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First Cybersecurity & Ethics Symposium at Evangel University, April 21

Published on Apr 5, 2018 by Paul K. Logsdon

Area college students admitted for free

Evangel University will host its first Cybersecurity & Ethics Symposium on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Barnett Fine Arts Center.

The event is open to the public — all Evangel and local university students and faculty are free of charge, while the cost of registration for local IT and business professionals is $15. Registration is available online at

2018 Dell, Dallash Nash
Dallas Nash with DellEMC’s Federal Data Protection Solutions Division. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

The Symposium will present industry leaders such as Dallas Nash of DellEMC, whose team supports the security needs of the Department of Defense.

The speakers will discuss trends and topics related to cybersecurity and the ethical use of technology. The half-day event will include TED Talk-styled presentations, a round table discussion of industry leaders, networking time for attendees.

Giveaways include an Apple Watch, iPad, and Amazon Echo’s.

The Cybersecurity & Ethics Symposium is sponsored by Dell Technology, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Gartner, and Evangel University.

“Understanding how to employ the safe, secure, and ethical use of technology has become a pre-requisite to success for companies of all sizes,” said Gary Blackard, CIO and V.P. of strategy and innovation for Evangel University.

“We can no longer simply rely on the IT Department to keep us safe. To be effective, it includes all team members, in all departments, at all levels,” said Blackard.

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Dr. Jeremy Harris, event co-corridator. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

“Cybersecurity is a very hot topic in the world of technology, and this is an opportunity for security professionals to discuss current trends and to network,” said Dr. Jeremy Harris, associate professor of computer information systems at Evangel.

Harris and Blackard worked with a team to coordinate and produce the event.

“Ethics goes hand in hand with cybersecurity,” Harris added. “If everyone had a moral compass and followed ethical rules, then we wouldn’t need security on the scale being accomplished today.”

Evangel University is a recognized leader in campus technology and security. Blackard has presented at several national conferences, with the next being April 11 at the EDUCAUSE Security Professionals Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.



• Dallas Nash — DellEMC

Dallas Nash manages a global sales team for DellEMC’s Federal Data Protection Solutions Division, where cyber recovery is central to his business strategy and that of his customers. His team supports the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. National Intelligence Sector, and the Federal Systems Integrators (Northrop, Grumman, Boeing, and DXC).

A 1995 Evangel graduate, Nash currently sits on the Evangel Alumni Board of Directors. In his spare time, he volunteers as a life-skills development and communications coach for a number of professional programs started by Dr. Phil McGraw.

• Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – Drury University

Dr. Shannon McMurtrey is an assistant professor of management information systems at Drury University and teaches cybersecurity courses in the graduate college. His professional background includes over 20 years of IT experience in the field of e-commerce. He holds several respected industry certifications in the areas of network penetration, incident handling, and web application security.

McMurtrey was recently awarded an Excellence  in Technology Award as “Security Professional of the Year,” by the Association of Information Technology Professionals and Biz417.

• Dr. Brandon Schmidly — Evangel University

Brandon Schmidly is the chair of undergraduate seminary programs and associate professor of philosophy at Evangel University. He is coeditor of the textbook, Christian Morality: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Christian Moral Decision Making (Pickwick, 2016). He has focused his research on ethics.

Schmidly facilitates a regular grant from the Institute for Humane Studies for a dialogue on religious freedom in a changing society, a cooperation with professors and students from Springfield universities.

ROUND TABLE — including Nash, McMurtrey & Schmidly

• Mark Garton — O’Reilly Automotive

Mark Garton is a 22 year veteran of the IT industry, currently serving as the director of information security, compliance, and quality at O’Reily Auto Parts. In his current role, he is responsible for information security, IT governance and compliance programs, and all aspects of quality including software quality assurance.

He also serves as a board member of the local ISACA chapter (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), and he serves as a mentor for cyber security students.

• Debbie Jones — Ford, Boeing

Debbie Jones is currently a senior consultant with Right Management, where she is a trainer and mentor to entrepreneurs starting technology companies. Prior to this, she held IT positions with Boeing and the Ford Motor Company, where she was the IT manager for a multi-site automotive assembly plant with responsibility for all aspects of IT support including application and device security, disaster recovery and business continuity.

Jones is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt who has trained and mentored Black Belts. She is known to leverage the power of teams to streamline business processes, discover cost savings, identify performance breakthroughs, and improve product quality. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Jones is an alumnus of Evangel University. As a volunteer, she mentors female collegians interested in STEM careers.

• Dr. Jeremy Harris — Evangel University

Jeremy Harris is the Computer Information Systems degree program coordinator for both traditional undergraduate and adult studies students at Evangel University.

After graduating from Evangel in 1994, he earned two master’s degrees from Missouri State University and a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from Nova Southeastern University. He holds certificates in distance education administration and online learning. He previously taught at Missouri State for the College of Business before returning to Evangel in 2004.


8:30 –   9:00 a.m. — Registration

9:00 –   9:10 a.m. — Welcome

9:15 –   9:35 a.m. — Speaker 1: “What’s Next in Cybersecurity?” (Dallas Nash)

9:35 –   9:45 a.m. — Q&A (Jones)

9:50 – 10:10 a.m. — Speaker 2: “Technology as the Center of the Workforce” (Shannon McMurtrey)

10:10 – 10:20 a.m. — Q&A (Jones)

10:20 – 10:50 a.m. — Networking Break

10:50 – 11:10 a.m. — Speaker 3: “Ethics & Technology: What Must Happen” (Brandon Schmidly)

11:10 – 11:20 a.m. — Q&A (Jones)

11:25 – 12:00 p.m. — Round Table Discussion: “Empathy, Values and Ethics in Technology” (Jones – Leader, Nash, Garton, McMurtrey, Schmidly, Harris)

For more information on the Cybersecurity & Ethics Symposium or the various programs offered by Evangel’s Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, contact Dr. Jeremy Harris at, or call (417) 865-2815 ext. 8332.