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Jerrad Ackerman, Julie Connelly, David Ledford and Heath Satterfield will be inducted into the MSIS Cloud of Honor during the department's third annual Cloud of Honor Celebration.

Eight outstanding alumni to be honored at MSIS Cloud of Honor Celebration

Monday, January 8, 2024

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 |

Eight distinguished alumni of Oklahoma State University’s information systems programs will be recognized at the Management Science and Information Systems third annual Cloud of Honor Celebration Feb. 23 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

Jerrad Ackerman, Julie Connelly, David Ledford and Heath Satterfield will be inducted into the MSIS Cloud of Honor. The Cloud of Honor was established in 2022 to recognize and honor graduates from OSU’s information systems programs, dating back to the 1970s and which has been administered by the MSIS department since its creation in 2002.

Everett Bates, Neil Tyler Bell, Cooper Norman and Carleigh Wood will be recognized as this year’s recipients of the Cumulus Award, created to acknowledge young MSIS alumni who have made a difference in their field.

“We are excited that Jerrad, Julie, David and Heath are the next class of inductees into the MSIS Cloud of Honor, and welcome Everett, Tyler, Cooper and Carleigh as our next Cumulus Award winners,” said Dr. Rick Wilson, head of the MSIS department. “The collective talents, accomplishments and impact that these graduates have had on the world is so impressive.

“We are proud of our awardees, and they serve as great exemplars for our present MSIS and data analytics students, who represent the next generation of leaders and innovators in the information technology, cybersecurity and data science fields.”

Ackerman, a native of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is the principal director of Classified Information Systems, Cyber, and Operations at The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He joined Draper this December. In his current capacity, Ackerman provides the strategic vision supporting the information activities required for Draper to carry out some of the most sensitive research, development and capabilities for the nation.  

Throughout his 21-year career, Ackerman has served in various leadership roles and advisory boards involved with the nation’s intelligence community, including chief engineer and senior technical advisor to U.S. Special Operations Command.  

From 2006-11, Ackerman served in the Navy and spent most of his service as the lead tactical communicator for Naval Special Warfare Development Group. During his service, Ackerman completed four deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and one deployment to eastern Africa in support of a classified mission set.  

Ackerman graduated in 2002 from OSU with a major in MIS and went on to earn a master’s degree from Duquesne University in 2011.  

Connelly was born and raised in Stillwater. She stayed local, earning her bachelor’s degree in MIS in 1999 and an MBA in 2000 from OSU.

She worked nearly 20 years as a vice president at ISN Software Corporation in Dallas before taking an early retirement in 2022. Throughout her career, Connelly held multiple leadership positions in business development, quality assurance/quality control, product management and human resources. A highlight of her career was a three-year assignment in Sydney, Australia.

Prior to joining ISN, Connelly worked at KMPG as an IT auditor. In 2008, she received the Spears School of Business Outstanding Young Alumnus Award and in 2011, she was recognized as one of the Top 50 MBA alumni. Since graduation, Connelly has given back to Spears Business by participating in the Spears Mentoring program, on-campus recruiting activities, serving as a judge in case competitions and speaking to numerous business classes and organizations.

In her newfound “spare” time, Connelly enjoys traveling, volunteering in her community and her daughter’s school community and being on far less conference calls.

Ledford grew up in northeast Oklahoma and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He received his bachelor’s degree in MIS from OSU in 1989. He is a member of the Delta Chi fraternity and proud to say that he has been thrown in Theta Pond on a couple of occasions. In 2003, Ledford received his MBA from Southern Methodist University. 

Ledford has had the opportunity to work in a variety of industries over his 30-plus year career, including spending 10 years as GameStop’s Chief Technology Officer.   

In 2014, Ledford became the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s first chief information officer, building out their first integrated IT organization across the government, health care and commerce divisions. In 2016, he had the opportunity to return to northeast Oklahoma to support the Cherokee Nation by leading the IT organization for the tribe’s entertainment division (CNE). After serving as CNE’s CIO for seven years, Ledford returned to the Choctaw Nation, currently serving the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as CIO, leading a team of over 500 IT professionals.

Satterfield is a seasoned technology leader with 25 years of experience. He currently holds the position of CIO at Devon Energy, where he oversees the technology teams responsible for shared technology, data management/platforms, integrations and all supporting business functions to Devon’s core E&P business.

Prior to this role, Satterfield held several leadership positions at Devon, including in technology, supply chain, project management, continuous improvement and as a business unit planning manager.

Everett Bates
Everett Bates

Before joining Devon, Satterfield worked as a consultant for public and private sector clients in information security. He earned a bachelor’s degree in MIS from OSU in 1998 and later an MBA from Oklahoma City University.

Satterfield is actively involved in the Oklahoma City metro area community, serving on the boards of Special Care Inc. and Goodwill of Central Oklahoma. Additionally, he supports OSU through the Spears School of Business Mentoring program, the MSIS Department Industry Advisory Board and the Corporate Advisory Board for the Master of Science in Business Analytics and Data Science.

Bates graduated with an MIS degree (information assurance option) from OSU in 2009, and he recently completed his MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. 

Bates has over 15 years of experience integrating technology and business solutions and is a leader in the cybersecurity area. He is currently leading the information security program at Crunchyroll (a Sony Pictures Entertainment company), and previously served as a Chief Information Security Officer in the financial services industry.

His background includes architecting and developing security programs at publicly traded companies, as well as strategic planning with leadership teams to prepare for IPOs, acquisitions and divestiture transactions.

Bates serves on various advisory boards for companies and universities, where he enjoys mentoring future security practitioners. He was an inaugural member of the Trellix CISO Council, and other board memberships include the Forbes Tech Council and the NextGen Cyber Talent Board. Additionally, he actively serves on the MSIS Department Industry Advisory Board as well as providing mentorship throughout the broad cybersecurity community.

Tyler Bell
Tyler Bell

Bell is Vice President of Operational Technology Security and on the Board of Directors at Rule4. He has spent a decade working for cybersecurity firms in Colorado and has held multiple senior engineer and senior management roles in the application security, penetration testing and vCISO space.

Bell started his cybersecurity career while at OSU working for the IT security team as an intern prior to graduating in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in MIS. He then became a full-time security analyst while completing his master’s degree in telecommunications management, graduating again from OSU in 2012.

Currently, he is driving Operational Technology and Industrial Control System cybersecurity program development at Rule4 after finding a new passion for critical infrastructure security. 

Bell is a member of DEF CON Group 720 (dc720) and is a founding member and treasurer for BSides Boulder, a non-traditional tech event created by information security community members. He is also an outspoken data privacy advocate and a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Cooper Norman
Cooper Norman

Norman, a Stillwater native, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in MIS (information assurance option) from OSU in 2017. While at OSU, he had multiple internships with ConocoPhillips and then joined the company full time upon graduation.

He has worked at ConocoPhillips in various roles over the past six years, including DevOps and Application Performance Analytics. Norman is an internal advocate for change while specializing in cybersecurity and automation. In 2020, he joined the Field Wireless Team as an engineer, where he partnered in designing next-generation field HMIs and edge computing. In 2021, Cooper moved to Houston to work as a technology auditor for ConocoPhillips.

Through his role auditing both IT and OT, he has traveled to businesses across the world in support of cybersecurity and compliance. Even while maintaining a hectic travel schedule, Norman has been actively involved with executing and leading ConocoPhillips’ on-campus recruiting efforts while providing mentorship to future OSU MSIS program graduates. He is a frequent participant and supporter of MSIS department student club activities.  

Carleigh Wood
Carleigh Wood

Wood is an Edmond, Oklahoma, native and 2017 graduate of OSU with a bachelor’s degree in MIS. She started her career as a data engineer at USAA in Dallas, working with their customer data warehouse. While working full time, she completed her master’s degree in advanced data analytics from the University of North Texas in 2021. 

In 2021, she joined Keurig Dr Pepper as a data scientist, using her knowledge of data models and statistical analysis to predict future outcomes for Keurig Dr Pepper consumers.

In 2022, Wood joined Meta as a project manager supporting Fundamental AI Research (FAIR). She leads the end-to-end data annotation and collection for AI labeling programs and manages the relationships between product, engineers, research scientists and vendors. She was a key partner and co-author of the research paper for the Seamless project that advances AI translation capabilities; the project was featured in Time magazine as one of the best inventions of 2023. Additionally, she has supported other FAIR projects focusing on audio, speech and the generative AI space. 

Visit the website for more information on the MSIS Department Cloud of Honor Celebration.

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