Yul Williams is in the business of securing the future. As a technical director at the National Security Agency, he identifies future issues and capability gaps to stay ahead of the bad guys who want to break into the nation's computer systems. As an adjunct professor in UMUC's Undergraduate School, he teaches the next generation of IT professionals to produce new ideas, processes, and technologies.

Williams teaches undergraduate computer science courses and is among UMUC's faculty of highly successful and experienced scholar-practitioners who go beyond theory and teach real-world applications. For him, UMUC's practical approach to teaching is what works.

"[Students] want to put their knowledge to work," said Williams. "People want to know how to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it in their daily lives. That's one of the things I like about UMUC's program."

In his job at NSA, Williams is working to eliminate the bureaucracy that stands between new ideas and their implementation. He wants to seek out problems and find a way to deal with them in a more structured way. Williams understands better than most the need for new people to get the skills to join the fight—and he know just what skills they need.

"We are leveraging the potential of the entire NSA workforce as people put forth their ideas and take them through an organized process to figure out whether those ideas are viable and can help our mission," said Williams. "We recognize that the new folks coming up will have new ideas in computing, which is second nature to them. We could use that big infusion of knowledge and enthusiasm."