Harwell leveraged undergraduate and graduate Grantham education to help pioneer USAF cyber simulations

Stephanie Harwell

Stephanie Harwell has been named Grantham University’s 2016 Outstanding DEAC Graduate.

LENEXA, Kan. – July 19, 2016 – Stephanie Harwell, a 24-year U.S. Air Force (USAF) veteran and a pioneer in its cyber simulations, has been named Grantham University’s 2016 Outstanding Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) Graduate. For the 33rd consecutive year, DEAC is using this award to recognize the significant accomplishments of graduates who earned their degrees through distance education.

Harwell earned her bachelor’s degree in information systems and a master’s degree in information technology from Grantham University. Harwell retired from the Air Force in 2004 as Chief Master Sergeant and as a pioneer in the concept of cyber simulators for the USAF’s Cyber Operations Crew Force immersive training and exercising.

In the private sector, Harwell has risen through the executive ranks as an expert in cyber ranges and live-virtual-constructive (LVC) cyber environments – now serving as Chief Operations Officer of Metova CyberCENTS (Metova Federal, LLC). In this role, she is responsible for the development, integration, sustainment and maintenance of Metova’s Cyberoperations Enhanced Network and Training Simulators (CENTS®).

Throughout her education, Harwell juggled studies, a hectic military and family life, health challenges and a demanding job. She attended school while both she and her husband were on active-duty military service.

“The staff at Grantham was very in-tune with the demands of today’s military and work force,” said Harwell. “They worked professionally with me to help ensure I was successful in completing my courses and graduating.”

She specifically credited Grantham’s network engineering courses for helping her to infuse new technology requirements into the USAF’s technical school curriculum and job qualification requirements. Harwell also noted that her Grantham curriculum helped her improve processes to lower costs for software development, integration and deployment of live-virtual-constructive (LVC) cyber simulations. She uses these skills to help her company deliver cybersecurity solutions to private and government entities.

Cheryl Hayek, Ed.D, interim university president and provost said, “We are extremely proud of Ms. Harwell’s DEAC recognition and significant accomplishments. She exemplifies the success that can come from hard work and dedication toward your education, family, career and service to our country. We wish her continued success with future professional and educational endeavors.”

Harwell will be recognized at the 2016 Grantham University commencement ceremony on August 6, in Kansas City, Mo. – when more than 1,500 graduates and guests from around the world will gather at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for the online university’s annual commencement event.

To view all of the DEAC 2016 Outstanding Graduates visit: http://www.deac.org/Media-and-Events/2016-Outstanding-Graduate-Grantham-University.aspx.

About Grantham University: 2016 marks Grantham University’s 65th birthday. Established in 1951, today the University offers more than 45 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. With a mission to provide quality, accessible, affordable, professionally relevant programs in a continuously changing global society, Grantham’s courses are 100 percent online, allowing students to study at home, at work, on Temporary Duty or from almost anywhere in the world. Continuously accredited since 1961 by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), Grantham University has earned a distinguished record as a respected and accredited distance learning university spanning more than six decades of service.