BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Two faculty members have been honored with prestigious awards from Indiana University.
Scott Shackelford, a professor in the Department of Business Law & Ethics, has been named a Provost Professor, making him the first Kelley School faculty member to win this award. The Provost Professor title is given to faculty members who have achieved local, national, and international distinction in both teaching and research.
Shackelford, a global thought leader on cybersecurity, was one of only four professors chosen for the distinguished honor this year. He will carry this title for the remainder of his career at IU.
Sagar Samtani, an assistant professor in the Department of Operations & Decision Technologies and Grant Thornton Scholar, has won the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. The award is the most prestigious campus-wide award for pre-tenured faculty and is intended to recognize IU’s most promising young faculty. Those selected to receive this honor have begun to develop nationally recognized research programs, as well as making important contributions to IU’s teaching and service missions.
Both awards are presented by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.
Previous recipients of IU’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the Kelley School are Abbey Stemler, associate professor of business law and ethics, in 2020; George Ball, associate professor of operations and decision technologies, in 2019; Shackelford in 2014; and Patrick Hopkins, executive associate dean for academic programs and the Conrad Prebys Professor, in 2000. Recipients also receive a $15,000 grant to support future research.
“The research and teaching contributions by Kelley faculty are well known and consistently ranked among the nation’s elite,” said Ash Soni, interim dean of the Kelley School and the Sungkyunkwan Professor. “It is especially meaningful when that recognition comes from our peers at Indiana University and when it highlights the work of two people whose work produces new knowledge and addresses serious problems facing organizations and society overall. Scott and Sagar are most deserving of these prestigious and well-deserved honors.”
A scholar on cybersecurity, cyber peace and governing the “new frontiers”
Shackelford serves as executive director for both the Ostrom Workshop and the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research. Both centers are multidisciplinary in approach and support cutting-edge applied research that benefit communities across Indiana and beyond.
The Ostrom Workshop — founded fifty years ago by Professor Elinor Ostrom, the first woman and political scientist to win the Nobel Prize in Economics and her husband Vincent Ostrom — focuses on seeking and sharing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems involving communal and contested resources — from clean water to secure cyberspace. Shackelford has co-authored a new children’s book that is being published by IU Press on the life of Elinor “Lin” Ostrom entitled, “Lin’s Uncommon Life.”
The Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research weaves together IU’s deep operational, technical, and policy expertise to offer training, research, compliance, and consulting services to a wide range of clients. They include a new $4 million partnership with Purdue University and the Indiana Office of Technology to conduct cybersecurity assessments of more than 300 Indiana communities over the next four years. CACR engages with faculty across IU as fellows, including Samtani.
Shackelford helped develop and was the inaugural chair of the Cybersecurity Risk Management Program, IU’s multidisciplinary program that is a collaboration among the Kelley School, the Maurer School of Law, and the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. The program – which recently was ranked fourth globally by Fortune magazine — offers an in-residence, online, and hybrid Master of Science in Cybersecurity Risk Management. It features a range of unique opportunities for students including the IU Cybersecurity Clinic and IU’s CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program.
Described by others as a “prolific, collaborative, and creative researcher,” Shackelford has written more than 100 articles, book chapters, essays, and op-eds for diverse publications, and is the author of four books with Oxford and Cambridge university presses and co-editor of two volumes. His research has been covered by an array of outlets, including Politico, NPR, CNN, Forbes, Time, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. One of his nominators described his productivity and influence as “head-spinning.”
His books include “Governing New Frontiers in the Information Age: Toward Cyber Peace (Cambridge University Press 2020),” “The Internet of Things: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2020),” “Governing New Frontiers in the Information Age: Toward Cyber Peace (Cambridge University Press, 2020),” and “Managing Cyber Attacks in International Law, Business, and Relations: In Search of Cyber Peace (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
He is also the lead editor of the first volume dedicated to cyber peace entitled “Cyber Peace: Charting a Path Toward a Sustainable, Stable, and Secure Cyberspace (Cambridge University Press, 2022),” and another forthcoming volume, “Defending Democracy in the Digital Age (Cambridge University Press, 2024).
His academic work and teaching have been recognized with numerous awards, including a Harvard University Research Fellowship, a Stanford University Hoover Institution National Fellowship, and a Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study Distinguished Fellowship. He also serves as the principal investigator on more than $4 million in grants from a range of leading funding agencies and foundations including the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, Hewlett Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
Shackelford is an IU alumnus, having graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science. He went on to earn a Master of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge in England, then a law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School. He returned to Cambridge to earn his Ph.D. with highest distinction in Politics and International Studies. He joined the Kelley School as an assistant professor in 2010.
An expert in AI for cybersecurity, deep learning, and Dark Web analytics
Samtani joined the Kelley School in 2020 and quickly established himself as a “triple threat” talent of a prolific and pioneering researcher on high-relevance topics, a top-tier teacher, and an inclusive colleague through his community development activities.
His research primarily centers around AI for cybersecurity and cyber threat intelligence and he has been a principal investigator or a co-PI for eight sponsored research awards totaling $4.3 million since earning his doctorate. He also studies deep learning, network science, and text mining approaches for smart vulnerability assessment, scientific cyberinfrastructure security, open-source software security, AI risk management, and Dark Web analytics. He has also made important contributions to AI-enabled health analytics, particularly for mental health.
Samtani developed one of the nation’s first courses related to AI for cybersecurity. He has also co-founded several workshops on the topic at prevailing conferences in information systems and artificial intelligence. He is also deeply engaged with industry, most notably through his consulting engagements and roles on the Executive Advisory Council for the CompTIA Information Sharing and Analysis Organization and the Board of Directors at the DEFCON AI Village.
In December 2022, Samtani received the Association for Information Systems’ AIS Early Career Award in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the International Conference on Information Systems. The award recognizes individuals in the early stages of their careers who have already made outstanding research, teaching, or service contributions to information systems. Samtani was the first Kelley faculty member to receive the award.
In the same month, he was recognized by the AIS as a Distinguished Member and by Poets and Quants, which included him on their list of Top 50 Best Undergraduate Professors. He is the only member from academia in the prestigious CyberCorps Scholarship-for-Service Hall of Fame, which the National Science Foundation and Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency sponsor.
Samtani and Shackelford both are principal Investigators for IU’s NSF CyberCorps Scholarship-for-Service grant – the most visible program at the National Science Foundation related to cybersecurity workforce development.
He has established an interdisciplinary lab focused on developing AI-enabled analytics for current and emerging research. It already is proving to be highly active with four faculty collaborators and 11 doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate students. As an example of the importance he places on diversity, nine of the 15 members of the lab are women.
Samtani received a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona in 2018 with a minor in cognitive science. He began his career at the University of South Florida.