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Meet the Staff

Rodney Petersen 2023

Rodney Petersen

Director of NICE 

Rodney Petersen is the director of NICE, advancing cybersecurity education and workforce development, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. He previously served as the Managing Director of the EDUCAUSE Washington Office and a Senior Government Relations Officer. He founded and directed the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity Program and was the lead staff liaison for the Higher Education Information Security Council. He also worked at the the University of Maryland as the Director of IT Policy and Planning in the Office of the Vice President and Chief Information Officer. He also held the role of Campus Compliance Officer in the Office of the President. Read more.

Contact: rodney.petersen [at] (rodney[dot]petersen[at]nist[dot]gov)  ♦  (301) 975-8897

Marian Merritt Web Photo


Marian Merritt

Deputy Director, Manager of Stakeholder Engagement, and Lead for Industry Engagement, NICE

Marian Merritt is the Deputy Director, Manager of Stakeholder Engagement, and Lead for Industry Engagement for NICE at NIST. Her areas of focus include industry engagement, apprenticeship and small business cybersecurity. Marian has over 20 years of experience working in the cybersecurity industry. She previously was with Symantec Corporation as their Director of Cyber Education and Online Safety Programs. In that role, she created a cybersecurity career program for underserved young adults which launched in 2014. Read more.

Contact: marian.merritt [at] (marian[dot]merritt[at]nist[dot]gov)  ♦  (240) 338-2033

Davina Pruitt-Mentle Web Photo

Davina Pruitt-Mentle

Lead for Academic Engagement, NICE

Dr. Davina Pruitt-Mentle serves as Lead for Academic Engagement of NICE at NIST. Prior to joining NICE, she was a senior researcher and policy analyst for Educational Technology Policy, Research and Outreach (ETPRO) and served as the Co-PI for the National Science Foundation (NSF) supported National Cyberwatch Center (NCC). Read more.

Contact: davina.pruitt-mentle [at] (davina[dot]pruitt-mentle[at]nist[dot]gov)  ♦  (301) 975-2411 

Karen Wetzel Web Photo


Karen Wetzel

Manager of the NICE Framework, NICE

Karen Wetzel joined NICE as Manager of the NICE Framework in October 2020. In this role she is responsible for leading efforts around the development, improvement, and application of the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework) in support of an integrated ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development. Read more. 

Contact: karen.wetzel [at] ♦ (240) 439-0767

Mike Prebil

Michael Prebil

Cybersecurity Workforce Analyst, NICE

Michael Prebil is an IT Specialist for NICE at NIST, supporting the development, improvement, and implementation of the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework). Previously, he was a senior policy analyst at New America’s Center on Education & Labor, where he focused on issues related to apprenticeship, community colleges, and job quality.

Contact: michael.prebil [at] (michael[dot]prebil[at]nist[dot]gov) 

Danielle Santos 2023

Danielle Santos

Manager of Communications and Operations and Lead for International Engagement, NICE

Danielle Santos is the Manager of Communications and Operations and Lead for International Engagement for NICE at NIST. In this role, Danielle engages with global stakeholders who are interested in advancing cybersecurity education and workforce development.Prior to her role at NIST, Danielle served as the Program Manager for cybersecurity formal education programs including National Centers of Academic Excellence and the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Read more.

Contact: danielle.santos [at] (danielle[dot]santos[at]nist[dot]gov)  ♦  (202) 308-3909

Susana Barraza Web Photo

Susana Barraza

Program Manager of NICE

Susana Barraza is the Program Manager of NICE at NIST. She previously served as the Student Personnel Assistant for the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) STEM Equity and Success Initiative (SESI) Project at Sacramento City College. A program that seeks to increase the enrollment and success of Latina/o and economically disadvantaged students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in their transition from high school to college and ultimately degree completion, transfer, and career opportunity. Read more

Contact: susana.barraza [at] (susana[dot]barraza[at]nist[dot]gov) ♦ (240) 457-2638

Calvin Watson Photo


Calvin Watson

Group Office Manager, NICE

Calvin Watson serves as Group Office Manager for NICE at NIST. Calvin has over 15 years of experience in program support for human resources, international development, and cybersecurity teams. Prior to joining NICE, he was the Division Administrator at Abt Associates where he aided several United States Agency for International Development economic and humanitarian projects working to improve global health and alleviate poverty.

Calvin has received several special recognition awards from the Director of Abt Associates for his contributions. He was also presented with a Leadership Award by the Combined Federal
Campaign of the National Capital Area in recognition of his outstanding management and dedicated service.

Contact: calvin.watson [at] (calvin[dot]watson[at]nist[dot]gov) ♦ (301) 975-4470

NICE Students

Bria Bennett

Bria Bennett
Credit: Bria Bennett

NICE Research Associate
NIST Professional Research Experience Program (PREP)
Morgan State University

Lamoth Haynie

Lamoth Haynie
Credit: Lamoth Haynie

NICE Research Associate
NIST Professional Research Experience Program (PREP)
Morgan State University

View Past Interns



  • NICE Program Office
    (301) 975-4470
    100 Bureau Dr.
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Created February 1, 2017, Updated October 18, 2023