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New Program Manager Hopes to Make a Degree in Cyber More Accessible

by Tim Brunicardi on September 24, 2019

Mark Riley | New Program Manager Hopes to Make a Degree in Cyber More AccessibleMark D. Riley is Hocking College’s new Cyber Security Program Manager.

Riley was born at Clark Air Base in The Philippines and raised in Athens, Ohio. A graduate of Alexander High School, Riley went on to earn both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Ohio University.

Riley describes himself as an “IT Professional and Educator” who has more than 10 years of experience in the computer science field doing computer programming, web design, IT project management, IT repair and technology consulting.

Prior to coming to Hocking College, Riley worked for the College of Health Sciences and Professions at Ohio University.

As an educator Riley taught freshman level courses at OU designed to help incoming students transition from high school to college. He also mentored first-generation college students.

Cyber Security Degree Program | Students Getting Hands on Experience | New Program Manager Hopes to Make a Degree in Cyber More AccessibleRiley has been an Adjunct Instructor at Hocking College since 2016. He describes his teaching style as “active.” The non-traditional techniques he uses in his classroom are designed to engage students.

As opposed to merely requiring them to pay attention, take notes and memorize course materials, his classes will encourage students to interact and collaborate with one another on group projects and presentations.  

Riley also plans to stress the importance of soft skills in his classes. Foremost, he wants his students to be able to communicate effectively and articulate their ideas in a manner that’s clear, precise, and empowering. 

Another asset Riley brings to Hocking is that he himself is a first-generation college student. He feels that this helps him understand the financial and job search-related struggles many first-generation students face. For this reason, Riley intends to gear his program towards giving students the best value for their money. His goal is to make sure his students are job-ready before they graduate and enter the job market.

Cyber Security Degree Program | Students Getting Hands on Experience | New Program Manager Hopes to Make a Degree in Cyber More Accessible

Structure-wise, Riley’s program begins by breaking down computer science to the very basics. Then students will gradually move into subjects that range from how to analyze problems, to how to configure and install a firewall. Riley hopes this will make his classes all-inclusive and able to accommodate everyone from seasoned IT enthusiasts to complete computer novices.

Riley’s plans for Hocking’s Cyber Security and Network Systems program include seeing this program grow, giving students additional certificate options, and helping them find and secure internships.

Outside of his classroom, Riley appreciates gardening, making his own salsa and is presently looking forward to the birth of his first child.

If you or someone you know might be interested in the Cyber Security program, you can contact Mark D. Riley by email at rileym24177@hocking.edu.

cyber security degree