Alumni Advancement and Advocacy Board
The Volgenau School of Engineering Alumni Advancement and Advocacy Board provides opportunities for involvement, engagement, and investment in the school of engineering through a variety of pathways. Board members serve as university ambassadors, especially for the Volgenau School of Engineering, promoting engineering and computing in Northern Virginia, across the U.S., and around the world. The board reaches out to current students and alumni to foster engagement with the school and university and to promote life-long personal and professional relationships.
Hadi Rezazad, Chair, MEng ’03, PhD Information Technology ’09
Hadi Rezazad is co-founder and CEO of Orchid Technologies, an information technology solutions provider company established in 1992. He has more than 30 years experience in IT, with more than 23 years leading Orchid. In addition to his Mason degrees, Rezazad earned a master’s in computer science and a bachelor’s in three majors — Computer Science, Statistics, and Applied Mathematics — from American University. He has received such industry certifications as Project Management Professional and Certified Data Management Professional. Dr. Rezazad is the Chairman of the Alumni Development Board, as well as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of Volgenau. He has coached youth sports for years and is a professionally licensed soccer coach.
David P. Brown, Group Leader, PhD Information Technology, '04
Dave Brown served for more than 22 years in the Navy and has more than 15 years experience as systems engineer, educator, and technical manager. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy, the Navy Test Pilot School, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Naval War College, and the Defense Systems Management College. He holds certifications in Program Management, Systems Engineering, and Test and Evaluation. He earned his PhD in Information Technology from Mason in 2004. The experienced consultant completed projects for the Office of Naval Research, the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, IRS, Department of Health and Human Services, and NASA. He helped facilitate and write a Systems Engineering Policy Instruction for NASA, and has also been a consultant in formulation of the acquisition plans for the Constellation Program. He was selected to the elite Scientists Helping America to assist in bringing technology to bear in the war on terror after the 9/11 attacks. He has completed curriculum development projects for the Defense Acquisition University, including Systems Engineering, Technology Management and Program Management courses. He received recognition for contributions to systems engineering with an individual award from the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and a Team Award from the Chief Engineer of NASA. He currently is a Senior Principal Analyst for Innovative Decisions.
Mariana X. Cruz, Group Leader, BS Civil Engineering `11
Mariana Cruz currently works for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Principal Solutions Architect in support of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). She is currently the technical advisor for a software program that models blast effects in urban environments. Prior to her current position, Cruz worked for Defense Sciences Incorporated as a shift lead and structural engineer in the DTRA Technical Reachback Division. She was involved with high-explosive modeling, blast effects, and structural vulnerability assessment. She provided modeling support to a variety of DOD and federal clients.
As a lead, she helped manage a team of highly skilled scientists and engineers through day-to-day operations. Cruz received a master's in civil engineering with a concentration in structural engineering from the University of Delaware in 2014, focused on structural reliability and probability assessment, and presented her thesis work at the International Conference for Structural Safety and Reliability in 2013. She was honored with the George Mason University Alumni Association's Senior of the Year Award in 2011. She currently serves as the historian in the executive board of the Alumni Board of Directors.
Rob Walters, Group Leader, BS Computer Science `88
Rob Walters is a senior management consultant for Quality Technical Services. Previously, he was chief technology officer at CXI, partner and director of business performance management at IndigeTech, chief technology officer of STR Software, and senior software engineer at FairPoint Technologies. Walter serves as the president of Bon Air Youth Basketball League and the Mason Alumni Richmond Club (MasonRVA), in Richmond, Virginia.
Ginny Cevasco is an experienced software architect, system engineer, and program manager with more than 20 years supporting intelligence community organizations. Cevasco's functional experience spans the systems development lifecycle, system architecture, and project and program management, with a focus on solutions architecture, reusable software, and big data systems. She brings extensive Agile and DevOps methodology experience for complex systems in development and mission-critical operations, working closely with clients to leverage modern computing architectures and methodologies to meet urgent and emerging mission needs. Recent projects focus on multi-intelligence integration, automated alerting, and cloud migration. Her previous efforts included concentrations on infrastructure virtualization, user experience, and data processing automation.
As a director for Booz Allen Hamilton, Cevasco leads the ground operations integrated delivery team (IDT), driving systems architecture and delivery programs for mission data processing within satellite ground systems. In addition to her VSE degree in computer science, she holds a master's degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia. She is a certified project management professional and enterprise architect.
Jeff Fissel co-founded KZO Innovations in 2007, and serves as vice president of solutions. He also served as vice president of business development. Fissel played a key role in select strategic accounts and corporate development activities at KZO. He is an expert with interactive streaming media technologies and was a member of the development team for KZO technology. Prior to KZO, he founded KZO Webcasting and produced hundreds of global webcasts ranging from events in the White House for former President Bush to film festivals in Hollywood. Currently, Jeff is in Nashville, Tennessee.
Andy Goldin has worked in a variety of leadership and individual contributor roles across the information technology industry. Currently he is working at Perspecta, Inc. to stand up a Security Operations Center at Army Cyber Command to defend the Army’s cloud-based data. Goldin, a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a bachelor's in comparative literature, made the transition to the IT industry in the mid-1990s and hasn’t looked back. In the course of his career, he has worked at companies ranging in size from his own one-person company and startups to large international corporations, including contracts at Microsoft, UUNET, CSC, and others. He has served in a variety of IT-related positions, including analysis, software testing, system development and design, installation and deployment, on-site support, consulting, and sales engineering. In addition to his IT career, he is a Colonel in the National Guard where he serves as the Plans Chief for the Maryland Joint Staff. He has over 25 years of service with overseas tours in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Andy Ngo is an information technology specialist with more than 11 years of experience consulting for the public sector. Throughout his career, he has worked with clients from various organizations such as the Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense. His technical expertise includes cloud computing and the Microsoft Power Platform. He also has experience with developing and managing enterprise content management systems for large organizations.
James Ogletree is director of Cyber Warfare Operating Unit for Northrop Grumman’s Defense Services Sector. Before that, he managed the Navy-Marine Corps cyber-business line for Northrop Grumman. Before joining Northrop Grumman in 2002, Ogletree served as a communications officer in the Marine Corps, and is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. Ogletree also earned a graduate certificate in information security management from the University of Virginia.
Matthew Slaight is the vice president and Army sector growth lead for General Dynamics IT (GDIT). Previously, he was the director of operations and growth at CSRA, Inc, before that he was director and industry general manager at Computer Sciences Corp. and the director of software, systems and security at NES Associates. He has held a variety of positions with Northrop Grumman, including director of cybersecurity strategy and planning and department manager of cybersecurity solutions. He was a systems administrator with Sprint, and an environmental scientist with LAW Engineering and Environmental Services. He is a certified information security manager and a systems security certified practitioner. In 2013, he was honored with the Volgenau School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.
The newest member of the VSE Alumni Advancement and Advocacy Board, Alex Walters, secured a position at Lockheed Martin upon graduating. Alex was the 2019 Mason Alumni Association’s Senior of the Year.