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USM School of Computing Sciences and Engineering Welcomes New Visiting Faculty

Wed, 09/07/2022 - 12:55pm | By: Ivonne Kawas

The School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering (CSCE) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will feature several new visiting faculty members this fall 2022 semester.

CSCE Director Dr. Sarah Lee notes that the new cohort of faculty will help further the school’s mission as a leader in computing and cybersecurity education and training.

“I am excited to welcome these amazing faculty to the Golden Eagle family. These engaged teachers and scholars bring new energy, ideas, and perspectives to our students,” said Dr. Lee. “With enrollment increasing in our School, they will help us continue to maintain a supportive and inclusive learning environment that enriches the lives of our undergraduate and graduate learners.”

New visiting faculty in CSCE include:

Dr. Aleise H. McGowan Dr. Aleise H. McGowan | ​​Cybersecurity/Information Technology

Dr. McGowan grew up in Mississippi and is active as an advocate for equitable access to educational opportunities for all persons. She joins the faculty with a passion to promote inclusivity to broaden participation in cybersecurity.

Dr. McGowan has a Ph.D. in computing from the University of South Alabama and over two decades of information technology work experience. Her research includes information security, data mining, machine learning, consumer engagement, and persuasive technology.

She is active in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Assistant Chief Learning Officer for Black Girls Hack, co-founder of Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) Northern Alabama Affiliate, and the treasurer of WiCyS Global’s Neurodiversity Affiliate. At USM, she will serve as faculty advisor for the student chapter of Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS), work with the Mississippi Alliance of the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s Aspirations in Computing program and will serve as a research mentor to students in the Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation (LSMAMP).

“Creating an inclusive learning environment is important to me because ensuring that everyone feels valued and accepted is critical to creating a positive learning environment,” said Dr. McGowan. “In fact, inclusion is one of the key ingredients to establishing an environment that is highly engaged, productive, creative, and innovative.”

Dr. Jose Martinez CruzDr. Jose Martinez Cruz  | Information Technology 

Dr. Martinez earned his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. His areas of expertise are deep reinforcement learning and information systems design. He has worked in the development of projects involving web services and server resource allocation.

He is looking forward to contributing to the work of the School to prepare students to excel in their professional careers in the field of computing.

Dr. Mercy “Dara” Jaiyeola-Ajayi  Dr. Mercy “Dara” Jaiyeola-Ajayi  | Computer Science

Dr. Jaiyeola-Ajayi earned her Ph.D. in computer science at Mississippi State University. Her research interests are within the broad field of Computer Science Education with a focus on broadening participation, studying the computing educational pathways and their effects on employment outcomes, and curriculum design, development, and assessment.

Dr. Jaiyeola-Ajayi strives to contribute to student learning and skill development so that CSCE students are adequately prepared for success in the workforce. She is very passionate about seeing more women and historically underrepresented minorities participate in the computing workforce. She works to maintain an inclusive learning environment in her classrooms to help all students reach their potential.

Ms. Ujunwa Florence Mbachu Ms. Ujunwa Florence Mbachu | Information Technology

Ms. Mbachu is pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science at USM. Her research focuses on cryptography, data security, and privacy in cloud computing to improve e-health.

She had degrees in computer science and information technology from Olabisi Onabanjo University and the National Open University of Nigeria. Ms. Mbachu is a dedicated, result-oriented, and experienced certified IT project manager (PMP-PMI), adroit business analyst, seasoned research analyst, and service delivery manager with over 13 years of experience in the banking and information technology industries.

She chose academia because she values mentoring younger scholars, including sharing industry-related ideas and imparting knowledge, and she aspires to mentor 1000 scholars in tech by 2030. Ms. Mbachu takes great pride in contributing to a successful and productive team and exhibits great leadership skills in a highly competitive environment.

She loves playing games, teaching, conducting research, and meeting people. She is a member of Women in Management and Business Nigeria (WIMBIZ), WiCyS, and a member of the LSMAMP Bridge Program at USM.

“We grow by investing in others and there is nothing more rewarding than empowering humans,” is her favorite quote.

Learn more about the School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering.