Brian Hurley, MCC cybersecurity coordinator, wins national faculty award

Chancellor Kimberly Beatty recognizes cybersecurity program coordinator Brian Hurley for his AACC faculty award at the May Board of Trustees meeting. (Photos by Andrew Ryan/MCC)

Metropolitan Community College instructor Brian Hurley is one of 22 honorees nationwide to receive the 2019 Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty award from the American Association of Community Colleges.

Hurley is cybersecurity program coordinator and a computer science and information systems (CSIS) instructor at MCC-Blue River in Independence. He became an MCC faculty member in 2014 after joining the College in 2011 as an IT network administrator. Prior to that, Hurley worked as a network administrator and in other IT positions at Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Co.

Hurley was honored by MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty and the Board of Trustees at the trustees’ May 9 meeting.

Brian Hurley (center) with trustees Cindy Adams and Ellen Martin (from left), Chancellor Kimberly Beatty, trustees Trent Skaggs and Henry Carner, and interim MCC-Blue River president Michael Banks

This is only the second year for the Parnell awards. In its inaugural year, the AACC program honored 49 community college faculty members, including MCC-Penn Valley biology instructor Terry Davin. Hurley is the only Parnell winner this year from Missouri or Kansas.

The award recognizes faculty who support students inside and outside the classroom, participate in college committees, and go above and beyond what is required to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors.

“Mr. Hurley uses feedback from his students, fellow faculty, and industry professionals to enhance the learning experience of current and future students,” former MCC-Blue River president Jackie Gill wrote in a nominating letter. “It is through his creative utilization of community feedback he demonstrates to his students and co-workers their importance to the team.”

Hurley was also the driving force behind MCC’s successful bid to be named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense for its cybersecurity program. In 2018 MCC joined about 200 other U.S. colleges and universities with that top-tier designation, among them just 70 two-year colleges.

MCC was awarded on its first application submission with no requests for evidence or further information, which is rare.

And just this spring, the College celebrated the official opening of the new cybersecurity lab in the Public Safety building on the Blue River campus.

Hurley also launched MCC’s student Cybersecurity Club, sponsors students in the National Cyber League Cyber Competition, created two information security student intern positions and hosts student tours of Cerner Corp.’s Data Center, among other accomplishments.

Hurley is driven not only to provide a quality education for MCC students but to make the College a recognized institution for cybersecurity, says Cheryl Winter, chair of the business technology, mathematics and public safety division at MCC-Blue River.

She calls him a natural instructor: “Students not only gravitate to Brian, but they come back again and again to share their successes.”

His passion for his field “shows in the way he pursues opportunities to further a student’s path to either go immediately into a job or to continue with a higher degree,” Winter adds.

Hurley is also an MCC alumnus. In addition to two A.A.S. degrees from MCC (in computer science and general business), he holds a B.S. in management/computer information systems from Park University and a master of professional studies in information assurance management from Fort Hays State University. He is working on a Ph.D. in information technology from University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, Kentucky.

The AACC’s faculty distinction award is named in honor of the organization’s former president and CEO, Dale P. Parnell.

AACC accepts one faculty nomination annually from each member college. Parnell award winners receive a commemorative medal and recognition on the AACC Faculty Wall of Distinction and the AACC website.

Hurley (left) shows off MCC-Blue River’s new cybersecurity lab to visitors at an April open house.