Shalini Kesar has been in front of the classroom for over 15 years. Starting as a research assistant for Montfort University in the United Kingdom, she has taught at 5 universities across the world. Currently, she is an associate professor of information systems at Southern Utah University and director of the interdisciplinary program. Her area of expertise includes electronic commerce and gender equality in computing.
Kesar holds a doctorate in cybersecurity and two master degrees from UK (Salford, London School of Economics, and DeMontfort University). She has taught information systems at four other universities, including Liverpool John Moores University and the University of South Florida. She has been with Southern Utah University since 2007.
She currently teaches the following courses:
- CSIS 2600 – Data Communications / Networking
- CSIS 2670 – Information Security and Assurance
- CSIS 4810 – IS Capstone Project
- CSIA 6020 – IT Policy Compliance and Disaster Recovery
Kesar has also been involved with the National Center for Women in Information Technology, spearheading a chapter of Aspirations in Computing based at SUU. As the only initiative to highlight young women in computing and information technology on a national level, great strides have been taken in the program’s development in southern Utah.
She is also an instructor in SUU’s newly developed Master of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance program.
“It is so important to prepare students for employment,” said Kesar. “I enjoy bridging the gap in academia and industry by bringing real projects to the classrooms so students can learn both the technical and the soft skills necessary in the work force.”
She was recently recognized by the Women Tech Council, receiving the Education Excellence Award at the 2016 Women Tech Awards. The event recognizes technology-focused women who are innovators, leaders and key contributors in STEM fields.
“Everyone needs to recognize that we are becoming a global society and we need different perspectives to solve a problem,” said Kesar. “Those varied schools of thought come with diversity in gender.”
Born in India, Kesar was raised to value education and pursue the heights of learning. She has found a niche in southern Utah and is changing the way rural communities treat young girls interested in technology. With each event hosted and program initiated, the movement of women in STEM fields becomes stronger.