Three doctoral students and graduates at University of the Cumberlands recently won the International Best Researcher Award from ISSN (International Society for Scientific Network).

Cumberlands doctoral graduates Dr. Bibhu Dash and Dr. Meraj Farheen Ansari, and Cumberlands doctoral student Pawankumar Sharma, together with non-Cumberlands affiliated Dr. Swati Swayamsiddha, received the prestigious ISSN award for their research paper entitled “A Review of ONDC’s Digital Warfare in India Taking on the e-Commerce Giants.” The paper was judged the best research paper of 2022 by ISSN. The article can be viewed at

According to ISSN’s website, “The ISSN Awards is one of the Biggest International Research Awards. The ISSN Awards is a private society of distinguished scholars, professionals, and researchers. The ISSN International Research Awards is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the world on matters related to science and technology. Nominees are elected by their peers in the outstanding contributions to research. The ISSN Awards is committed to furthering science, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community.”

Dr. Bibhu Dash is an AI researcher and an architect in data and analytics in a Fortune 200 financial organization in Madison, WI. He has a PhD in information technology from University of the Cumberlands. Dr. Dash also has an MBA and a Master of Science in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Illinois State University. His research interests include AI, cloud computing, big data, and blockchain technologies. Dr. Dash likes to read and write technical and strategy books in his free time and loves cooking for his family.

Dr. Meraj Farheen Ansari works as a cybersecurity engineer for a Fortune 500 financial firm in Chicago, IL. She received her PhD in information technology and Master of Science in Information Security Systems from University of the Cumberlands, and an MBA in management in information systems – human resource management from Concordia University in Mequon, WI. Her research interests include emerging technologies such as cybersecurity, AI, big data, blockchain, Internet of Things, and cloud computing.

Pawankumar Sharma is a senior product manager (cybersecurity engineer) for Walmart in San Bruno, CA. He is currently working on his PhD in information technology at University of the Cumberlands. Sharma has completed his Master of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2015. He also holds a Master of Science in Information Systems Security from University of the Cumberlands, graduating in 2020. His research interests are in the areas of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, neural networks, information systems, big data analytics, and intrusion detection and prevention.

University of the Cumberlands offers executive graduate programs in information technology, artificial intelligence, cyber-engineering, data science, digital forensics, global business with blockchain technology, and information technology (IT). The university also offers various online undergraduate and graduate programs in IT fields. To learn more, visit