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Information and Infrastructure Assurance Staff

Chief IT Security Officer

Paul Howell (CISM, CISSP) is the university chief security officer at the University of Michigan and directs the Information and Infrastructure Assurance (IIA) department in ITS.

IT Security Staff

Sol Bermann (CIPP) is the manager for the university's efforts related to privacy, IT policy development, and business continuity. Sol received his B.A. from Beloit College, an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, and his J.D. from Ohio State University. Prior to joining U-M in 2011, he was Director of Global Privacy for Walmart. In that role he provided subject matter expertise on privacy and data protection laws, regulations, and best practices; assisted in developing awareness and training initiatives; and worked collaboratively across the Walmart enterprise on matters related to: uses of data, global data-flows, information security, emerging technology trends, and fraud and identity theft issues. Before joining Walmart, Sol was the Chief Privacy Officer for the State of Ohio.

Chris Brenner is a data security analyst. He began working for the university in 1994 in what was then called ITD Contract Services. He spent 16 years in LSA Information Technology in system administrator positions, ultimately managing IT Security and Software Licensing teams for LSA. Chris also functioned as the college's security coordinator and security unit liaison. He is a U-M alumnus and holds a bachelor's degree from LSA. His primary responsibilities include working on the IIA (Computer Systems) Hardening project and providing Managed Security Services to the College of Engineering.

Kelly Burns (CISSP) is a data security analyst. Kelly has been working for the University of Michigan since 2000. Before joining IIA, she worked for University Housing as a senior system administrator and was Housing's security coordinator. Kelly graduated from Indiana University, majoring in Spanish and telecommunications. She also has a master's degree in computer science from the University of Michigan.

Jeff Castle (PMP) is the Project Manager and Portfolio Resource Manager for IIA. Jeff holds a B.S. degree in Technology Management from Eastern Michigan University. Jeff’s IT career started in the U.S. Army where he specialized in the physical installation of local area networks and Windows NT systems. Jeff joined the University of Michigan in 1996. He spent 12 years working in the College of LSA as a Systems Project Coordinator and Desktop Support Manager in the departments of Physics and Psychology respectively. After leaving the College of LSA, Jeff worked in Michigan Administrative Information Systems (MAIS) and Information Technology Services (ITS) as a Business Systems Analyst. In 2011, Jeff moved to IIA in the position he currently holds.

Kevin Cheek (CISSP) is the university's IT Security Incident Response Coordinator. He joined IIA in 2008 as a university security analyst working in IIA's Managed Security Services. Kevin has been working for the University of Michigan since 1994. He spent 10 years with the Division of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, performing computer support and systems administration, and five years at the School of Public Health as a systems administrator and security administrator.

Doug Cox (GSEC, CPTE, PCI-ISA) is a data security analyst specializing in Linux and network security working in IIA's Managed Security Services. Doug earned BS and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan. He has been working for the university since 1992 in various IT positions in Internal Medicine, Physics, and Chemistry.

Drew Dixon (GSEC, GCIH, GCFW) is a data security analyst. Drew joined the University of Michigan in 2013. He is currently focused on providing IIA Managed Security Services for various U-M campus units. Prior to joining IIA, Drew worked for Consumers Energy on the Cyber Security operations team, with responsibilities deploying, monitoring, and managing a broad range of information security technologies and network security appliances. Drew received his B.S. from Central Michigan University, majoring in information technology with a minor in management information systems. Drew holds several Global Information Assurance Certifications (GIAC).

Ross Geerlings (CISSP, Certified Ethical Hacker) is a senior data security analyst specializing in ethical hacking, data loss prevention, and vulnerability scanning. Prior to joining U-M in 2007, Ross worked as a systems administrator and network administrator. He received his B.S. in computer science from Michigan State University in 2001

Rick Getchell is a senior university security analyst on the technical services team. He is currently leading network attack recognition for the university. Since joining IIA in 2006, Rick has also been responsible for the university-wide vulnerability scanning efforts. He led the development of what is now IIA Managed Security Services from its inception to becoming a production offering. Prior to joining the team, Rick was security/network administrator and director of desktop support at the U-M School of Dentistry, where he began at U-M in 1998. Rick received his B.A. degree from Cornerstone University in 1991.

Ryan Gray is a network security analyst, specializing in Check Point. Prior to joining U-M in 2009, Ryan worked as a firewall support technician and deployment engineer for Chrysler and Internet Security Systems (now IBM MSS).

Chad Hrivnyak (CISSP) is a data security analyst intermediate. His current focus is campus firewalling and unit security work. Previously, Chad worked as the network security architect at The University of Toledo for 10 years. Before that he was a Checkpoint engineer at Netrex/ISS in Southfield, Michigan. He graduated from The University of Toledo with a major in psychology and a minor in astrophysics. In his spare time he enjoys extreme freestyle walking, symmetrical book stacking, and appearing in the background of live TV broadcasts.

Alan Levy is the IT Policy and Compliance Lead responsible for campus and ITS policy development. Alan has worked for U-M campus IT organizations since 2007, first as director of communications for Information Technology Central Services and then with ITS Communications. He worked for U-M University Housing for more than 25 years prior to the IT positions, serving as the director of public affairs and information for more than 15 years. Alan received his B.A. from Middlebury College and did additional graduate work in political science and international relations at U-M.

Mike Lowry (CISM, CRISC) is the Information Systems Security Manager. He also serves as the service owner and manager for the information assurance services. Mike received his Master of Arts in Computer Resource and Information Management at Webster University. Before that, he received his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering at the United States Air Force Academy. He joined University of Michigan and IIA in 2014 after working for the University of Toledo for the previous 7 years where he was the Information Security Manager and Information Security Officer. Prior to that, Mike held a variety of leadership positions in the Air Force.

Dennis Neil is a CISSP and a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). He is a senior security analyst specializing in incident response, intrusion detection, network and application security. Dennis was a founding member of the security team supporting administrative services and was instrumental in the initial rollout of the Virtual Firewall on campus. Dennis started in IT while serving in the U.S. Navy, where he received three meritorious advancements and went on as a civilian to support Naval Sea Systems Command in Arlington, Virginia, as well as to serve as the lead network engineer for Virginia's second largest public school system. Before discovering an interest in IT security, Dennis worked as an apprentice private investigator, was an aspiring novelist, and performed stand-up comedy.

Jim Neuvirth is the Enterprise Continuity Lead for the university. Jim has a B.S. degree in Computer Systems, an A.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and is certified in ITIL Foundations Management. Jim served as Security Administrator for a global retail manufacturer and as IT Project Manager, Disaster Recovery Coordinator, and IT Auditor for a Michigan-based bank. Jim's healthcare background includes roles as Technical and Network Services Manager for Cerner Corp. and CSC Healthcare.

Will Rhee is a university security analyst with the university's User Advocate team, which handles IT abuse complaints. Will earned bachelor's degrees in anthropology and political science from the University of Michigan in 1988 and has been a staff member since 1995. Prior to working with the UA, Will was a computer systems consultant and data jockey for the Information Technology Division.

Jeff Tomaszewski (CISSP) is the Risk Management Lead within IIA. Jeff earned a B.S. degree in computer information systems from Saginaw Valley State University and a master's in liberal studies from Eastern Michigan University in information security. Jeff served for many years in the IIA Managed Security Services group. Prior to this role, Jeff was on staff at the U-M ITCS Network Operations Center and later at Merit Network, Inc., where he served in many capacities. Jeff holds certifications from GIAC in Forensics and Intrusion Prevention Systems.

Kim Wheeler is the IIA office senior administrative assistant. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University. Kim joined U-M in 1994 and has worked in MAIS User Services, where she was a computer system consultant at the MAIS Help Desk, and in User Services administration.