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Bellevue University Professor Helps Students Prep for Real World


As a Bellevue University alumnus and cybersecurity professional, Professor David Petty provides the perfect balance of expertise and relevancy for his students in the College of Science and Technology. In fact, the University recently recognized him with the Lou Soukup award as an outstanding adjunct professor for his efforts.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the University and my fellow faculty,” he said. “I very much appreciate the opportunity to be part of the Bellevue University family.”

Applying Lifelong Learning to a Successful Career

Petty has dedicated his career to various areas of technology, growing and learning along the way. He spent 20 years in the military as an Intelligence Analyst focused on defense against cyber attacks. He then devoted 14 years to the Defense Intelligence Agency as a Cyber Intelligence Officer and IT Project Manager. He now works as a Geospatial Systems Analyst/Engineer for the U.S. Forest Service .

Building on this expertise, he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bellevue University in 2004 and 2007. During this time, a faculty member suggested he apply to become an adjunct faculty member. He’s been serving in that role since 2009.

Sharing a Love for Technology

Over the past 14 years, Petty has taught both online and in-person courses in cybersecurity, project management, and information and systems management.

“I have always been a technology nerd and love to share that passion with students,” he said.

Petty tries to give his students a valuable learning experience by sharing his knowledge and encouraging them to share perspectives based on their own backgrounds. “I believe that Bellevue University’s greatest strengths are its faculty and students, and how their individual life experiences contribute to the active learning environment,” he said. “I have tried to do the same, where I can. This helps to reinforce the curriculum and applies not just what you can learn out of a textbook, but provides those real-life examples.”

Petty’s background helps him provide real-world context for his students, whether it’s how important a role cybersecurity plays in the national and global arena, or how information technology is being actively used to counter wildland fire and the results of climate change. Petty adds that the University has established a system that sets students up for success. “They provide a very good professor-to-student ratio, which translates to more hands-on interactions between faculty and students,” he said. “Couple this with the wide experiences that the faculty brings and you have a very eclectic environment that builds on relationships and authentic interest in seeing our students succeed.”

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