Academics

Expert Insight: Guest Speakers Highlight M.S. in MIT’s Fall Semester

Throughout the 2020 fall semester, M.S. in MIT students benefited from learning with a host of experts.

The Commerce School’s M.S. in MIT brings a real-world approach to problem solving, enhanced by an essential corporate perspective. Representing an integral component of the program, executives share insights directly from their own experiences of successfully implementing IT management and strategy.

Throughout the 2020 fall semester of the innovative one-year program, the working professionals driven to create business value for their organizations benefited from learning with a host of these such experts, who brought their understanding of leading complex, enterprise-wide initiatives to the modules.

C-Suite Sessions
Starting with “Module 0,” Thomas Bayer, Vice Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, JH Whitney Investment Management, discussed the “Job of the C-Level Executive,” on Sept. 15. Bayer, an IT executive with a history of leading teams focused on developing disruptive software applications and meeting customer needs, has served as a UVA Executive on Grounds since 2018.

Jill Singer, Vice President, Defense & National Security, AT&T Public Sector & FirstNet, joined the Sept. 16 session. Federal CIO Emeritus for Tummler Singer Associates and a former Deputy Chief Information Officer for U.S. Intelligence, Singer also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of West Florida and the Governing Board of the International Spy Museum. 

Measuring Business Value: The Cloud and Cybersecurity
Joining Professor Stefano Grazioli for Module 1 on Oct. 24, Terren Peterson (M.S. in MIT ’04) co-taught a session titled “Managing Cloud at Scale.” Specializing in innovative technology solutions that scale for mission-critical applications with high transaction volume in regulated environments, the Capital One VP of Cyber Engineering is part of the Cyber Leadership Team, maintaining the organization’s first line of information security defense. His responsibilities include architecture and engineering functions for all cyber services, application security, infrastructure and cloud security, security information and event management (SIEM), endpoint security, and cryptography. The session focused on cloud computing and the management challenges in transitioning to the digital transformation enabler.

For the same module, Mike Higgins co-taught two sessions with Professor Ryan Wright on Nov. 7. Higgins, a 20-year UVA Visiting Professor veteran, serves as CISO for Haven, the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase healthcare venture. Bringing vision and experiences from working with information security, technology infrastructure engineering, and enterprise platform operations as the former VP and CISO for NBCUniversal Media and CSO for The New York Times, he explained contemporary security issues and handling cyber incidents for sessions on “Lessons from a CISO” and “Incident Response Simulations.”

Agile and Scrum
Arin Sime (Engineering ’97, M.S. in MIT ’10) is the CEO and Founder of multiple organizations, including telehealth platform SimplyDoc, design and development video and communications firm WebRTC.ventures, and IT UX/design software development company AgilityFeat Inc. On Dec. 12, he led Module 2 sessions on project management’s agile methods, including Scrum and Kanban.

Stephen Vanaria (M.S. in MIT ’13), VP of Appian Corporation, taught successful approaches to implementing SAFe (Scaled Agile Frameworks) and agile on Dec. 15. His session discussed the basics of SAFe, its ability to address agile practices at scale, and the challenges of coordinating large agile teams. Vanaria, who has been a Certified SAFe Program Consultant for more than seven years, is responsible for helping Appian’s customers build enterprise software quickly to digitally transform their organizations.

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