Recent News

Dr. Thomas Heverin Joins Baldwin Faculty

The Baldwin School is excited to announce that cybersecurity expert Dr. Thomas Heverin (P ’26, Trustee) will join the Baldwin faculty this fall to teach a new Upper School course called “Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking.” Students in the class will learn the fundamentals of cybersecurity and work on projects that solve problems in this field. Topics will include networks and IT concepts, ethical hacking, cyber defense and the pivotal role cyber security plays in society.
Dr. Heverin is a cybersecurity teaching professor at Drexel University, where he leads the charge in empowering the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. He teaches a wide variety of classes in areas such as ethical hacking, computer forensics, cyber risk assessments and cloud security. In addition to teaching, Thomas leads Drexel's CyberCorps National Science Foundation (NSF) $4 million scholarship grant. This program provides full-tuition scholarships to undergraduate students as they finish their last two years of college and pursue government careers in cybersecurity. 
Most recently, Dr. Heverin and Computer Science and Engineering Department Chair Addison Lilholt worked with Baldwin’s 7th Grade students to discover vulnerabilities on Drexel University's campus regarding key boxes, where they were able to find user profiles including passwords that allowed the students to effectively enter these lockboxes on campus. They also successfully and ethically hacked into Harvard University following the rules of engagement set forth in their vulnerability disclosure program. Baldwin’s 7th grade students "got into Harvard" and found information on printers around Harvard's campus, and they will submit results to their program. 
Dr. Heverin earned his Ph.D. in Information Science from Drexel and worked as a cybersecurity systems engineer supporting the U.S. Navy. In this position, he played a critical role in developing data science techniques to automate cyber-risk assessments of ship systems. He currently holds the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Certified Threat Intelligence Specialist (CTIS) certifications. 
As a strong advocate for diversity in the cybersecurity industry, he has made it his mission to inspire and empower Kindergarten – Grade 12 girls in exploring cybersecurity, coding and computer science. He has worked with organizations such as Girls Who Code (GWC) and Black Girls Code (BGC) and has volunteered with TechGirlz. Dr. Heverin also runs his own cybersecurity training service called Girls Learn Cyber, LLC, to provide Kindergarten – Grade 12 girls with advanced training and mentoring. He has led girls in publishing cybersecurity conference papers, submitting bugs to a university bug bounty program, creating entries in an industry-level hacking database, and authoring a vulnerability in a national security database. 
The following Q&A provides additional insight into Baldwin’s new cybersecurity class and Dr. Heverin’s thoughts on the program:
How did the teaching opportunity at Baldwin come about?
Dr. Heverin: The teaching opportunity at The Baldwin School arose after several years of volunteering in different capacities. I began volunteering in the Lower School and eventually moved on to work with Middle School students, where I offered hands-on cybersecurity workshops. While working with Computer Science and Engineering Department Chair Addison Lilholt, we ran a few successful ethical hacking workshops for multiple 7th grade classes. We observed the girls' high level of excitement and curiosity surrounding cybersecurity, which inspired us to find a way to sustain this level of engagement at the high school level. We pitched the idea of offering a high school cybersecurity elective to the Baldwin curriculum committee and administration, who were receptive to the idea.
What are you most looking forward to, teaching high school girls at Baldwin?
Dr. Heverin: I truly believe the Baldwin students are some of the most intellectually curious and astute critical thinkers that I have ever encountered. I cannot wait to teach a class in which many students raise their hands to not only answer questions that I pose but to also ask their own critical-thinking questions. I also believe that Baldwin students will feel inspired to contribute to both solving real-world cybersecurity problems and to creating scholarly works in cybersecurity that add new knowledge to the field. I cannot wait to follow the high school girls’ curiosity and to see what we discover together. 
What do you think will be the major differences between teaching college level classes and teaching Baldwin high school classes?
Dr. Heverin: In my years of teaching at universities, I have found that many college students have already gained cybersecurity experience through projects, internships or extracurricular activities. They may approach classes with a mindset that they already know a lot about cybersecurity and want to quickly get through classes. Even though they may have gained some technical skills, I have found that many college students lack strong writing, reasoning and presenting skills. 
In contrast, many of the Baldwin high school girls may be novices in the cybersecurity tools and techniques that we will learn. However, I feel that the Baldwin girls already possess other valuable skills like writing, reasoning, research and critical-thinking skills, which are highly sought after in the cybersecurity workforce. I think that in this Baldwin cybersecurity class we will have many discussions, debates and discourse about how cybersecurity impacts many people, companies, organizations and societal issues. 
I believe these differences between college level classes and Baldwin high school classes will allow for a wonderful teaching experience at Baldwin. 
What are your specific goals for the Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking course at Baldwin?
Dr. Heverin: My primary goal with this course is to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to make significant contributions to the world of cybersecurity. I plan to achieve this goal by providing the students with opportunities to find and submit vulnerabilities to bug bounty programs, conduct research in cybersecurity, author cybersecurity scholarly works and create guidelines to ensure the protection of others. In addition to this, I want to empower my students by dispelling the myth that they need extensive coding skills to be successful in cybersecurity. During the first class, I will demonstrate how easy it is to ethically hack into devices using only online search engines. And we will do this all within minutes. It truly is that easy, which is why we need many more people in the cybersecurity workforce who can help protect against hacking. 
Finally, I plan to develop the students' confidence in learning new cybersecurity tools and techniques. Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field, and professionals must stay updated with the latest trends and threats. Therefore, my course will focus on teaching students how to learn, encouraging intellectual curiosity and providing them with the confidence to explore new tools and techniques. In doing so, I aim to help them develop a lifelong love of learning and a passion for cybersecurity that will stay with them long after they leave my class.