The IT Infrastructure program is supported and directed by talented, engaged professionals at every level. Their experience and knowledge will help you navigate an educational and career path that works for you.

The Student-Advisor Relationship

We encourage you to cultivate a relationship with your academic advisor. Meet with them to discuss your career goals and more. Your academic advisor can:

  • Discuss and support personal and career goals, but also challenge students to make the best choices in line with aspirations and academic performance.
  • Provide accurate information about degree program requirements.
  • Assist with understanding of academic policies and procedures.
  • Offer referrals to campus resources and relevant opportunities.

In addition to talking with your advisor, we want you to:

  • Cultivate relationships with faculty and staff.
  • Read your U of M email. It is the University's official form of correspondence and contains need-to-know information.
  • Understand important policies and specific degree requirements and become familiar with University tools for degree planning and charting progress.
  • Use the One Stop website to find information about courses, registration and tuition.
  • Bookmark the University calendar for important deadlines.


Ashley Cruz

Ashley Cruz

Academic Advisor

Schedule Appointment

Ashley Cruz has been working with CCAPS students since 2018, advising students in the Information Technology Infrastructure bachelor's, minor, and certificate programs.

Ashley supports students as they navigate the University and work towards their academic and career goals. As a former transfer student, she has a special interest in working with transfer students and helping them maximize their time at the U.

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Liz Hruska

Career Counselor

Liz Hruska has been providing career counseling and coaching services for degree-seeking students since she joined the team of Career and Internship Services in 2008. She is a 2013 recipient of the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, which recognizes high-quality advising at the University of Minnesota.

Liz helps students with tactical pieces of the job search, including resume help, interview coaching, and internship search support. She also coaches students around larger self-exploration issues, including clarifying values and strengths and finding a work culture that fits. She has a special interest in providing support for student veterans, students from diverse backgrounds, and those with disabilities.

If you are an admitted degree-seeking student and would like to make an appointment with Liz, please visit: (you will need to log in). 

Liz teaches HSM 3051 − Career and Internship Skills in Health Services Management.

Faculty Director

Head shot of Colin Miller

Colin Miller

MS, data science, Eastern University; MA, religion, Liberty University; BBA,management information systems, Howard University

Colin Miller brings a wealth of experience from both academia and the corporate world. With over 25 years in IT leadership positions, Colin has contributed significantly to corporations like UCare, Xcel Energy, Cargill, AT&T, General Mills, Pactiv Evergreen Inc., and Kraft Heinz. His academic tenure includes serving as director of the School of Technology and associate professor at North Central University in Minneapolis, where he combined his industry expertise with a passion for teaching and curriculum development. Specializing in business intelligence and data analytics, Colin is committed to mentoring the next generation of IT professionals at CCAPS, leveraging his extensive background and dedication to community service to enrich the educational experience.


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Joseph Axberg

MS, software engineering, University of St. Thomas; BS, electronics engineering, University of Nebraska

Mr. Axberg has worked in many roles in telecommunications and information technology, from architecture to system administration. He has experience with virtualization and cloud services including VMware, Amazon Web Services, and Azure. He is a cloud architect at Optum Technology, leading a team of developers transitioning virtual desktop services to a hybrid cloud solution. Prior to that, he worked at CenturyLink in telecommunications engineering and operations deploying voice and data services, where he managed the transition of a national 8XX call routing platform from Sybase to MySQL. Mr. Axberg is currently pursuing a BA in English at St. Catherine University.

  • INET 4031 – Introduction to Systems
  • INET 4041 - Networking II: Emerging Technologies
Ben Ayvaz

Ben Ayvaz

MBA with emphasis in technology delivery and marketing, Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business; BS, management information systems, University of Wisconsin

Ben is a management consultant with extensive experience in project management in the construction, technology, government, and health care industries. Ben's goal in teaching is to give back to a profession he loves by sharing his experience and helping to develop our next generation of leaders.

  • INET 2001 – Fundamentals of IT
  • INET 3102 – Web Infrastructure
  • INET 4082W − IT Infrastructure Projects and Processes
  • INET 4083W – Systems II: Analysis and Design
Carl Follstad

Carl Follstad

BS, computer science, Mankato State University

Carl Follstad began his IT career writing device drivers for VMS systems, moving to large systems management. In 2001, as senior systems engineer for EMC Corporation, he focused on the storage industry, advising on strategy in enterprise business continuity, data protection, classification of data, and resilient storage subsystem design. Beginning in 2004, he managed the University of Minnesota Data Management Services group, which is responsible for architecture of the centralized system backup and SAN storage. In 2007, he returned to EMC as a pre-sales technical consultant. He now works for Dell Technologies, post EMC acquisition, as an advisory storage architect.

  • INET 2001 – Fundamentals of IT
  • INET 4001 – Foundations of Operating Systems
  • INET 4032 – Systems I: Storage
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Richard Howey

DBA, business administration, Metropolitan State University; MS, management of technology, University of Minnesota; BS, mathematics/computer science, Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI 

Dr. Howey has worked in information technology and data management since 1975. At Univac Defense Systems (now Unisys), he developed software for real-time air traffic control and military command and control systems. Later, he was a data warehouse/business intelligence consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM, among others. Most recently, he worked in enterprise architecture, information architecture, data warehousing/business intelligence, and data governance at Target and UnitedHealth Group. He has taught courses at Augsburg University and the Carlson School of Management. He is a Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP), a Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) and a Certified TOGAF 9 Enterprise Architect.

INet 4707 – Introduction to Databases

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Mark Langanki

BS, computer science, University of Minnesota

Mark Langanki has been working in the IT industry since 1989. His work centers on computing as it relates to telephony, networked applications, and distributed systems. Mark is the CTO of ConvergeOne and is leading innovation around the next model of IT and cloud services. He teaches at the University of Minnesota about operating systems, network programming, languages, and IT operations, and believes that learning doesn’t stop once a student graduates. Mark is dedicated to ensuring that students learn topics that will be applicable in the tech industry.

  • INET 3101 C Programming: Language and Applications
  • INET 4001 Introduction to Operating Systems
  • INET 4021 Dev Ops I: Network Programming
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Michael Lapke

PhD, information systems, Virginia Commonwealth University; MS and BS, computer and information science, University of North Florida

Dr. Lapke is an associate professor of information systems and cybersecurity at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. Before that, he was an assistant professor and associate professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. He has taught across the information systems and cybersecurity curricula at regional and large R1 universities. He has published research in many outlets, including Computers & Security, Health Policy and Technology, AIS Educator Journal, and The International Journal of Information Security and Privacy. Dr. Lapke is also active in industry as a cybersecurity consultant and software developer.

  • INET 3011W – The Social Impact of Information Technology
Scott Lee-Eichenwald

Scott Lee-Eichenwald

MS in software design and development (MSDD), University of Saint Thomas; BA, psychology, College of Saint Scholastica

Scott Lee-Eichenwald has diverse professional experience in social sciences and medical technology, with over 20+ years with medical devices companies including Guidant, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and Smiths Medical. He also has experience providing enterprise interoperability software solutions for Infor's health care division. He has managed research and development and many global technology implementation projects. In addition, he has been teaching online for 15+ years. He is published in Healthcare Information Technology and received his Six Sigma Green Belt certification from the University of Saint Thomas in 2012. Scott holds an Information Systems Security Certificate from Colorado Technical University.

  • HSM 4043 – Project and Program Management in Health Services Management
  • HSM 4065 – Information Privacy and Security in Health Services Management
  • INET 1001 – Survey of Information Technology
  • INET 3011W – Social Impact of Information Technology
  • INET 4051 – IT Infrastructure Operations
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Perry Lensing

MBA in marketing management, University of St. Thomas; BA in sociology, University of Minnesota

Perry has been managing IT projects for some of the largest companies and organizations in the country for the last 15 years. He has worked in the finance and health care industries and with the federal government. Most recently Perry has been managing cybersecurity projects for large health care providers. He holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification through PMI and a Health Care Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) certification through ISC2.

  • INET 4083W – Systems II: Analysis and Design
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Ben Marcy

Master of Public Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; BA, English, Eastern Illinois University.

Ben Marcy is very interested in supporting successful student experiences. His research focus as a doctoral candidate in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota looks at the intersections of whiteness and masculinity in various academic and professional contexts. Ben has over 15 years of teaching experience at St. Catherine University and the University of Minnesota, using pedagogies blending intentional emergence and performance arts. His teaching focus spans topics of leadership development, power and social change, career development, and diversity within the workplace. He has had a major role in the building of a writing-enriched curriculum in the ITI major and the development of INET 2001.

  • INET 2001 – Fundamentals of IT
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Norman Owens

MBA, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota; MA, information assurance and security, Capella University; BA, philosophy/logics, Brown University

As an enterprise architect leading architecture teams, Norman Owens has built cloud and security service solutions totaling over $648M since 2013 for the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Georgia and at the California State University system. Norman is currently a senior solution architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS). He is passionate about enabling the new leaders of IT transformation to become tomorrow’s business disrupters. He challenges students to be the best predictors of the future by getting ready to make it and backs up this challenge with AWS-based hands-on labs in his classes.

  • INET 4007 – Security II: Cyber Security
  • INET 4709 – Data Management I: Fundamentals
  • INET 4711 – Data Management II: Distributed Systems
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John Raabe

BS, business administration, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

John Raabe currently leads the internal IT audit function at a major health care provider. Previously, he led IT systems administration staff, and he has designed and supported enterprise-class networks and systems. As a certified information systems auditor (CISA), he is particularly interested in IT controls, risk management, compliance, and network design and enterprise IT management issues. He also consults privately on system administration and network management.

  • INET 4002 Foundations of Networking
  • INET 4153 Introduction to Security: Policy and Regulation
Head shot of Nusrat Saeed

Nusrat Saeed

PhD in organizational leadership, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota; MBA and Master of Information Technology, University of Texas; Master of Health Informatics, University of Minnesota; BS in engineering, NED Engineering University of Pakistan

Dr. Saeed’s background is a blend of engineering, information technology, and education, with more than 15 years of related experience at Westinghouse, General Nanosystems, General Dynamics C4 Systems, Samsung, and others in managing and delivering various IT projects. Her experience includes leadership roles in application and web development, database design, IT infrastructure system modifications, process and product development, and operational improvements. She has worked as a program director of information technology and assistant adjunct professor of ITIS at the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where she designed and managed three degree programs in areas such as information technology, business administration, and accounting.

  • INET 4041 – Networking II: Emerging Technologies
Jon Silverman

Jonathan Silverman

MS, computer science, Union College; B., computer science, Union College

Jon Silverman’s main areas of interest are software engineering, scalable distributed systems, and analytics. After leaving college, he moved from Springfield, MA, to Minneapolis to join Honeywell’s Research Center. In 1989 he left Honeywell to join a venture capital-funded startup in the area of metropolitan area networks. Since then he has been working on communications systems for contact centers and massively scaled unified communications. Jon is currently Senior Director of Engineering at Avaya.

  • INET 4121 – DevOps II: Development Strategies
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Kyle Stahl

MS, business analytics and BISyE, industrial and systems engineering, University of Minnesota

Kyle Stahl is a senior data science supervisor at Cargill Inc, where he leads a team of data science specialists in solving complex machine learning and optimization problems across the agriculture industry. He has applied advanced analytics techniques to various industry groups within Cargill, including global supply chain, animal growth modeling, biochemistry, sales, agronomy, and production scheduling. Kyle works across the entire machine learning process, from defining the problem and collecting data to integrating mathematical models into software and helping people adapt their business processes to new technology.

  • INET 4061 – Data Science I: Fundamentals
  • INET 4062 – Data Science II: Advanced
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Daniel Stocker

BA, history, with a minor in management information systems, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Daniel Stocker is senior director of infrastructure and production for the University of Minnesota, where he leads the backbone technologies that enable the University’s mission and strategic imperatives. His primary focus is the development of leaders and the creation of partnerships that support modernization of security, technology, and process, including site reliability engineering, DevOps, PAM, scaled Lean/Agile delivery, cybersecurity, hybrid cloud strategy, platforms, storage, databases, and PeopleSoft. Dan has held significant technology leadership roles at organizations such as Cargill and United Health Group, where his focuses included global IT resiliency, mission-critical lifecycle service, rollout of application server platforms, and technical resource development.

  • INET 3102 – Web Infrastructure
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Nathan Tymeson

MBA, Carlson School of Management; BS, business administration and computer information systems, Missouri State University

Nathan Tymeson has over 10 years experience in designing and building secure enterprise networks in corporate, Internet-facing, mobile, and extranet environments. He’s held roles ranging from tech support to network architecture, from network security to network manager--all within a variety of industries. A significant accomplishment of Nathan’s includes the design of complex wide area interconnect strategies for multinational corporations. He also has experience creating network and security strategies for manufacturing environments, network quality of service implementations, and mobile network design. He holds industry-recognized certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and other vendor-neutral organizations.

  • INET 4011 - Networking I: Networking Administration
  • INET 4165 - Security I: Principles