Keynote Speakers

Dr. Jeff Gray
Gretchen Bliss

Dr. Jeff Gray is a Professor (Full) in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Alabama (UA) and the Director of the Randall Research Scholars Program. He is a National Science Foundation CAREER award recipient and was named the Professor of the Year (Alabama, 2008) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Jeff is a Distinguished Member of the ACM and recently named in the first cohort of Distinguished Contributors of the IEEE Computer Society. He also serves on the Development Committee for the College Board’s AP CS Principles course. Jeff is co-chair of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s Computer Science Advisory Council (K-12 CS education). Since 2003, he has offered multiple events (e.g., CS contests, camps, science fair mentoring, professional learning) to both K-12 students and teachers. More information about Jeff’s activities are available at

Gretchen Bliss, Cybersecurity Programs Director, UCCS

Ms. Bliss is the Cybersecurity Program Director at UCCS.  She and her team are working to expand cybersecurity across the 6 Colleges at UCCS.  In addition to the long-standing cybersecurity programs at Engineering and Applied Science, the past year the School of Education, School of Public Affairs, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and College of Business have all launched Cybersecurity programs, concentrations or certificates.  Over the last year, she led the development and implementation of the UCCS POWER Cybersecurity Strategy, Partnership, Outreach, Workforce, Education and Research.  This strategy has launched a focused effort across campus to lead in the cybersecurity ecosystem to create a network that produces qualified cybersecurity professionals to meet the growing need in industry.   Previously, she worked at PPCC for 5 years as their Cybersecurity Director and led the college Cybersecurity efforts through increasing the PPCC profile and footprint in cybersecurity.  Before PPCC, she worked for 25 years in the intelligence community, most recently as the NORAD Deputy Senior Analyst and Chief of Plans, supporting the government’s efforts in understanding the evolution of cyber since the early 1990s on cyber, information operations and warfare, and computer network defense/attack.