Shannon McMurtrey, Ph.D.
B.S., Missouri State University, 1992
M.B.A., Missouri State University, 1996
Ph.D. Nova Southeastern University, 2010
Drury University faculty member since 2016
Assistant Professor since 2016
Please tell us a brief bio of your career – how long have you taught at Drury, what courses do you typically teach, what are your research interests, what is your educational background, etc.
I am brand new to the Drury family starting this Fall after spending fifteen years at Missouri State University. While at Missouri State I created their Cybersecurity graduate programs and taught courses in software development and Cybersecurity. Prior to Missouri State University I co-founded a software company that created one of the first commercial e-commerce platforms (which is still in use today) providing me with my initial education in the field of Cybersecurity.
My research interests are in the areas of Cybersecurity and artificial intelligence; neural networks in particular. My PhD dissertation involved taking a serial neural network training and optimization algorithm, and converting it to a parallel algorithm enabling the analysis of larger datasets in shorter amounts of time.
How does the Breech School of Business prepare students for their professional career? If new, what should students know when preparing for their professional career?
One of the things that really attracted me to Drury, and the Breech School of Business, is their commitment to identifying innovative offerings that respond to the demands of the 21st century (as reflected by strategic imperative number 1 of the current strategic plan). This has most recently been manifested in the creation of our new Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate. This Certificate will give graduate students, who may not think of themselves as being particularly technical, the ability to learn the important concepts and principals within the field of Cybersecurity, that will enable them to be leaders within their organizations in this important area. Companies are recognizing a severe lack of skilled professionals in the area of Cybersecurity. It is very exciting that we are able to begin working to address this need through this new certificate program.
What sets Breech apart from other business schools?
Speaking specifically about our new Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate, it is the focus on leadership. Other programs may teach the fundamentals; but we are able to focus on helping students to develop their leadership potential throughout the program while learning about the important concepts, principles, legal frameworks, etc. that are pertinent to the field of Cybersecurity. Our focuses on teaching and student interactions are really what set us apart.
Do you have any favorite memories inside the Breech building?
I am really looking forward to getting to know the students and my new colleagues here at Drury. I really enjoyed the interview process and have appreciated how welcoming everyone has been. I think that Dr. Cloyd is going to be a fantastic president and that this is a very exciting time to be joining the Drury family.
What advice would you offer to a new student beginning their course of study in the Breech School of Business?
My advice would be to spend time getting to know your fellow classmates and professors and investigate student organizations that look interesting to you. Look for opportunities to serve and to be involved in your campus and your community. I have found that it is in the service to others that we are most able to connect and feel a part of a community. This is a special time of your life that will go far too quick.