Bachelor of Arts

Cyber-Defense & Information Assurance

Prevent. Protect. Respond. Get cutting-edge, real-life experience with TU’s cyber defense program. Students perform security and vulnerability assessments for businesses, participate in hack-a-thons, conduct research and attend professional conferences. With hands-on learning and research opportunities, TU has placed interns at the FBI, NSA, United States Coast Guard Research and Development Center as well as the Center for Cyber Defense and Forensics.

The beauty of the Tiffin University Cyber Defense and Information Assurance major is that it is not narrowly focused. The curriculum addresses the entire range of cyber operations, from analyzing the largest national and international cyber policy issues, to collecting data off the smallest hand-held devices. Through this major, students are exposed to the entire breadth of the field.

The Cyber Defense and Information Assurance major addresses the evolving threats to our economy and society in cyberspace. The curriculum is designed to give students a solid background in technology applications, threat assessment, and mitigation. Using real-world case scenarios and threat actors, the program challenges students to think critically about interconnected systems and vulnerabilities. This diversified program culminates in a senior seminar that includes both Digital Forensics and Cyber Defense and Information Assurance students participating in a red team/blue team scenario, providing both teams the opportunity to manage an intrusion incident from inception to forensic analysis and reporting.

Core Curriculum of the School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences 49 hours

Cyber Defense Core 12 hours

  • CDS152 Introduction to Cyber Defense

  • POL151 Introduction to National Security Studies

  • CDS345 Cyber Law & Ethics 

  • POL313 American National Security Policy


Cyber Defense Major 42 hours

  • CDS345 Cyber Law & Ethics 
  • CIS201 Programming
  • CDS355 Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Analysis
  • CDS344 Information Security
  • CDS348 Incident Management
  • CDS356 Malware Analysis 
  • CDS445 Cyber Warfare
  • CDS491 Senior Seminar In Cyber Defense 
  • CIT155 Operating Systems
  • CIT320 Architecture and Diagnostics
  • CIT361 Network Management and Administration
  • SCS300 Research Design
  • SCS470 Internship

Total BA hours 121-123 hours


This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

On Campus - Offered in a 15-week semester format with start dates of January and August

There are no related concentrations available

Penetration Testing & Vulnerability Analysis (CDS355) - This course will equip students to evaluate a network to discover potential security vulnerabilities and rectify those issues. Students will learn the most common security mistakes as well as the necessary corrective action, and will be able to probe networks to determine if any of those common vulnerabilities can be exploited. The roles, missions, and appropriate applications of Red Teams and Blue Teams will be discussed.

Information Security (CDS344) - This course will introduce information security as an essential component in our war against terrorism. All information must be secure or the probability of winning the war will be diminished. With advances in technology and software, cyber-terrorism has become very real. Computer hackers and terrorists can shut down our nation’s most critical infrastructures. There can be no doubt that cyber-terror can pose a very real threat to this nation’s security. Students will become familiar with the entire arena of information security.

Cyber Warfare (CDS445) - This course explores the past, current, and future threats of information warfare and cyber terrorism. It provides an overview of information warfare and cyber terrorism techniques and capabilities of state and non-state actors through case study analysis. An exploration of current and future technology and development of information warfare and cyber terrorism techniques is utilized to develop future threat matrices and countermeasures.

Incident Management (CDS348) - This course will train students in methods used to work through and recover from a network incident, be it the result of network failure, natural disaster, or cyber-attack. Course material will include the various Mission Assurance Levels used by major portions of the U.S. Government, as well as how to plan, conduct, and gather lessons-learned from war games where Intentional failures have been planned in as part of the exercise. Finally, the role that damage assessment plays in post-incident response/recovery will be emphasized.

  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • Cyber Tech Writer
  • Department of Defense
  • National Security Agency
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Policy Analyst or Technician with Department of Homeland Security
  • US Cyber Command

While it is extremely competitive to obtain such appointments, TU alumni have gone on to careers in these agencies:

  • Department of Homeland Security Agencies
  • Private Enterprise Providing Cyber Services
  • Department of Defense Agencies


Scott Blough
Scott Blough

Scott Blough

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Mount Vernon Nazarene College
  • M.S., Tiffin University

Scott Blough

Professor Scott Blough (CISSP) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Security Studies at Tiffin University, where he specializes in policy development, corrections, international crime, terrorism, and cyber defense. Professor Blough has authored numerous publications on international justice and corrections issues and consults on justice policy, prison and jail design, security, and technology application in justice. His publications include : "Mental Illness and Crime", 21st Century Criminology: A Reference Handbook (2009);"Sheriffs", Encyclopedia of Criminology (2005); and "The Standards and Accreditation Approach to Professionalizing Jails", Key Correctional Issues (2008).

Prior to this appointment, Professor Blough served as the Chief of the Bureau of Adult Detention in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, where he had oversight of over 250 jails throughout Ohio. Professor Blough wrote the Minimum Standards for Jails in Ohio, which are the administrative rules governing jail operations in Ohio. Professor Blough also served as a lieutenant on the Marion (Ohio) Police Department, where he conducted numerous gang, drug, and gambling investigations. He supervised a multi-jurisdictional gambling task force and successfully investigated and prosecuted the two largest embezzlement cases in Marion’s history. He has been a featured lecturer for the National Institute of Corrections; South Carolina Gang Investigators Association; Ohio Community Corrections Association; Southwest Ohio Information Technology Association; National Association of Government Archives and Records Association; Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association; Criminal Justice Facilities Planning and Management Conference; Ohio Jail Administrator’s annual conference; and the National Sheriffs Association.

Professor Blough was also a featured speaker in Romania, where he lectured on developing standards for adult and juvenile incarceration and probation. In addition to the aforementioned presentations, Professor Blough has consulted on numerous physical security projects in large metropolitan areas.

Scott Blough Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Dr. Gordon Crews
Dr. Gordon Crews

Gordon Crews, Ph.D.

Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., University of South Carolina
  • M.C.J., University of South Carolina
  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina

Gordon Crews, Ph.D.

Dr. Gordon A. Crews is Dean and Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology in the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences at Tiffin University. Prior to this position, he was a Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

Dr. Crews began his teaching career in 1990 as department head of the Criminal Justice & Paralegal program at Sumter Area Technical College (SC) at twenty five years old while still in graduate school working towards his Master of Criminal Justice Degree.  He would complete his first seven years of teaching at the community college level by then moving to Midlands Technical College (SC).  Since 1997, Dr. Crews has served as a faculty member and/or academic administrator at the University of South Carolina Beaufort (SC), Valdosta State University (GA), Jacksonville State University (AL), Roger Williams University (RI), Cameron University (OK), and Washburn University (KS).

In addition to over 25 years of post-secondary education experience, Dr. Crews has conducted POST certified training in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama in the areas of proper police practice.  He has also worked with the Turkish National Police and Ghana National Police on community policing initiatives.  Most recently he has begun communication with the Japan National Police Academy on a comparison of approaches to juvenile delinquency and violence by law enforcement in Japan and the United States.

He earned a Ph.D. in Education/Criminal Justice, a Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and Masters of Criminal Justice, from the University of South Carolina (SC).  He served as Executive Counselor for the Juvenile Justice Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and as former President and member of the Board of Directors for the Southern Criminal Justice Association.  In 2008 he was appointed for a three year term as the Executive Director of the Secretariat for this same organization.  In 2010 he had the honor of being appointed the first President of the charter Phi Kappa Phi (ΦКΦ) National Honor Society Chapter, and in 2013 becoming the faculty advisor to his fraternity, Delta Chi (ΔΧ) at Marshall University (WV).

Prior to teaching, Dr. Crews worked in law enforcement (in South Carolina at Richland Country Sheriff’s Department and University of South Carolina Police Department and in Georgia at Floyd Country Sheriff’s Department/Mount Berry College Police Department) as a bloodhound/narcotics k-9 officer & trainer, field-training officer, and criminal investigator (crimes against persons/sexual assault); in corrections as a training and accreditation manager; and in insurance fraud as a private licensed investigator. 

His publications include refereed journal articles and book chapters dealing with juvenile and school violence, Occult/Satanic involvement and youth, and various law enforcement and correctional issues. His books include Faces of Violence in America (Simon & Schuster, 1996); The Evolution of School Disturbance in America: Colonial Times to Modern Day (Praeger, 1997); A History of Correctional Violence: An Examination of Reported Causes of Riots and Disturbances (American Correctional Association, 1998); Chasing Shadows: Confronting Juvenile Violence in America (Prentice Hall, 2001); Living in Prison:  A History of the Correctional System with an Insider’s View (Greenwood Publishers, 2004); and, his most recent book is entitled, In the Margins:  Special Populations and American Justice  (Prentice Hall, 2008).  Dr. Crews currently has three new books being published: Critical Examinations of School Violence and Disturbance in K-12 Education (IGI Global, 2015), School Killers Speak:  A Comprehensive Examination of Perpetrators, Events, and Characteristics of School Violence in America (Carolina Academic Press, 2015), and, Policing America:  An Introduction to Law enforcement (Cognella, 2016).

Dr. Crews has myriad current research interests/efforts in the areas of violence and resulting societal reactions.  A primary project as of 2013 is the interviewing and surveying of 78 incarcerated school violence (K-12) offenders across the United States.  A secondary effort is in working on a new book with a convicted murderer on death row in South Carolina dealing with the realities of living in prison and being incarcerated in the United States.  A third, and ongoing, focus is on an international comparison of police and societal response to individuals involved in alternative belief practices (e.g., Satanism, Wicca, Goth, etc.).   Through these efforts, he currently has two manuscripts under development: Juvenile Delinquency and Violence:  Examining International Police and Societal Response (CRC Press) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Living and Dying in Prison (Alpha Books).

He is former President of the Themis Center for Policy, Practice, & Research (WV) and is currently President and owner of The Veritas Group, LLC, a consulting firm based out of Huntington, WV.  Since 2000, he has conducted extensive field research in these areas across the United States, United Kingdom, Middle East, Netherlands, Central Europe, Scandinavia, Turkey, Ghana, Central and Eastern Europe (Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungry, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Serbia, and Croatia).  His most recent research was conducted in Brazil (2010), Japan (2011), and in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland (2012).

Perhaps his most relevant experience which speaks to his ability as an effective expert witness in policing and correctional matters is his role as a lead police/correctional expert in a grant-funded review of police and correctional training curricula (state, county, and municipal) from more than 60 academies across the United States.  This 3 year project involved evaluating all academy curricula and noting what courses were offered, their length and content, and other characteristics of the curricula, instructors, and academies. This work resulted in a complex statistical evaluation and recommendations to improve curricula and make training more effective. The results of this work have been presented at various regional and national conferences and are being developed into manuscripts for publication review in respected criminal justice journals.

Dr. Crews has also appeared as a consultant on national and international programming such as CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360◦, The Abrams Report, Nancy Grace, Gloria Van Susteren, African National Television, and Due Diligence on Voice of Russia Radio Network.

Gordon Crews, Ph.D. Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology
Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Chair for Undergraduate Off-Campus Seated & Online Criminal Justice Programs

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Myers University, Criminal Justice
  • M.S., Tiffin University, Criminal Justice Administration
  • Ph.D., Walden University, Policy and Public Administration (ABD)

Michael Lewis, Ph.D.

Michael R. Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Prior to this appointment, Lewis retired as a police officer in Northeast Ohio where he served in various positions including the detective bureau, patrol division, swat unit, and hostage negotiations unit. Throughout his career as a distinguished lawman, Lewis received extensive administrative and tactical leadership training through the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy, Metro Dade Swat Unit, Def-Tech, Secret Service, and the FBI. He also has an extensive working background in grant writing, policy, and procedural development. As a former Swat Commander he wrote policy and has evaluated international tactical commands. Lewis is a certified Hostage Negotiator and has experience in peacefully resolving many critical incidents.

Additionally, Professor Lewis has taught and lectured extensively at various police academies and specializes in civil disturbances and riot control techniques. He maintains certifications and professional affiliations in the law enforcement community. Lewis proudly served as a Gunner's Mate in the United States Navy.

Professor Lewis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Management, and is completing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in Homeland Security.

He has always valued the importance of formal education and has committed himself to a life of learning, growth, and public service. Additionally, Lewis was selected and successfully completed The Harvard University Kennedy School of Executive Leadership Program. He also attended the specialization program of Crisis Leadership at Harvard.

Lewis is a Certified Anti-Terrorism Specialist through the Anti- Terrorism Accreditation Board and provides consulting services to the Department of Homeland Security. He also completed the Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Program at St. Petersburg College in Florida.

He has lectured nationally about current homeland security issues and has appeared on IGTV in New York City, Blog Talk Radio, and National Public Radio Shows as a guest speaker and contributor.

Michael Lewis, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Jeffry Stockner
Jeffry Stockner

Jeffry Stockner, J.D.

Professor of Business Law & Criminal Justice

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., Bowling Green State University
  • J.D., Ohio Northern University

Jeffry Stockner, J.D.

Professor Stockner has maintained a private law practice since his graduation from law school in 1985. He has been a criminal defense attorney, municipal prosecutor, and most recently Chief Civil Prosecutor, for the Seneca County Prosecutor's Office. He held this position for over 19 years, representing county officials and employees (including the Sheriff and Seneca County Jail) in their elected and administrative capacities. Included in his responsibilities as Chief Civil Prosecutor, Dr. Stockner issued formal opinions regarding ethical issues and administrative law.

An acknowledged book reviewer for a nationally published law text, Professor Stockner has been selected by the Ohio Supremes Court Board of Bar Examiners as one of 25 professors, attorneys, prosecutors, and judges to review Ohio's Bar Exam testing methods. His undergraduate degree is in education.

He was selected Faculty Member of the Year at TU in 1998-1999, and again in 2002-2003, in addition to being recognized in Ohio Magazine in 2003 as being one of the 100 best educators in Ohio. Most recently, Professor Stockner served as President of the Ohio Council of Criminal Justice Education. He has presented several papers nationally, including at the American Criminal Justice Society and American Society of Criminology annual conferences.

Jeffry Stockner, J.D. Professor of Business Law & Criminal Justice
Kevin Cashen
Kevin Cashen

Kevin Cashen

Dean School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences / Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice and Security Studies

Faculty Athletic Representative

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., The Ohio State University
  • M.C.J., The University of Alabama
  • M.A., The Naval Postgraduate School

Kevin Cashen

Assistant Professor Kevin Cashen teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in criminal justice and homeland security and is the Dean of the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences. Mr. Cashen has actively been involved in on-line learning. Mr. Cashen earned a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University, a Master of Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense) through the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Assistant Professor Cashen started his career in criminal justice as a correctional worker with the Lucas County Department of Work Release in 1983 and retired in August 2009 as the Chief of Police with the Norwalk Police Department. Mr. Cashen held various positions within the Norwalk Police Department to include patrol officer, detective, sergeant, captain, executive officer and chief. Assistant Professor Cashen attended the FBI National Academy and is a Certified Law Enforcement Executive through the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Assistant Professor Cashen is a member of various local and state boards and committees.

Kevin Cashen Dean School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences / Assistant Professor, Criminal J...
Dr. Lacy Ellis
Dr. Lacy Ellis

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor & Chair for Criminal Justice Graduate Programs / Internship Coordinator

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.C.J., Tiffin University
  • M.S., Tiffin University
  • Ph.D. Walden University

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.

Dr. Lacy Ellis is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Department Chair Criminal Justice and Security Studies in the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Tiffin University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University focusing her studies on women in law enforcement.  Dr. Ellis comes to Tiffin University with previous teaching experience in both online, hybrid, and traditional seated classes.

Before pursuing academics, Dr. Ellis received her OPOTA Certification and served in a variety of positions within the criminal justice community. She started her career as an undercover narcotics agent working cases from street level to deep cover operations.  She served as an intelligence specialist, training at the DEA Academy in Quantico, Virginia, receiving the Federal Law Enforcement Analytical Training Certification. She also has experience in death investigation working as an investigator for Wayne County Coroner's Office. Dr. Ellis currently holds her commission with a local police department and works as a patrolman from time to time.  She is an ALICE Certified Instructor and conducts trainings for Active Shooter Response.

Dr. Ellis is a member of the American Society for Public Administration. Her research interests include the psychological effects of law enforcement, gender studies in law enforcement, motherhood and policy, active shooter response, and physical fitness.  She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband Charles, also in law enforcement, and their three children, Hunter, Olivia and Rayne.

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D. Assistant Professor & Chair for Criminal Justice Graduate Programs / Internship C...
Charles White
Charles White

Charles (Mike) White, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Criminal Justice

ATIC & OPOTA Coordinator

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., Cleveland State University
  • M.S., University of Cincinnati
  • Ph.D., Capella University

Charles (Mike) White, Ph.D.

Dr. Charles “Mike” White currently works as an associate professor at Tiffin University. He is a certified polygraph examiner with specialties not only in polygraph examination but also in training and advising local and international police officers. Dr. White developed the search and seizure training for United Nations officers in Liberia West Africa and assisted in the development of curriculum at the Baghdad Police College in Iraq. He is a former detective as the Norwalk Ohio police department and served 8 years as the chief of the Monroeville Ohio police department. Dr. White was also served as the in country program director for American Rule of Law team in Liberia West Africa.

White has published articles on cost-benefit analysis and police ethics. He also in an interested in the effect of education on policing as well as interviewing and interrogation, having completed studies in both areas. He received his bachelor’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University and his master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. White received his PhD from Capella University.

Charles (Mike) White, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Criminal Justice
Pete Piraino
Pete Piraino

Pete Piraino

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies

Chair for Main Campus Undergraduate Criminal Justice Programs

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., Western Illinois University
  • M.A., Governors State University

Pete Piraino

Pete Piraino joined Tiffin University as a full-time Instructor in January, 2012. Professor Piraino teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in criminal justice and homeland security. Prior to becoming a full-time faculty member, he served at Tiffin as an adjunct instructor for three years.

Professor Piraino recently retired from the United States Secret Service, as Resident Agent in Charge of its Toledo Resident Office, overseeing Secret Service operations for the 21 counties of Northwest Ohio. Throughout his 23-year career with the Secret Service, he served in a variety of protective and investigative assignments that have taken him to over 40 countries on six continents.

Some of his managerial assignments in the Secret Service included positions in the Vice Presidential Protective Division in Washington, D.C. under then Vice President Cheney, as Protective Detail Leader for Mary Cheney, the daughter of the Vice President, and in the Intelligence Division. Professor Piraino also served in the Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division under Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Prior to his 12-year assignment in Washington, D.C., Professor Piraino served as Special Agent in the Chicago Field Office of the Secret Service investigating a variety of federal criminal violations including counterfeit currency, financial fraud, and threats against Secret Service protected persons. While assigned to the Chicago Field Office, he served as a supervisor on a year-long multi-agency undercover task force investigating USDA food stamp fraud throughout the Chicago area.

Prior to joining the Secret Service, Professor Piraino was a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) investigating arson for profit and federal firearms violations. Prior to that, he was a police officer in suburban Chicago for eight years.

Professor Piraino received a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Governors State University, University Park, Illinois. Professor Piraino is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University. He is the recipient of numerous awards and citations throughout his 33 years as a sworn law enforcement officer.

Pete Piraino Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies


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