Jon Pankhurst
  • Information Security & Risk Management
  • Class of 2015
  • Joliet, IL

Jon Pankhurst of Joliet finishes in Elite Eight of national cyber security contest

2015 Apr 8

Lewis University undergraduate student Jon Pankhurst of Joliet recently finished in the Top Eight in the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge held in Washington D.C.

"Only eight out of 22 teams qualified for the next round, and we were among top tier schools like NYU, Columbia, Harvard, Georgetown, CMU etc.," said Dr. Faisal Abdullah, professor of management information systems.

The students were given a cyber-attack scenario and had to present policy alternatives to a group of judges. After an intense question-answer round, the students qualified for the semifinals.

Students for the Lewis University team were selected from the undergraduate Computer Information Systems and Information Security programs. The students who competed include:

  • Jon Pankhurst, B.S. Information Security student from Joliet
  • Paul Derdzinski, B.S. in Information Security student from Romeoville
  • Bryan Cameron, double major in the B.S. in Information Security and B.S. Computer Information Systems program from Bolingbrook
  • Jake Dopler, double major in the B.S. in Finance and the B.S. in Information Security programs from East Moline

The Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge is the only student competition devoted to high-level policy recommendations for day-after responses to a major cyber incident. Organized by the Atlantic Council and hosted by American University, the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge engages students with a small group of experts representing various sectors including government, finance, telecom and the press. The competition promotes awareness of cyber security policy issues while providing students and experts an opportunity to network with cyber security experts and develop new ideas on the future of cyber security policy.

The College of Business offers a bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems and a bachelor's degree in Information Security and Risk Management. Courses in the Computer Information Systems and Information Security majors are hands-on and focus on providing skills that are in high demand. Students have the option to complete their coursework, assignments and projects online using the redesigned VMware CloudLab. Scholarships, internships, job opportunities, alumni news and news articles are posted regularly on MIS Department's Facebook page.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,700 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit for further information.