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From left-right: RDML Diane Webber, LCDR Brian Evans, CDR James Adkisson, Rick Lanchantin, and Tokunbo Davies

January 2013

Carnegie Mellon’s First Class in Master of Information Technology Strategy (MITS) Graduates

Program Trains Students To Handle Military’s Top Cyber Security and Information Technology Needs

Five students have become the first to earn their degrees from a unique Carnegie Mellon University graduate program designed to train students to manage the military’s top cyber security and information technology needs.

The Master of Information Technology Strategy (MITS) was created after then-Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead visited CMU in 2009. Roughead saw potential in Carnegie Mellon’s interdisciplinary approach to education and technology and thought it could bring value to the Navy.

The program, established in 2011, draws on expertise from Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering (CIT), School of Computer Science and Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and focuses on big data and analytics, decision and science policy, information security, software engineering and systems engineering and networking.

“This program is unique because it takes a person experienced with technology and ties it in with a strategic perspective,” said Rear Admiral Diane E. H. Webber, who worked with the deans of CIT, SCS and the Dietrich College to start MITS. “Within the Navy, we have the technology and this course provides expertise in how to use it with a strategic purpose. Carnegie Mellon’s MITS puts it all together and gives students practical experience during the program. It goes beyond book knowledge and teaches them how to apply it. It’s pretty awesome.”

This month’s inaugural MITS degree graduates will return to the Navy armed with what they have learned.

“One difference between MITS students and others is that they enter the program with a clear understanding of the military environment,” said David Garlan, professor of computer science and director of software engineering professional programs. “There is not another program in the world that brings together these topics in one degree.”

John Miller, head of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences within the Dietrich College, thinks SDS is a natural fit for MITS. “Our world class expertise in decision making and policy, technological innovation and economic and political strategy enhance the pure technical expertise our students acquire, and make MITS a program ideal for the challenges ahead.”

The graduating MITS students celebrated their upcoming graduation at a recent reception. Speaking to his fellow graduates, Lieutenant Commander Brian Evans admitted that before coming to CMU, he only knew of the university’s excellent reputation for computer science.

“I was unprepared for the amount of opportunity available at Carnegie Mellon – it’s unlike anywhere I’ve ever been,” said Evans. “You can have a conversation with a world leader in risk communication, walk across campus and have a conversation with a world leader in technology change and walk back across campus and talk to a leader in cyber security. I have a deeper appreciation for how disciplines interplay and feel more prepared for the challenges I will face in the Navy.”

Tokunbo Davies, a civilian student, credits MITS with training him and his fellow graduates to help lead the Navy on cyber issues. “The Navy has asked us to be leaders in our respective areas and mold the way the Navy does cyber,” Davies said.

For more information on MITS, which is open to military and civilian applicants, visit

Stay connected with CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences on Twitter and Facebook.

Other sources of Carnegie Mellon news include the university news service website and the Carnegie Mellon Today magazine.

Contact Shilo Rea, Director of Public Relations at or (412) 268-6094.


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