for Graphic Design at Coleman University. He has been a freelance professional creative since Y2K and holds an MFA in Graphic Design. He lives and works in San Diego where he has dedicated his existence to supporting the growth of the next generation of great designers.

127-1024 Graphic Designers. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2016, from http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm#st

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Cybersecurity Education: Focusing on the Future

By William Reid, LCDR, USN (Ret), Program Director, Cybersecurity, Coleman University

Coleman University proudly salutes the military, both current service members and veterans. As one of the Military Friendly® Schools in the U.S., we are in the top 15% nationwide that delivers the best experience for military students. At Coleman, our mission is to deliver relevant education that prepares individuals for technology-focused careers, and our programs are approved for veteran training. We are here to assist veteran students with the transition back into civilian life by helping them either update their existing skill set or provide them with the skills needed to embark on a new career.

One of the greatest workforce shortages organizations are facing today is in cybersecurity. According to a 2015 Peninsula Press analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 200,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in the U.S., and that number is expected to grow by 53 percent through 20181. As large and small organizations invest their monetary resources and labor into protecting serious, ongoing data breaches, new threats arise on a daily basis.

To combat this workforce shortage, Coleman offers a bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity. Here, students learn how to design and build secure networks, recover data after a catastrophe, and remove malware from systems. Instructors provide in-the-field hands-on situations to enhance classroom learning. Prior to program completion, qualified students are allowed to sit for the Security+ certification, one of the many in-demand certifications sought after by employers.

Coleman proactively seeks out other stakeholders in San Diego to address common workforce concerns. Most recently, we applied for a grant from The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), whose like-minded mission is to “energize and promote a robust network and an ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.” Through this grant, we intend to work with K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and local employers, in order to provide early opportunities for education and mentoring in cybersecurity.

Our existing partners include National University, The Preuss School UCSD, local employers, and professional organizations, such as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Inc. (ISACA). In conjunction with National University, we intend to develop a talent pipeline for students interested in pursuing both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in cybersecurity. If awarded the NICE grant, our work with The Preuss School UCSD in La Jolla, a charter middle and high school for low income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college, will include establishing mentoring and early cybersecurity awareness programs for these students. Topics will include such things as cyber-bullying and cyber-predators.

The employment outlook for cyber jobs in the area is positive. In June 2016, the Cyber Center of Excellence released the report, San Diego’s Cybersecurity Industry: An Economic Impact Analysis and Workforce Study, and noted that there is a 13% projected cyber employment growth in San Diego in the next 12 months, compared to 2% overall regional job growth2.

Coleman University is ready to help prepare veterans for a career in cybersecurity. Call us today at 858-499-0202 to schedule an appointment with one of our admissions representatives, or visit us online at www.coleman.edu.

1″Demand to Fill Cybersecurity Jobs Booming – Peninsula Press.” Peninsula Press, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 18 July 2016.
2″San Diego’s Cybersecurity Industry: An Economic Impact Analysis and Workforce Study.” SAN DIEGO’S CYBERSECURITY INDUSTRY (2016): 1-47. Cyber Center of Excellence. Web. 18 July 2016.

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Faculty Spotlight: Randall Cornish

Randall Cornish

Randall Cornish

Randall Cornish is an instructor in the College of Graphic Design at Coleman University. He teaches Graphic Design Principles, Layout and Typography.

Mr. Cornish has worked professionally in the field of graphic design since 1976. He is an award-winning educator who has been teaching graphic design part-time since 1998. He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and an Adobe Certified Expert.

In 2016, he received an Award of Distinction (http://tinyurl.com/j5wfanr) for logo design from the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts in New York City. In 2008, he received an American Graphic Design Award for poster design from Graphic Design USA magazine. Mr. Cornish is an honors and holds a degree in Visual Arts and Communications.

“As an educator, my dream is to encourage and inspire students to pursue excellence and unleash the power of their imagination,” says Mr. Cornish.

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Faculty Spotlight: Leticia Rabor

Employee Spotlight: Leticia Rabor

Faculty Spotlight: Leticia Rabor

Leticia worked as a professional Software and Systems Engineer in the Defense and Aerospace industries for over 13 years such as BAE Systems National Solutions, Lockheed Martin, and Science Application International Corporation (SAIC). Over the years, she has designed, implemented, and tested various image formation subsystem components for ground system development. She has done full object-oriented designs in C/C++ and Java, as well as developing test procedures with inter-process and multiple process communication. Leticia has drawn up and continues to develop some Mobile apps that are currently in the Google Play Store and Amazon Marketplace.

She has been working for Coleman since 2012 and has produced more than half of the courses within the Software Development Department. At Coleman, she teaches Programming Concept and Logic, Object-Oriented Programming, Mobile Development, Systems Design and Implementation, Software Testing, and Client-Side Scripting. She is currently developing a Coleman University mobile app that will provide access to its academic student services including course registration, financial aid, career services, and academics. She is also the faculty advocate for the Software Development Club. She currently is proposing a Software Code Jam that will allow students to imagine, code, and learn together in a team-based environment during a 48-hour development phase.

Leticia also conducts yearly external one hour workshops in mobile development and JavaScript/JQuery including the Geek Girls Tech Conference of San Diego, California. She also participated as one of the panel experts for “The future of mobile development” topic in June 2015 which was videotaped and published on Geek Girl TV.

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Coleman University Participates In Ocean Beach Clean-Up Day

On Friday, June 10, Coleman University staff gathered to clean up Ocean Beach, one of the most popular outdoor areas in San Diego. In partnership with San Diego Coastkeeper, CU obtained all the items needed to clear the beach with the Coastkeeper’s Beach Cleanup in a Box and got to work.

“At Coleman, we are always seeking out new opportunities to volunteer in the community,” said Dennis Young, Admissions Officer, Coleman, organizer of the event. “The cleanup provided a fun way for all of us to work together and help reduce pollution at the same time.”

In addition to removing the garbage, volunteers logged their “marine debris” findings on Coastkeeper’s data sheets. Marine debris is human-created trash and litter that either deliberately or accidentally makes its way to coastlines and beaches where it can eventually enter the ocean, bays, lakes or waterways. Plastic items such as bottles, lids or utensils to glass bottles, fishing lines, styrofoam, and metal are considered marine debris. 1

Having had a successful event, CU intends to plan future beach cleanup activities.

1 Information Source: U.S. National Park Service; Mote Marine Lab, Sarasota, FL. Coral Reef Alliance, http://www.coral.org/node/3916

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Dr. Rasha Roshdy Is The New Director of Research Programs

Dr. RoshdyDr. Rasha Roshdy has joined Coleman University as the Director of Research Programs.

In her new capacity, Dr. Roshdy will coordinate and conduct research activities for the University, manage the Institutional Research Board (IRB), and help develop our ability to receive and manage grants.  Previously a part-time instructor in Graduate Studies, she will now be a member of our full-time faculty.

Dr. Roshdy started her career as a French language instructor. She held the position of Assistant Professor for seven years at Kansas State University and the University of Arizona. In her 11 years working for the federal government, she has held several positions: teacher trainer, curriculum developer and academic coordinator. In her last government position, she became the Academic Dean of the Foreign Language Program for Naval Special Warfare. This program won an award for excellence for two consecutive years under her leadership.

In 2014 she created Maven Connections Consulting and focused her career on research, including work with higher educational institutions from Saudi Arabia. She was named a research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Culture and Language at Norwich University in Vermont and was nominated as a mentor last summer by MiddCore, the leadership and innovation summer program of Middlebury College.

Dr. Roshdy obtained her doctorate in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University, her Master of Arts degree in Education and French from Kansas State University, and a higher diploma from The Sorbonne in Paris.  She worked as a journalist in Egypt, her native country, and continues to write for several Arabic magazines and her own blog on Facebook, which has more than 37,000 followers.

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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Ghassan “Gus” Hanna

emp_spotlight_gus_hannaI have four years of teaching experience and another 26 years of high tech industry experience managing hardware and software system design groups. I am an avid reader and enjoy researching new, emerging technologies in electronic systems as well as IT database design.

I have published three papers addressing the factors impacting decisions made by management of multinational corporations when investing abroad. I am also on the editorial boards of five academic journals where I review the quality of papers submitted for publications by authors from around the world.

My formal academic education includes a (2013) PhD in Business Administration from Northcentral University – Prescott Valley, AZ, an (1991) MBA from University of Redlands -Redlands, CA, and an (1986) MS in Electrical Engineering from University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ.

Dr. Ghassan “Gus” Hanna, Adjunct Faculty, College of Graduate Studies.

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Why Become a Cybersecurity Major?

Despite coming into the field for the earning potential, it becomes obvious that once we start on the path to attaining our Degrees, we quickly come to realize there is much more to it than that.  Learning the OSI Model, IPv4, IPv6, Subnetting, TCP/IP protocols, different kinds of Malware, Viruses and DDoS attacks are just a few of the things we have to master!  However, going through all of that work and attaining an Associate and then a Bachelor’s will only help to open the door to a new career for students willing to do the work.

Then there are Certifications!  The A+ (901/902), Network+, and Security+ are but the stepping stones into a much larger world.  Network+, Security+, Security Certification Path (SSCP) & Security Certification Path (CISSP) & the latest CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) is the best road to take for Certifications to becoming a Computer Security Specialist.  Fortunately, Coleman covers the cost of the A+, Net+ & Sec+ Certifications.  Otherwise, we would be spending hundreds of dollars just to take the tests!

Beyond those two things are extracurricular activities that many companies look for in their employees. What are those you ask?  Great question!  Just two weeks ago, I couldn’t give you an answer! Now I can!  Did you know that Coleman University has an Electric Vehicle Club?  How about a 3D Printing Club? How about a Cyber Security Club or a university blog?  Believe it or not, they exist!  Why should you care?  Another great question!  Here is why you must care, these things are volunteer and networking opportunities just waiting to happen!  Professionals from the fields of electrical engineering, software development & numerous others are lined up to pass down their knowledge and potentially offer amazing jobs to those of us who are willing to put in a few extra hours a week to work together and build something truly special! The more you are willing to get involved and work towards bettering yourself in the field of Cybersecurity the more benefits you will reap when it’s time to graduate.

We, the students of Coleman University have a voice!  We can do more here than simply come to class, write papers, read books and take tests. We can USE the numerous skills we are learning to create opportunities!  We just need to use our voice to let the school know we are willing and able to do so.

In order to help my fellow students navigate these requirements and resources, I am starting the Cyber Security Club at Coleman. The aim of this club is to bring us together to network with each other, study for classes or certifications, disseminate activity information and to help get us involved with group projects. If you are interested, please email me. If for some reason you can’t make it to the club meetings, I am the Cybersecurity tutor at Coleman and you can come to the Tutoring Center (located in the Library) at any time Monday through Thursday for help. I am here to help in any way that I can!

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Virtual Reality Comes to Coleman, Thanks to Mr. Jeep & Harvard University

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jeep from Valve during a January event which Coleman University hosted. Valve has teamed up with HTC to develop a VR headset system which can be used for both development and consumer use. Mr. Jeep brought with him a prototype of the HTC Vive which the participants of the IGDA Game Jam event could use for development.

After the event I sent Mr. Jeep a courtesy email thanking him for his contribution to the event and inquired further how Coleman University could benefit from a development device like the HTC Vive. Without hesitation, Mr. Jeep replied and offered to send me an HTC Vive VR system which I could incorporate into the curriculum. This was a generous offer seeing how the HTC Vive retail for $800 per unit.

With the contribution of the HTC Vive, I was then encouraged to contact LayoutVR which is located at Harvard University, who in February, was given a grant to develop curriculum for VR development in the Unreal Engine. Teaming up with LayoutVR, we redeveloped the curriculum for DSN353 Level Design II to include VR development, with this new partnership I took the responsibility to convert their VR curriculum which was catering the Oculus Rift and redesign the curriculum to work with the HTC Vive. Once this research project is complete, I will then share my finding and redevelopment with LayoutVR, Stanford University, and Epic Games. The major outcome to sharing the research is to be considered for a grant which Epic Games gives out twice a year.

Travis Vasquez is an instructor in the Game Programming Development & Design program at Coleman University. 

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5 Team Leadership Lessons from the Savegre River

There is no better place to watch effective team leadership in action than on a white water rafting trip.

I had the opportunity to go rafting on the Savegre River in Costa Rica in late February.   There were five of us in the raft plus our guide.  We were all new to this team that was going down river for the next two hours.  Two of us had rafted together before, but each river, each team is different.

Our guide (“team leader”) had over a decade of experience on the Savegre with its Class I, II and III rapids.  His job was to get us down river safely to our final landing point (“the project”) by steering the raft with his paddle from the stern of the raft, assessing the river and rapids ahead, directing the team to take action with voice commands, and pulling team members out of the racing water should we fall out of the raft.

What better metaphor for effective team leadership than five simple lessons from observing our white water rafting guide.

Equip Your Team

When we arrived at the mustering location for the rafting trip, we received the appropriate equipment for the project — helmet, life vest and paddle — and an introduction to our raft and guide.

How often do we ask people to take on a project with insufficient resources?

Train Your Team

After an equipment check — chin strap tightly fastened on the helmet, life vest right sized to close completely — our guide explained his role and our roles.  He showed us how to sit in the raft and how to handle the paddle correctly … and how to avoid injuring other team members by mishandling our paddles.   Then came the command instructions — “Paddle forward”, “Left forward”, “Right forward”, “Back”, “Lean …”, “HANG ON!” — followed by a demonstration of the correct way to paddle.  It didn’t matter how many times any of us had rafted, this orientation was absolutely necessary.

Probably the most important training was on what to do if one of us went into the river.  First rule of the river is “Don’t fight it!”  Get on your back, point your feet downstream and float … toward the project goal.  Why?  Simply, you don’t want your head slamming into rocks, and you don’t want to drown.  Your guide will maneuver the raft to you, bring you close to the raft, and literally yank you back into the raft by your life vest.

Set the expectations for the team and provide instruction on how to meet them.

Guide Your Team

Reading the river ahead, our guide issued commands to propel the raft forward, turn it left or right, slow it down, or literally “HANG ON!”  Some direction has to be ad hoc, like telling us how to help him free our raft when we bottomed in some shallow water.  In the calm stretches of the river, our guide provided a commentary on the river itself, as well as the flora and fauna surrounding us … continually sharing his knowledge of the river.

Set the context of the project in addition to directing the actions of the team.  Share experience.

Assess Risks and Protect Your Team

Despite the skills of the guide and the efforts of the team, the swift river and rocks can upset a raft, sending one or more team members into the river.  I took a dunking when we spun in a Category II rapid.  Our guide had me back in the raft in less than a minute.  So it is with projects.

Lesson here: “When you have a problem with a project, rely on your team leader and team members …  and don’t bang your head into the rocks!”

Celebrate Successes

There is a lot of excitement and enjoyment in white water rafting.  And there is a great sense of accomplishment after each rapid.  Our guide gave positive verbal feedback all along the trip, and called for a “High Five!” at various times when we achieved a milestone like clearing one of the more difficult rapids.  What’s a “High Five!”?  Team members raise their paddles high over the center of the raft and click them together.  Seemingly silly?  Hardly.  It symbolizes the team work inherent in white water rafting.

Acknowledging even small project accomplishment can go a long way to building team morale and keeping a project on course.

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