Panel Discussion Tomorrow: Developing the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals

The College of Computing is hosting a panel discussion on Friday, October 14, titled “Developing the Next Round of Cybersecurity Professionals.”

This virtual event will take place via Zoom from 12:45–1:45 p.m. The panel will include Nikki Robinson, a security architect at IBM; Lawrence Belton, director of cybersecurity engineering at Ally; and Dean Cantave, manager of system engineering at University of Chicago Medicine. The panel will be moderated by Ray Trygstad, industry professor of information technology and management and associate chair of the Department of Information Technology and Management.


Developing the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals

12:45 – Speaker Series Commences

Introduction of Panel Member by the Moderator (Professor Ray Trygstad)

12:55 – The Moderator will present a series of questions to the panelists

13:30 – Commencement Questions and Answers from attendees

13:45 – Thank the Panelists for participating and conclude the Speaker Series Event

Potential Questions for Panelists:

  • What is your take on the current cybersecurity job market?
  • How can the Illinois Institute of Technology better prepare our students to join the cybersecurity and technology workforce?
  • What does your organization look for in college students seeking employment?
  • What is your perspective on degrees and certifications in obtaining employment in cybersecurity?
  • Beyond degrees and certifications, what other skills are essential for obtaining a career in technology and cybersecurity?
  • What advice would you offer to students and young professionals who want to work in cybersecurity?
  • Is there any parting wisdom you would like to provide to the audience?

Speaker and Moderator Bios

Nikki Robinson, Ph.D., D.Sc. is a security architect at IBM

As an experienced security architect with a demonstrated history of working in the IT and cyber fields, Robinson is skilled in statistical data analyst, Windows server, team leader, penetration tester, and risk manager. She is a strong IT professional with a Doctorate of Science focused in cybersecurity from Capitol Technology University. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Human Factors to help bridge the gaps between users, technology, and security.

Robinson has served as president of the Board of Directors for InfraGard Maryland Chapter, and provided support for InfraGard National level on the Journal Review Committee.


Lawrence Belton is the director, cybersecurity engineering at Ally.

He has more than 17 years’ experience in leadership roles managing and motivating people; leading cross functional and diverse teams, executing strategic planning initiatives, program control and project management, and providing operational support aligned with business imperatives. Belton is well versed in information technology (IT), strategy and business alignment, software development life cycle (SDLC), application lifecycle management (ALM), infrastructure management, information and cybersecurity, and process modeling and engineering and adoption. He has a proven ability to assemble, grow and lead high-performing teams of creative professionals to achieve focused results and deliver innovative solutions. Belton is a strong relationship builder with love for people, their development, and their success.
Dean Cantave is the Manager of System Engineering at the University of Chicago Medicine

Whether running a nonprofit or working around the world with the military, Cantave’s career has been hallmarked by a commitment to hard work and people-centric leadership. As stated in his book, Climbing the Corporate Ladder, he takes ownership of his work by continually looking for new opportunities within each role and expanding his skills to benefit the company and his team members. This constant assessment of his work’s value creates tangible positive results and innovative solutions to any problem faced.

Cantave has led teams in the development and implementation of large-scale IT projects for more than 20 years. No matter the project, he strives to create empowered team cultures through personal mentoring and individual professional development. His team leadership experience and in-depth knowledge of IT systems enables him to manage projects from start-to-finish with a high degree of accuracy and timeliness. By leveraging these skills, he builds strategies and structures that provide exceptional experiences for clients and employees.


Ray Trygstad is the associate chair and industry professor of information technology and management at Illinois Institute of Technology

Trygstad has broad experience and education in the management/administration of information systems, information security, computers, the Internet, and higher education. As a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology, he teaches cybersecurity management, legal and ethical issues in information technology, systems integration, disaster recovery and business continuity, open source operating systems, digital multimedia, and management. He serves as the associate chair of Illinois Tech’s Department of Information Technology & Management (ITM), and wrote the curricula currently in use for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs in information technology and cybersecurity offered by the department. Trygstad is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, and was designated a Computer Systems Management Subspecialist by the U. S. Navy, where he served as an information systems manager and information systems security officer when he was not flying helicopters.