Cybersecurity Faculty | Thomas Nelson Community College

Cybersecurity Faculty

Michael Mann

Michael Mann is Associate Professor of IT at Thomas Nelson Community College and the program head for Networking and Cybersecurity. He has been teaching at Thomas Nelson since 2009. Professor Mann holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Master of Science in Network Management, and is currently in his 2nd year as a student enrolled in a Doctor of Science program concentrating in Cybersecurity. He holds CompTIA A+ and Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching industry certifications, as well as achieving a Cisco Networking Academy Instructor Excellence Award. Professor Mann is currently working on improving pedagogical methodology and curricula involving cybersecurity as part of his dissertation and work at the college.

Nicholas Pierce

Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, Nick Pierce is a full time instructor in the Information Systems Technology division. Prior to joining Thomas Nelson, Nick spent 9 years on active duty with the Navy and 3 years in the private sector as an instructor and professor after graduating from ECPI University in Virginia Beach, VA. In addition to teaching, Nick is currently working on research development with web based simulators and deployment tools. His personal interests are the Washington Nationals baseball team, traveling, and being active within the military Veteran community by volunteering with the Chesapeake based non-profit, the Combat Wounded Coalition.

Stephen Foster

Professor Foster, who enjoyed a distinguished 20-year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, retired in 2000 as a Special Agent Supervisor. During his tenure with the FBI he worked on the Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force, Counter Espionage Investigations, as well as Cyber Crime Investigations.

Following his government career, Mr. Foster formed the AEGIS Security Group, which provided Cybersecurity consulting services to fortune 500 corporations. As part of those services Mr. Foster was the Featured Keynote Speaker for the IBM Security Road Shows in 2005 – 2006, which were located in USA and Canada. He is also a contributing co-author to the “Black Book on Corporate Security,” which was published in 2005. Prof. Foster’s last major industry position was in 2008 with NYFIX Inc., a financial services firm on Wall Street, where he served as VP and Chief Information Security Officer.

Professor Foster, who has over 30 years of hands on experience managing large Information Systems, also holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Cybersecurity from Capitol Technology University, MD, as well as a his current CISSP Certification. During his leisure time he likes being away from technology and iPhones by reading books and playing golf.

Darren Spencer

As a Digital Forensics Examiner, Darren examines computer hard drives, storage devices like flash drives, tablets, smart phones, electronic notebooks, video game consoles or any other electronic device that may hold evidence that could be used in a court of law. . He often works on cases involving offenses committed on the Internet ('cyber crime') and examine computers that may have been involved in other types of crime in order to find evidence of illegal activity. He helps local, state and federal Law enforcement and Intelligence officials to analyze data and evaluate its relevance to the case under investigation. He manages the Budget and day to day activity of one of a Digital Forensics Lab.

Darren is an Adjunct Professor and teaches bachelor as well as master degree curriculum in Cyber Security certified by the National Security Telecommunications and Information Systems Security (NSTISS) and the NSA. He teaches students procedures for investigating cyber crimes, computer intrusions detection and prevention, network security and ethical hacking. He has taught at both private as well as public universities. He has also assisted several universities in creating computer science clubs that will later compete in computer hacking competitions and cyber challenges nationwide with much success.

He holds a B.S in Computer Information Systems, from Bellevue University Bellevue NE and a M.B.A with concentration in Computer and Information Security from North Central University, Prescott, AZ. He has several Certifications from EC Council, Access Data, Cisco, Comp-Tia and Microsoft. On his off time, he enjoys spending time with his family and learning more about Computer Hacking, Computer Forensics and Cyber Security. 

Kirk Mooring 

Kirk L. Mooring recently joined Thomas Nelson Community College (2017) as an Adjunct Professor teaching Networking and Cybersecurity. He has more than 15 years teaching Information Technology at other colleges and private companies. In addition to holding industry certifications such as CISSP® - Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI: he holds a Masters in Information Security and Assurance. He is currently working on other certifications and training such CompTIA CTT (Certified Technical Trainer) and Amazon Web Services (AWS). He looks forward to continuing to share his knowledge with students and staff.

Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education for 2-year Colleges

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Thomas Nelson as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education for two-year institutions. This certification is valid for the academic years 2017 – 2022.

National Security Agency seal
Department of Homeland Security seal