Cybersecurity Club

About the Detroit Mercy Cybersecurity Club

Cybersecurity club logoOpen to all majors, the Detroit Mercy Cybersecurity Club, sponsored by the Detroit Chapter of ISACA, is an opportunity for students to delve deeper into computers and cybersecurity by exploring topics including:

  • Network security
  • Digital forensics
  • Penetration testing
  • Secure coding
  • Cryptography
  • Reverse engineering 
cybersecurity club students and faculty
Students gathering around pizza at one of the cyberclub meetings
2023 group collage of cybersecurity students in the cybersecurity club

Club Goals

The goal of the Cybersecurity Club is help students take the knowledge they have learned from their classes and help them apply this knowledge to better prepare them for internships and full-time jobs. The club also participates in cybersecurity competitions, including the ISACA Detroit Chapter Cybersecurity Scholarship Case Competition and the National Cyber League, presented by Cyber Skyline.

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Join us for exciting speakers, topics and hands-on activities. All meetings take place in Briggs Building, room 217 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Monday, Sept. 25, 2023
    • Topic: Learn about the organization that serves as the crucial link between emergency agencies, relief organizations and tech experts. Guest speaker: Joe Maki '23, professional emergency manager, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC). Light refreshments served. Open to all students.
  • Monday, Oct. 23, 2023: Meeting - all are welcome to attend
  • Friday, Oct. 27, 2003: Bake Sale - Celebrate International Internet Day with the Cybersecurity Club  at the first floor of the McNichols Campus Library from noon to 3 p.m. Enjoy delicious internet-themed treats.   
  • Monday, Nov. 13, 2023: Meeting - all are welcome to attend
  • Monday, Dec. 4, 2023: Meeting - all are welcome to attend

Club Officers

The Detroit Mercy Cybersecurity Club holds annual elections for officers. To self-nominate, send an email to Gregory Laidlaw at and Anne Kohnke at The Cybersecurity Club officers for Academic Year 2023-2024 are:

Faculty Advisors

  • Gregory Laidlaw, DMIT, CISSP, C|EH,
    Department Chair, Cybersecurity & Information Systems and Lecturer
  • Anne Kohnke, Ph.D.,
    Director, Detroit Mercy Center of Cyber Security & Intelligence Studies
    Principal Investigator, Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Program

Recent Club Member Achievements

Cybersecurity Teams Win Prestigious ISACA Scholarship Case Competition

On April 16, 2023, students from the University of Detroit Mercy won first, second and third place in the 9th Annual Detroit Chapter ISACA Cybersecurity Scholarship Case Competition. The competition, open to all majors, awarded $13,500 in scholarships at this event.

A record of 21 teams from four universities took part with a total of six teams winning from UDM, Oakland University and Eastern Michigan University.

  • Taking first place was Cybersecurity & Information Systems students, Preston Duller, JP Martin and Mark Formosa, Business Administration.
  • Second-place winners were Aaron Hewins, Cybersecurity & Information Systems, and Alexander Kalaj, Business Administration.
  • Third place winner was Harrison Haviland-Longo, Cybersecurity & Computer & Information Systems.

The event was hosted in Detroit Mercy's Center for Cyber Security & Intelligence Studies, with Director Anne Kohnke and Department Chair Greg Laidlaw.

1st place team with ISACA Organizer, L-R: Mark Formosa, Sajay Rai, JP Martin, and Preston Duller.
1st place team with ISACA Organizer, from left: Mark Formosa, Sajay Rai, JP Martin and Preston Duller

Dr. Greg Laidlaw with Aaron Hewins (2nd Place Winner)
Greg Laidlaw, Ph.D. with Aaron Hewins (2nd Place Winner)

3rd Place Winner: Harrison Haviland-Longo
3rd Place Winner: Harrison Haviland-Longo

NICE Challenge Cybersecurity Competition students achieve highest score, highest number of resolved systems and third place

Three Cybersecurity & Information Systems majors spent four hours on Wednesday, April 12, competing to win and helped pilot the newly developed NICE Challenge Cybersecurity Competition. This real-world technical challenge involved sifting through company emails to find clues in order to quickly fix several compromised systems and user IDs that were hacked. Achieving the highest score was Adam Dobiesz, with Harrison Haviland-Longo achieving the highest number of resolved systems. Coming in at 3rd place was Matthew Davidson. The competition was organized by Detroit Mercy's Director of the Center of Cyber Security & Intelligence Studies and Associate Professor of Cybersecurity Anne Kohnke.

Adam Dobiesz, Harrison Haviland-Longo, Matthew Davidson

UDM Student Team places third in the NCAE Cyber Games Midwest Competition

Organized by Detroit Mercy’s Cybersecurity & Information Systems Department, 12 students, forming two Blue teams (cyber defenders) worked on Saturday to win the NCAE Cyber Games Competition, with one of our teams taking third place. To score points, students are initially given a compromised network to fix while defending over a dozen network services whilst being hacked by the organizer’s Red team throughout a 7-hour period. Third place winners were Ethan Scheys (Team Captain), Preston Duller, JP Marvin, Eyiara Oladipo, Ayanna Mendieta, Nouman Ahmed and Aaron Hewins. Scoring a respectable overall finish, students on UDM’s second team were John Weglarz (Team Captain), Noah Segal, Charlie Lipka, Alicia Norman and Rex VanPelt. Serving as coaches were Anne Kohnke, Greg Laidlaw, and Harrison Haviland-Longo. This competition was open to Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) designated schools and students who’ve never previously competed in a cyber competition.

From left: Eyiara Oladipo, Ethan Scheys (sitting), Ethan-JP Marvin, Preston Duller, Ayanna Mendieta, Noah Segal, John Weglarz, Charlie Lipa, Alicia Norman, Rex VanPelt, Harrison Haviland-Longo, Nouman Ahmen. Not pictured: Aaron Hewins

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    Past Event Guest Appearances

    2023 human element of cybersecurity flyer

    2023 irs and isaca flyer

    2023 open source intelligence flyer


    duckyscripting event flyer

    2022 deconstruction of a pc flyer

    2022 bunny bash event flyer


    Brian Kaetz event flyer

    Detroit Mercy’s Cybersecurity Club featured Chief Information Security-Privacy Director Brian Kaetz who spoke on the topic of Incident Response in April 2022.


    tor and dark web situational awareness past event

    Detroit Mercy’s Cybersecurity Club featured guest speaker Micki Boland who gave a presentation on Tor and dark web situational awareness. Boland has over 20 years in ICT, cybersecurity, emerging technology and innovation.


    Juman Doleh March 28 event information. Monday, March 3 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Briggs 217.jpg

    Juman Doleh is director of cybersecurity at Little Caesars and an executive board member and past president of ISACA. She spoke about audit and compliance in March of 2022. Doleh is an executive leader with over 15 years of proven experience in delivering global complex systems and enterprise initiatives. She is recognized as a leader with strong information security, strategic leadership, risk management, privacy, governance and compliance. Doleh is a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), a Certified in Risk and Information System Controls (CRISC), and ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, with over 10 years of audit, security, investigation, compliance, information technology, and privacy policy/ standards.