Faculty, Staff, and Advisory Board

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.

Faculty Director

Mark Langanki Photo

Mark Langanki

B.S., 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.

  • CSci 4061 − Introduction to Operating Systems

  • INet 3101 − C Programming: Language and Applications

  • INet 4021 − Dev Ops I: Network Programming

  • INet 4051 − IT Infrastructure Operations


Joseph Axberg photo

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

Carl Follstad Photo

Carl Follstad

B.S., computer science, Mankato State University

Carl Follstad began his IT career writing device drivers for VMS systems, then moved into large systems management. In 2001, as Senior Systems Engineer for EMC Corporation, he began focusing his career on the storage industry. While with EMC, he advised on storage strategy in the area of enterprise business continuity and storage subsystem performance. In early 2004, he moved from EMC to the University of Minnesota, where he managed the University Data Management Services group, which is responsible for management and architecture of the U’s centralized system backup and centralized SAN storage. In early 2007, he returned to EMC to serve as Pre-Sales Technical Consultant.

  • INet 4031 – Introduction to Systems 

  • INet 4032 – Systems I: Storage

  • INet 4083 – Systems II: System Analysis and Design
Valarie Griep Photo

Valarie Griep

M.B.A., Carlson School of Management; B.A., finance, Florida International University in Miami

Valarie Griep is a consultant, educator, and project manager with experience managing strategic projects in information technology, manufacturing, supply chain, and retail. She has led teams on projects as diverse as supply chain process improvements, software development, data warehouses and web-based reporting, retail store remodels, and national events planning. Her knowledge of project management has enabled her to help global clients implement and customize process methodologies. Some of the companies she has worked with include Honeywell, Best Buy, Unisys, and American Express. She has taught technology and project management courses at the University of Minnesota for over ten years. In 1998, she became a certified project manager (PMP®).

  • INet 4082W - IT Infrastructure Projects and Processes
Richard Howey photo

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

Scott Kerlin photo

Scott Kerlin

BS and MS, computer science, University of North Dakota

Scott Kerlin has many years of experience in computing resource development and research in programming languages, security, and mapping theoretical problems/solutions to real-world applications. He has worked in database management and human-machine interfaces at the Mayo Clinic, project build and project software engineering at IBM, and small satellite security at the University of North Dakota. He notes that he "prefers to go to where the interesting problems are, as interesting problems require the most interesting solutions." His goal is to turn out students who are capable of quickly understanding a problem, deducing the best solution given their specific set of conditions, and implementing that solution in the most effective way possible.

  • INet 4007 – Security II: Cyber Security
Scott Lee-Eichenwald photo

Scott Lee-Eichenwald

MS, 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 15 years in medical devices companies including Guidant, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and Smiths Medical. He has managed research and development projects and many global technology implementation projects. In addition, he has been teaching online for over 12 years. He received his Six Sigma Green Belt certification from the University of Saint Thomas in 2012 and holds an Information Systems Security Certificate from Colorado Technical University.

ABUS 4043 – Project Management in Practice
INet 1001 – Survey of Information Technology
INet 4051 - IT Infrastructure Operations

Kathy Nguyen photo

Katherine (Kathy) Nguyen

MBA, University of Saint Thomas; BA, Spanish and BS, management, University of Minnesota

Kathy Nguyen has managed projects for most of her career, with 10 years in the role of project manager or senior project manager. Ms. Nguyen has worked for Cargill, Honeywell, Northwest Airlines, American Express, Thomson Reuters, and Veritas Technologies. She spent a number of years as a finance manager, overseeing budgets in excess of $100M. She received her PMP certification from Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2010.

  • ABUS 4043 − Project Management in Practice
  • INet 4082W − IT Infrastructure Projects and Processes 
John Raabe Photo

John Raabe

B.S., 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.

  • ABus/INet 3065 - Computer Security for the Business Professional

  • CSci 4211 - Introduction to Computer Networks

  • INet 4153 - Introduction to Security: Policy and Regulation

  • INET 4165 - Security I: Principles

Jonathan Silverman

M.S., computer science, Union College; B.S., 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
Katherine Splett Photo

Katherine Splett

M.S., computer science, University of Minnesota; M.E. and B.S., electrical engineering, Cornell University

Katherine Splett has over 25 years of experience developing computer systems as project lead, system architect, database architect, application developer, and electrical engineer. She currently works in the health care industry, and has previously worked in financial, identity, and government industries. Her technical expertise is primarily in areas of design and development of system architectures, computer applications, and databases. Katherine teaches material from a business perspective, providing an overall understanding from the IT perspective, then delves into specific IT competencies.

  • INet 4061 - Data Science I: Fundamentals

  • INet 4710 - Data Science II: Big Data and Analytics
Nathan Tymeson Photo

Nathan Tymeson

M.B.A., Carlson School of Management; B.S., 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 3102 - Web Infrastructure

  • INet 4011 - Network I: Network Administration

  • INet 4165 - Security I: Principles

  • INet 4711 - Database Administration II: Distributed Systems


Anthony Tony Scott photo

Anthony (Tony) Scott

Academic Adviser

Tony Scott has been with the College since 2005. He currently advises students in Manufacturing Operations Management and Information Technology Infrastructure and for certificates in accounting, addiction studies, and applied business. He holds a B.A. in child psychology, youth studies, and African American studies and an M.B.A. in consulting.

Liz Hruska photo

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: lizhruska.appointments.umn.edu. 

Advisory Board

Name Title Affiliation
Phillip Barry Assistant Educational Specialist UM Computer Science Department
Jeff Chauvin Senior IT Specialist IBM Corporation
Mitch Coopet Founder and CTO Code42
Josh Dyba IT Consultant United Health Care
Rick Erickson EVP Business Development Agosto
LeAllan Estrem Enterprise Manager, Information Security & Privacy National Marrow Donor Program
John Fite ITI Student Representative University of Minnesota
Chris Hertel Senior Principal Software Engineer Red Hat, Inc.
Tom Keiffer CEO Virteva
Mark Langanki Faculty Director, IT Infrastructure College of Continuing and Professional Studies, U of M
Scott Larson CEO Larson Security
Bruce Peterson Engineer Labs Manager Lockheed-Martin
Dave Rima Technology Team Manager Fairview Health Services
Mike Runnheim Director, Information Services, Vascular Therapies Covidien
Jon Silverman Senior R&D Manager Avaya
Justin Smith IT Business Analyst Valspar Corporation

List is current as of July 2014.