Murray State University’s Telecommunications Systems Management hosts successful security conference


The TSM National Advisory Board awarded Lana Porter, founder and CEO of L&M Enterprises, with the Dr. Gene Wells Ray Lifetime Achievement Award.

Patterns of Distinction – Security Matters concluded its 9th annual conference on April 27 in the Curris Center at Murray State University. Murray State’s Program of Distinction in Telecommunications Systems Management (TSM) and Community Financial Services Bank (CFSB) co-hosted the conference. It is the largest security conference in the region with over 180 attendees registered.


At the conference, keynote speakers discussed cyber security best practices, how to recognize threats that will impact a small business, the need for state-level companies to defend small businesses and how hackers target small businesses. The speakers included Chris Sanders, Applied Network Defense; John Gilbert, Blake-Philips, LLC; and Ryan Green, Rygre Digital Marketing.


The conference included a special TSM Awards Luncheon hosted by the Center for TSM and sponsored by DEVsource. During the luncheon, keynote speaker Hood Harris, president of AT&T Kentucky, discussed “The Future of the Internet and Connectivity,” which examined evolving technology in the telecommunications industry. After his presentation, Harris received the Nathan Stubblefield Distinguished Lecture Award. The award is presented to the speaker in the TSM distinguished lecture series and named after the inventor of the wireless telephone and Murray native.


Four TSM students were recognized during the luncheon. Dr. Michael Bowman, professor of TSM, presented the Outstanding Senior award to Najibah Ali J. Alabdulmuhsin, Outstanding Online Senior to Robert Grimes, Outstanding Graduate Student to Sivaranjani Muthusamy and Outstanding Online Graduate Student to Daniel Watkins.


Michael Ramage, director of the Center for TSM, presented awards to industry professionals, TSM alumni and faculty members who have made an impact in telecommunications. The awards and winners included:


• Dr. Gene Wells Ray Lifetime Achievement Award – Lana Porter, founder and CEO of L&M Enterprises

• Dick Anderson Leadership Award – Donald Shively, superintendent of Paducah Public Schools

• John Williams Entrepreneurship Award – Jonas Neihoff, president of Socially Present

• Gary Brockway Faculty/Staff Excellence Award – Dr. Abdulrahman Yarali, faculty member at Murray State

• TSM Distinguished Alumni Award – Chris Sanders, undergraduate student and founder of Applied Network Defense, and Dr. Laeeq Khan, graduate student and assistant professor of social media analytics at Ohio University


The next Patterns of Distinction – Security Matters conference will be held on April 26, 2018 in the Curris Center at Murray State. For more information about the conference and future dates, please visit


The TSM program is the award-winning Program of Distinction at Murray State University. The program was designed to focus on the network infrastructure in the rapidly growing technology industry. The TSM program is an interdisciplinary program that provides students a solid foundation in information systems technologies and the application of those technologies in a business environment.

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