Staff Bio

Sriram Chellappan

Dr. Sriram Chellappan is Cyber Florida’s academic director of research and a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, Florida. Previous to his appointment at USF, he was an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Missouri University of Science and Technology where he directed the SCoRe (Social Computing Research) Group. His primary interests lie in many aspects of how Society and Technology interact with each other, particularly within the realms of Smart Health and Cyber Security. He is interested in mobile and wireless networking, cyber-physical systems, and distributed and cloud computing. Dr. Chellappan’s research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, Army Research Office, National Security Agency, DARPA, and Missouri Research Board. He received his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the Ohio State University in 2007. Dr. Chellappan received the NSF CAREER Award in 2013, the Missouri S&T Faculty Excellence Award in 2014, the Missouri S&T Outstanding Teaching Commendation Award in 2014, and the Missouri S&T Faculty Research Award in 2015.

Research Interests

Socio-technical systems; cybersecurity; smart health; cyber-physical systems; mobile and wireless computing

Teaching Interests

4930/6930: Information Security and Privacy in Distributed Systems;
6611: Operating Systems


PhD in Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State University (2007)

Honors and Awards

Missouri S&T Outstanding Teaching Commendation Award (2015)
Missouri S&T Faculty Research Award (2015)
Missouri S&T Faculty Excellence Award (2014)
NSF CAREER Award (2013)

Key Activities

Invited Speaker at International Conference on Orange Technologies (ICOT) (December 2015)
Invited Speaker at International Conference on Collaboration Technologies and Systems (CTS) (June 2015)
Technical Program Committee Member, Percom 2016, Infocom 2016, AINA 2016, MSN 2015
IEEE Member

2022-10-25T14:38:24-04:00October 25, 2022|

Evelyn Curry

Evelyn Curry is an M.B.A candidate. Her career started in the United States Air Force, where she specialized in the logistics and security of nuclear missiles. In her civilian career, she has specialized in governing technical infrastructures and mitigating organizational risks. She joined Cyber Florida as a Senior Business Analyst in 2020 with a focus on promoting sustainability and operational excellence through Organizational Change Management. Today, she serves as the Associate Director of Cyber Operations and Analytics.

2022-10-21T17:34:12-04:00September 29, 2021|

Kate Whitaker

Kate Whitaker is a senior communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in higher education, nonprofits, and government. Specializing in communicating complex scientific and technical ideas and information to a variety of audiences, Ms. Whitaker is an expert in program development, project management, digital media, media relations, and internal and external communications. Throughout her career, she has spearheaded a variety of comprehensive branding, fund-raising, and event and program outreach campaigns across multiple channels to a spectrum of stakeholders. She holds a BA in English and an MBA in Management.

At Cyber Florida, she leads a team of talented professionals that promotes the center’s activities and accomplishments and conducts statewide public awareness campaigns, events, and programs to encourage better cyber-self-defense among organizations and individuals.

2022-10-21T17:31:31-04:00September 28, 2021|

Ernie Ferraresso

As the director of Cyber Florida, Ernie drives the strategic vision of the organization while overseeing the center’s day-to-day operations. Ernie started with Cyber Florida in 2017 as associate director of programs and partnerships and brings decades of technology expertise and leadership experience to his role.

Prior to Cyber Florida, Ernie worked for a small technology design and integration firm as the Director of Operations, overseeing the design and implementation of cybersecurity and emergency operations center technology solutions in the U.S. and throughout Latin America.

He is a retired U.S. Marine Intelligence Officer who served in the U.S. and abroad. His work included assignments with U.S. Special Operations Forces, the intelligence community, the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, and U.S. Cyber Command.

2022-10-20T15:49:23-04:00September 28, 2021|

General (Ret.) Frank McKenzie

General (Ret) Kenneth F. “Frank” McKenzie, Jr. became the Executive Director of the University of South Florida’s Global and National Security Institute in May 2022. In July 2022, he also became the Executive Director of the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, also known as Cyber Florida.

He is the former Commander, United States Central Command. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, upon graduation from The Citadel in 1979, General McKenzie was commissioned into the Marine Corps and trained as an infantry officer.

He has commanded at the platoon, company, battalion, Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and component levels. As a lieutenant colonel, he commanded First Battalion, Sixth Marines. As the Commanding Officer of the 22d MEU (SOC), he led the MEU on combat deployments to Afghanistan in 2004 and Iraq in 2005-06. In 2006-07 he served as the Military Secretary to the 33rd and 34th Commandants of the Marine Corps.

Upon promotion to Brigadier General in July 2007, he served on the Joint Staff as a Deputy Director of Operations within the National Military Command Center. In June 2008, he was selected by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be the Director of the Chairman’s New Administration Transition Team (CNATT). In this capacity, he coordinated the efforts of the Joint Staff and the combatant commands in preparing for and executing a wartime transition of administrations.
In June 2009, he reported to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan, to serve as the Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) for Stability. Upon his return from Afghanistan, in July 2010, he was assigned as the Director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J-5) for the U.S. Central Command. In August 2012, he reported to Headquarters Marine Corps to serve as the Marine Corps Representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review. In June 2014, he was promoted to Lieutenant General and assumed command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command.

In October 2015, he was assigned to the Joint Staff to serve as the Director, J-5, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff.

In July 2017, he was named the Director, Joint Staff. General McKenzie was promoted to the grade of General and assumed command of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in March 2019. He relinquished command of CENTCOM and retired from the Marine Corps on 1 April 2022, completing over 42 years of service.

General McKenzie is an honors graduate of the Armor Officer Advanced Course, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School of Advanced Warfighting. He was selected as a CMC Fellow in 1999, and served as a Senior Military Fellow within the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. He has a master’s degree in teaching with a concentration in history. He is currently the President of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Applied Engineering at the University of South Florida, a Distinguished Senior Fellow on National Security at the Middle East Institute, a Member of the International Advisory Committee of the National Council on U.S. Arab relations, and a Member of the National Security Advisory Council, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

2022-10-25T14:32:46-04:00September 28, 2021|