Behind the screen

GVL / Courtesy -
Mike Rogers, CNN national security commentator

GVL / Courtesy - Mike Rogers, CNN national security commentator

Meghan McBrady

Working in a safe and secure cyber community is necessary when conducting business throughout the web to conserve any virtual-based entity, from an individual’s online presence to national security.

To highlight how cyber security can affect various entities, like politics and space, CNN national security commentator Mike Rogers will speak at the Peter F. Secchia Breakfast Lecture Monday, Feb. 13, at Grand Valley State University’s L. William Seidman Center.

With breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m., the event, sponsored by the GVSU Seidman College of Business, will include Roger’s lecture at 8 a.m. followed by a brief Q&A session.

Vonnie Herrera, the director of external relations and communication in the Seidman Dean’s Office, said the reason why Rogers was invited to speak at the breakfast lecture was because of his first-hand knowledge of global and cyber security.

Rogers previously spoke at a Peter F. Secchia Breakfast Lecture Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, during which he focused on cyber threats to U.S. national security. Five years later, Herrera said, the Seidman College of Business wanted to bring Rogers back to the Pew Campus to engage even further with members of the West Michigan community.

“I’ve been drawn to how much that topic has increased in importance, in significance and discussion throughout the world,” she said. “We try to get speakers who will resonate with the community, with the alums and with our university community on a topic that would have at least some appeal.”

An alumnus from Adrian College, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in sociology, Rogers is a former FBI agent who specialized in organized crime and public corruption. As a member of the Republican Party, Roger was also the U.S. Rep. for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District from 2001 to 2015.

Beyond being the host of CNN’s “Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies,” Rogers introduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a proposed law that would allow voluntary sharing of information between the government and private companies in the event of a cyber-attack.

Herrera said reservation for the event “filled up quickly.”

“(We had) to close off reservations last week,” she said. “We’re overbooked right now and have established a waiting list. Judging by the topic (being) presented, you can understand why it is attractive to have him as a speaker.”

Casey Blashill, a marketing student in the Seidman College of Business, said she is excited to have a high-profile guest lecturer being brought in to speak at GVSU.

“I believe that Rogers will provide a great overview of global security in regards to cyberspace and politics,” she said. “As a conservative myself, I’m eager to hear his thoughts and believe this is a wonderful opportunity for business students.”

Herrera said this event would be an experiential learning experience for business students and for other groups of people looking to network and engage with West Michigan’s business sector.

“I hope that there is increased awareness for the audience to be concerned and careful about how they conduct their lives in a challenging era in terms of security, protection and also inner actions and awareness of global challenges that we face,” Herrera said. “I appreciate the opportunity that we have as the Seidman College of Business and its alumni association to present information and speakers, an occasion where people can gather to learn about topics and converse with others.”

For more information about the Seidman College of Business and future events, visit