From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Dr. Christie Fuller: There is no Deceiving Her
Christie Fuller grew up in western Kansas in a college town about the size of Ruston. She went to Kansas State University as a math major, but eventually found that its College of Business was a better fit for her interests. She learned that she could apply the logic and problem solving skills from her math background to solving business problems. Christie graduated from K-State cum laude with a BS in Business Administration, majoring in management. After being out of school for a couple of years, she decided to go back to get her MBA at Fort Hays State University in her hometown of Hays, Kansas. Early in her studies, Christie was urged by the director of the MBA program, Dr. Jim Heian, to consider pursuing a PhD. After graduating with the MBA at FHSU, Christie was given the opportunity to teach there for a year. Within a couple of months, she was certain that getting a PhD was the right path for her. She applied, was accepted, and enrolled the doctoral program in Management Science and Information Systems in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University the next year. At Oklahoma State, Christie initially worked on neural network research with Dr. Rick Wilson, a professor who would later serve as her dissertation chair. Midway through the program, Dr. David Biros joined the faculty upon his retirement from the Air Force. He had been working on a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant researching deception detection from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research along with researchers from the University of Arizona and Florida State University. Due to Christie’s background in data mining, she was chosen to be his graduate assistant for the final year of the grant. This led to her dissertation work which used data and text mining techniques to analyze written statements from suspects and witnesses in criminal investigations on two air force bases. Christie noted, “We were able to achieve deception detection accuracy rates of about 74%, which is within the range of polygraph accuracy. Compared to the polygraph, the method we used requires little training, little equipment, can be used with almost any language source, and does not require the cooperation or knowledge of the subject of the analysis.” Christie graduated from OSU in 2008. In her doctoral research, Christie worked with Dr. Judee Burgoon and Dr. Jay Nunamaker from the University of Arizona, who are preeminent researchers in their respective fields of deception and decision support systems. Four journal articles have resulted from her dissertation and she has published 4 other journal articles. Christie continues to work on research related to deception, trust, data and text mining, and virtual teams. She is also involved in studying several aspects of common method variance with Dr. Marcia Dickerson, assistant dean in Louisiana Tech’s College of Business. Christie is a member of the Information Systems faculty at Tech and is active in the Center for Information Assurance. She has contributed to the efforts that led the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to designate Louisiana Tech as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Systems Security Education and Research. Over her 11 years of teaching, Christie has taught 9 different classes in Computer Information Systems and Management. At Louisiana Tech, she typically teaches databases and introduction to information assurance. A particularly important aspect of the information assurance class is giving the students hands-on experience with various tools. Over the last 6 years, Christie has developed several lab exercises that require the use of the mobile information assurance lab, a lab funded through a Board of Regents enhancement grant. Christie may teach the basic concepts of symmetric and asymmetric cryptography during lecture and then give students an opportunity to configure their email accounts to send secure email and digitally sign that email using asymmetric cryptography. Christie is also working with colleagues at Oklahoma State University, Illinois State University, and Mississippi State University to develop CollabSec, which is an online collaborative risk management game. Simply put, risk management is listing an organization’s information assets, evaluating the threats to those assets, and then deciding how to safeguard those assets. CollabSec gives students the opportunity to work together to practice the principles of risk management that they learn in class. CollabSec will be used in class for the first time during the spring quarter. CollabSec is designed to be flexible and will later be used for research in virtual teams. In addition to giving students hands-on learning opportunities, another important aspect of Christie’s teaching style is to incorporate the students’ prior knowledge into class. The “Introduction to Information Assurance” class is taken by students with a wide variety of backgrounds and majors. Instead of just traditional lecture, much of the class becomes discussion-based as students are encouraged to both ask questions and share their prior knowledge. This is particularly important when she teaches the class at CenturyLink corporate headquarters each Spring. These students typically have anywhere from 10 to 40 years of experience and come from many different parts of the organization. Instead of discussing the course topics in general, the class is able to discuss how the topics relate to their work at CenturyLink. Christie acknowledged, “I have learned a lot and become a better teacher by listening to their experiences. By applying the concepts to their work and personal lives, I believe their learning experience is also enriched.” Christie’s non-work time is spent cooking and trying out new recipes, gardening, practicing yoga, and spoiling her 2 rescued cocker spaniels. Christie also enjoys traveling and is looking forward to taking her third trip to Italy soon.