Cyber Forensics & Security Faculty

ICS Co-Lead for Academics, CFS Undergraduate Coordinator, Associate Professor
WAEC 2005

Bill Gardner is an Assistant Professor at Marshall University, where he teaches information assurance and foundational technology courses in the Department of Forensics. Bill has spent the past four summers teaching making, cybersecurity, fundamental technology, and coding to K-12 students. He spent the past summer teaching Python to middle-high school students with a special emphasis on attaching girls and minorities to STEAM fields.

Bill is a past-president and information security chair at the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence. AIDE is a non-profit organization that provides research and training for digital evidence professionals including attorneys, judges, law enforcement officers and information security practitioners in the private sector. Prior to joining the faculty at Marshall, Bill co-founded the SecureWV/Hack3rCon convention and is a co-founded 304geeks, a West Virginia technology networking organization. Bill is an active member of the information security community and has spoken at a number of information security conferences including AIDE, Derbycon, Shmoocon, BSides-Cincy, BSidesCleveland, and BSidesAsheville.

In addition, Bill a co-author of “Building an Information Security Awareness Program: Defending Against Social Engineering and Technical Threats”, and “Google Hacking For Penetration Testers”.

More information about Bill Gardner can be found at

Graduate Program Director for CFS, ICS Lead for Research, Associate Professor

Dr. Josh Brunty is an Associate Professor & Director of the Cyber Forensics & Security graduate program in the Department of Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Forensic Sciences. He also serves as the Research Lead in Marshall’s Institute of Cyber Security. Prior to joining Marshall University in 2012, he served seven years as a Digital Forensics Examiner, Technical Leader, and Technical Assessor for both the state and federal government sectors.

Since 2013, he has served as Faculty Advisor and coach of Marshall’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Team. This team has taken top honors in a variety of capture-the-flag (CTF) and cybersecurity competitions, including a first place national championship finish in the National Cyber League (Spring 2020), and 4-straight Top Ten finishes. He has also served as a mentor for various high school teams for Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot Competition as well.

He is a recipient of the 2019-2020 Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Faculty Award. He is also the recipient of the 2019-2020 John & Francis Rucker Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, and the Journal of Forensic Sciences. He also serves as Executive Secretary and Member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committee (OSAC) on Digital Evidence, a position he has served in since 2016. He also currently serves as Academician Commissioner of the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) since 2020. He is a Fellow of the Digital and Multimedia Sciences Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). He is also a member of the Mid-Atlantic Association of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA). He holds multiple certifications including: GIAC Advanced Smartphone Forensics (GASF #862), Cellebrite Certified Mobile Examiner (CCME), Cellebrite Certified Chip-Off Analyst (CCOF), LEVA Certified Forensic Video Technician (CFVT), Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI), FLETC Seized Computer Evidence Recovery Specialist (SCERS), and the Magnet Forensics Certified Forensics Examiner (MCFE).

He is currently funded by the United States Secret Service National Computer Forensics Institute (USSS-NCFI) to perform digital forensics and investigative technology research (2020-2023) and is also currently funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security Science Technology Directorate (S&T) to engage in digital forensics tools and techniques in dark web investigations (2021-2023). Additionally, he has received past funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for Technical Training, Research, and Casework Activities for state and local agencies engaged in digital forensics (2010-2015). Additionally, he secured funding from National Security Agency (NSA) & National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the GenCyber program at Marshall University and host the first ever GenCyber cybersecurity student camp in the state of West Virginia (2017 & 2018). He has published a variety of articles and books, most notably co-authoring the 2012 Taylor & Francis textbook Social Media Investigation for Law Enforcement, which is still used in police academies and academic institutions throughout the United States. Additionally, he co-authored the Journal of Forensic Sciences article on the Forensic Inspection of Sensitive User Data and Artifacts from Smartwatch Wearable Devices, which received the 2019 American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Digital & Multimedia Sciences Most Outstanding Research Award, in addition to being recognized by the journal as a 2019 noteworthy article.

Associate Director of ICS, Professor
WAEC 2003

John Sammons is an accomplished scholar, author, and educator with a wealth of experience in the field of digital forensics. As a Professor at Marshall University, he serves as the Associate Director of the Institute for Cyber Security and is a well-respected instructor in the areas of advanced digital forensics and firearms. In addition to his academic work, John is also a former Huntington Police officer and has received recognition for his investigative work from the United States Department of Justice.

John is the author, co-author, and contributor of several books on digital forensics, including the best-selling “The Basics of Digital Forensics,” which was nominated for Digital Forensics Book of the Year by Forensic 4 Cast in 2013. He has also co-authored the digital forensics chapter in Douglas Ubelaker’s “Forensic Science: Current Issues, Future Directions,” which is co-published with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. In addition to his academic work, John also serves as a Fusion Center Liaison Officer for the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center and is the founder and President of the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence, a non-profit organization that provides research and training for digital evidence professionals.

John is highly regarded in his field, holding multiple certifications, including the AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE), the Cellebrite Certified Logical Operator (CCLO), and the Cellebrite Certified Physical Analyst (CCPA). He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the High Technology Crime Investigation Association, and the FBI Infragard. Prior to joining the faculty at Marshall, John co-founded Second Creek Technologies, a digital forensics and electronic discovery firm located in Barboursville, West Virginia. He is an adjunct instructor at the Marshall University Forensic Science Center where he teaches advanced digital forensics and firearms to graduate students. John routinely provides training for the legal and law enforcement communities in the areas of digital forensics, investigations, and electronic discovery.

Assistant Professor
WAEC 2007

Robin Verma received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-Delhi), New Delhi, India, in 2018. He was a postdoctoral researcher with the Cyber Center for Security and Analytics at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), San Antonio, Texas. His research interests include digital forensics, Internet of Things (IoT) security and forensics, the application of machine learning in digital forensics, cybersecurity, and privacy-preserving technologies.