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Information Technology and Administrative Management

College of Education and Professional Studies

Dr. Nathan White, Associate Professor

Office: SAM 243B
Phone: 509.963.1904

A lot of people have asked why I left industry to teach. My response, “I love working with the students.” It’s a somewhat trite reply, but it’s the truth. I truly love teaching and helping students learn. I get a lot of satisfaction when I see those light bulbs light up over their heads.

I guess you could say that teaching is my third career, though I’ve been in information technology the whole time. I enlisted in the US Air Force in 1979 as a computer programmer and started taking college night classes right away. After seven years, I completed my bachelor’s degree in computer science and applied for, and was accepted to, the Air Force’s Officer Training School. After receiving my commission, I continued to write code in addition to leading a team. For the remainder of my 21 ½ years in the USAF, I managed a variety of computing organizations. I was also lucky enough to spend 10 of those 21 ½ years in Europe, quite an experience for a farm boy from Illinois.

After my retirement from the USAF, I was an associate vice president at a Fortune 500 financial services company. I held a variety of positions within that firm, culminating with a management position which oversaw the testing of the 200+ applications and systems within the company.

For six of the years while I was in the USAF, I taught part-time for the University of Maryland. I’m pretty sure that this is where I kindled my passion for teaching. After eight years in industry, I decided to pursue that passion, and changed careers again. This time, I decided to enter academia and haven’t looked back. Prior to my arrival at CWU, I taught full time at a small liberal arts university in southwest Illinois.

While I’ve never really been an athlete, participating in a few sports are my passions. I have ran five full marathons. I was never very fast, but just got it done, at least until a heel injury sidelined me. While living in Europe, I snow skied quite a bit and am looking to hitting some of the slopes around Ellensburg (there wasn’t much skiing in Illinois…lol). I am also a nut about CrossFit. I’ve been doing CrossFit workouts for a little over four years and really enjoy them. If you see me walking slow around the halls, I’m probably just sore from a good workout.

Advice to Students

My dad was a WWII marine, who made four beach landings in the Pacific. He shared with me two leadership principles that marines live by:

1. Your men always eat first
2. Never ask your men to do something that you wouldn’t do.

I’ve adapted this advice to my professional life and added one principle of my own:

1. Take care of your folks. You, as the leader, don’t always need the best computer, the fanciest phone, etc. First, make sure your folks have the tools necessary to do their job. Also, give them face time with the boss. They need tools to do their job and exposure to management in order to progress in their careers.
2. Inconvenience yourself. If your folks work weekends, you should show up. It doesn’t have to be every weekend for the whole shift, but show up. Let them know that you care.
3. Give your folks goals—and make sure you show them how they can achieve those goals. You need to point the direction, but you don’t have to pave the road. Leave that to them.

Remember as a leader, you are only as successful as the folks who work for you.

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."
~Colin Powell

"When you confront a problem you begin to solve it." 
~Rudy Giuliani


PH.D. in Information Systems, Concentration: Information Security , Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida, 2015

M.S. in Computer and Information Systems, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, 2000

M.B.A., St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX, Concentration:  Operations Management, 1990

B.S. in Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 1986


Instructor, McKendree University, 2008 - 2014

Undergraduate computer science and computer information systems
Developed syllabus and overall course structure, and administered all grades.  Member of search and faculty committees.

Adjunct Faculty, University of Maryland, University College, European Division, 1992 - 1997

Undergraduate computer science and information systems. Developed syllabus and overall course structure, and administered all grades.

IT Manager and Associate Vice President, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., St. Louis, MO, 2000 - 2008

  • Managed the configuration, testing process, and management reporting for all testing activities
  • Implemented standard requirements gathering procedures and defect management guidelines
  • Oversaw performance testing of all systems
  • Directed all activities relating to server build and installation

IT Manager, U.S. Air Force, Various Locations, 1990 - 2000

  • Managed the creation of IT architecture policy for the USAF
  • Managed the introduction of a $750 million command and control system into NATO’s central region
  • Managed Air Intelligence Agency’s largest IT data processing and communications center in Europe
  • Supervised integration and first deployment of new NATO tactical communications system to the Bosnian theater in support of the theater commander

Business Analyst, Software Developer, and Systems Administrator, U.S. Air Force, Various Locations, 1979 - 1990

  • Lead analyst and developer on project that created an accounting system for the finance department on a NATO air base
  • Wrote and maintained applications ranging from report systems to operating system emulators. Applications were written in a variety of languages, which included assembly language, C, COBOL, & FORTRAN


Knowledge Management Conference
BLASST: Uncovering knowledge on how boredom, loneliness, social anxiety, social gratification, and social relationships fuel a driver’s need to text. June, 2013

McKendree University CS4HS Workshop
MIT App Inventor
Programming in Excel June, 2012

Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, Central Plains Region Conference
Computational thinking outreach: Reaching across the K-12 curriculum April, 2012
Relator Association of Southwestern Illinois
Establishing an Online Presence for Small Businesses April, 2012

McKendree University CS4HS Workshop
CS Unplugged
Programming in Excel June, 2011

O’Fallon, IL, Chamber of Commerce
Establishing an Online Presence for Small Businesses March, 2011


Pokorny, K. & White, N. (2012) Computational thinking outreach: Reaching across the K-12 curriculum. The Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 27(5), 234-242.

White, N. A., & Levy, Y. (2013). BLASST: Uncovering knowledge on how boredom, loneliness, social anxiety, social gratification, and social relationships fuel a driver’s need to text. Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management, 1(1), 109-121.


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