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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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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Work Study Positions Now Available!

This is a paid, part time position.

Gain real-world experience while attending school.

We are looking for motivated, outgoing individuals to assume an essential role in the day-to0day University Operations.

A complete job description and required qualifications can be found at

The deadline to apply is Friday, February 12th!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Apply online or drop off a resume and cover letter listing the title for which you wish to be considered with the front desk.

No phone calls please.

The deadline to apply is Friday, February 12th. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!
Footer: Apply online at or drop off a resume and cover letter listing the title of the position for which you wish to be considered to the front desk.
No phone calls, please


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The Right Stuff For IT Projects

Twelve years ago I was interviewed for an article on the right stuff for leading successful IT projects [1] that focused on three questions:

  • What skills and competencies really matter most for the people who lead and deliver successful IT projects?
  • Are these different from the ones that were regarded as most important five or ten years ago?
  • How can some of the most important “soft skills” be acquired and honed, especially when for many in IT, they may not come very easily?

As I review the interview today, my responses seem as relevant now as they were in 2003:

“Soft skills are becoming more important than ever before. Most projects tend to fail because of a failure to communicate, especially between IT and business. The whole [Year 2000] issue really prompted IT and businesses to start conversing like never before, and we really need to make those intense and frequent communications the norm, and not the exception.

“Projects have such a high failure rate because business people have traditionally not been consulted before major IT projects are launched. The frequent result: distrust and skepticism, causing a rift to develop between IT and business. Good communication skills can go a long way toward healing that rift.”

What are the capabilities and skills that I viewed as more vital than any others?

“Excellent communication skills, both oral and written. Great listening skills, especially if what you need to hear is bad news. And experience in planning projects, particularly in the areas of risk assessment and contingency planning. Many people don’t want to spend time on contingency planning.  After all, everything will go perfectly, or so we hope. In fact, I would say that over- optimism, or failure to accurately assess how long things will actually take, is a reason that contingency planning for projects as a disciplined process is not as well developed as it needs to be.”

We still try to imbue these skills in IT professionals today.

“Project managers can set an example by establishing frequent two-way communications activities between IT and business communities.  This is especially important when the news is not good, such as a schedule slip. Show your team that the more information they share openly, the greater the collaboration can be between IT and business. Welcome input from a variety of stakeholders, and hold peer reviews frequently. We all learn a lot when we take the time (and have the courage) to ask.”

Collaboration is the key to success when managing IT projects.  So is mentoring project members.

“Universities and colleges can be great sources of needed training, as are national associations such as the American Management Association and Toastmasters International.  Unfortunately, many of the best project managers just don’t have the luxury of spending time formally mentoring new folks. For many competencies, such as contingency planning, experience is still the best (and sometimes only) teacher.

What about selecting an IT project manager?

“When deciding who will run an important project, consider several factors … Questions I would ask include: Can you demonstrate a portfolio of projects you have managed? What’s your track record in meeting client expectations?  How satisfied would your customers say they’ve been? How successful have you been in meeting budgets and timelines?   Certification may be important, but it’s no substitute for relevant experience.”

So the bottom line is that a successful IT project manager has experience leading projects and excellent communications skills.
[1] Nancy Settle-Murphy.  The right stuff for leading successful projects. Information Strategy: The Executives Journal 19(1):21-25 (Fall 2003).

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Coleman University Announces New President


Norbert J. Kubilus, CCP MBCS

The Board of Trustees of Coleman University has announced that it unanimously elected Norbert J. Kubilus, CCP MBCS as the University’s next President & CEO during the Board’s meeting on Thursday, October 29th.

“I would like to congratulate and welcome Norbert to his new position,” said Mike Maier, Acting Chair of the Board of Trustees. “While we had a number of highly-qualified candidates, Norbert stood out for his experience as an executive and educator, as well as his proven leadership as Interim President since May. His record of achievement, personal history and values set him apart as the clear choice to carry our Vision, Mission, Institutional Learning Outcomes and Strategic Goals.”

Mr. Kubilus has been a member of the Coleman University Board of Trustees since June 2012 and served as Board Chair until he was asked to serve as Interim President in May 2015 while the Board conducted a Presidential Search. He is a career technology and operations executive who also has held faculty positions with New Jersey Institute of Technology and The College of New Jersey. Mr. Kubilus was also a Technology Leadership Partner with Tatum LLC and co-founded the Tatum Technology practice in Southern California.

“I am very honored to be the next president of Coleman University and am excited to engage the entire Coleman community to turn the dreams we have for the University into reality,” said Mr. Kubilus. “Our founder, Dr. Coleman Furr, was a pioneer in computer technology education when he and his wife Lois started the school 52 years ago. Coleman University today has a terrific team of faculty and staff with a ‘student first’ attitude and a passion for preparing our graduates to be leaders in technology-focused careers and their communities. ”

A graduate of Seton Hall University (BS) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MS), Mr. Kubilus is a Certified Computing Professional (CCP) in Technology Management and Software Development. He is author of over 70 professional and academic publications on technology issues affecting business, as well as a frequent conference speaker. Computerworld named him a Premier 100 Information Technology Leader in 2007. He is a Past Association President for the Association of Information Technology Professionals and an elected member of the British Computer Society.

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Coleman University will be closed on Thursday, November 26th, & Friday, November 27th, in observance of Thanksgiving.

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Attendance Policy

Students are expected to be punctual and to attend every class session. Absences are recorded on the student’s Master record. A student’s success in his or her academic work is directly related to class attendance. More

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Job Opportunities – H&R Block, Outerwall

H&R Block is looking to fill ten (10) Technical Support positions. No experience is required. Students within their 2nd and 3rd mods can apply. They are offering one month of full-time paid training as well and are willing to work around student class schedules day or night. The pay for these positions is $14.50 per hour. The location they would be working from is about 10 minutes away from the campus. Open to students from all programs. So far, about 6 students have been hired by H&R Block.

Outerwall (ecoATM) is looking to fill seven (7) Electronics Processor positions within the next two weeks. No experience is required. This is a full time position, 8am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday. They are located in the Mira Mesa area about 12-15 minutes from our campus. These are considered a foot in the door positions and they do have IT positions that you can move into. The pay for the Electronics Processor positions is $10.00 per hour. Open to students of all programs.

Interested students should email David Camarena in Career Services for complete details.

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