New Marshall cyber security director ready to get to work

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University is preparing to welcome its first executive director of the Institute for Cyber Security.

Dr. Henry Collier

Dr. Henry Collier has been named to the position. He begins the job on July 15.

Collier, the current director of technology programs at Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, told MetroNews he plans to use his more than 30 years of experience in cyber security to inspire students to pursue careers in the industry.

“I have some vision that I’m really hoping to pursue. I want to have those converations with the faculty and staff that are there and see how we can align our desires and goal to make this the best Cyber Institute on the East Coast,” he said.

State lawmakers approved funding last year for Marshall to build a Cyber Security Center in Huntington that would serve as the second of its kind on a college campus in the U.S. Groundbreaking is expected to take place later this summer. Construction should take about two years to complete.

Students will be able to gauge in so many different aspects of cyber, Collier said.

“I want to make sure that students get to experience multiple avenues in cyber so they can make a career choice that best fits them in their desire so they can make a career choice that best fits them and their desires. Not every student is going to be a computer forensic analyst,” he said.

Collier is also hoping to expand on classified research opportunities for students.

“Students that are at the graduate level, masters, or Ph.D. who we can get a clearance for, could work with several of the agencies within the DOD (Department of Defense) to conduct classified research which a great opportunity for students to compete with universities like MIT, Carnegie Mellon or Johns Hopkins,” he said.

Collier is a U.S. Army veteran with six years of active duty and currently holds the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3 in the Army Reserves, where he currently has 27 years of service. He said that military background will come in handy in his new role.

“Having those relationships is definitely going to help me because I can speak the speak just like they do in the Army. There’s a lot of lingos, abbreviations and acronyms and somebody who doesn’t have that experience is going to walk into a conversation thinking what are they talking about?” he said.

Before arriving at Norwich University, Collier was the program director for Computer Technology and Cybersecurity & Healthcare IT at River Valley Community College where he rejuvenated the Cisco Networking Academy and managed a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant to develop the cybersecurity & healthcare IT program.

Collier has a Ph.D. in engineering with a concentration in security from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, a master’s degree in managing innovations and information technology from Champlain College, a bachelor’s degree in information technology with a concentration in systems analysis and design from Granite State College, and an associate degree in computer technology from River Valley Community College.

Marshall Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Avinandan “Avi” Mukherjee said there was a strong applicant pool; however, Collier stood out because of his unique experience.

“While each finalist proved to be uniquely qualified, Dr. Collier emerged as being the most qualified candidate to steward Marshall’s excellence in cyber security,” Mukherjee said in statement.

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