Welcome to PGCC

Welcome to the faculty homepage for  
Dr. Robert Spear  




Director of the CyberWatch Center 
Prince George’s Community College, Largo MD 


After retiring from Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in 2008, I was rehired by the College to direct the CyberWatch Center. CyberWatch is an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center, funded by the National Science Foundation. Its mission is to improve both the quality and the quantity of the information assurance workforce. As of January 2010, CyberWatch has 36 members (community colleges and universities) in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Its programs include curriculum development, faculty development, student development, K-12 outreach programs, career pathways, and public security awareness. Visit our website: http://cyberwatchcenter.org.


I also continue to teach part-time for University of Maryland University College, and I serve on accreditation review teams for the Distance Education and Training Council.


Before retiring, I taught at PGCC from 1981 to 2008, specializing in computer security, business computer applications software design and development (especially Visual Basic), database systems, and information systems analysis and design. I was also one of the many PGCC faculty engaged in distance learning, with experience in DL technologies and pedagogy.

Since 1993, my wife Mary Helen (a psychology professor at Prince George's) and I have been involved in distance learning projects in countries from Poland, Denmark, and Norway, to the Philippines, Ethiopia, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, and Tanzania. We have been most gratified to work with people in other countries and see these projects grow, develop, and expand and eventually influence and improve the lives of many people. 

Originally from Chicago, Mary Helen and I now live on Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. All three of our sons are products of DeMatha Catholic High School and Prince George's Community College. The two older boys earned computer science degrees at senior institutions, and both now work in the computer field. Our youngest son earned degrees in mechanical engineering and computer architecture, and is now a partner in a real estate firm. We have six lovely and exciting grandchildren. Our other interests include traveling, snow skiing, and boating.


Current and recent projects:


Prince George's Community College had a USAID-funded partnership with the National University of Rwanda (NUR) from 2003 to 2006, whose purpose was to provide computer literacy training to secondary school teachers throughout Rwanda. I was the director of this project for PGCC.  The materials used for teacher training in this project were created by my students in BMGT 201 at the University of Maryland, with additional materials in French created by our colleagues in Rwanda. In the summer of 2003 at the NUR, we trained 33 secondary school teachers from throughout Rwanda in the use of Windows and Microsoft Office. The picture shows one of those teachers receiving the certificate for completing the three-week workshop. Click here to view the course materials online, or download the huge (175 MB) self-extracting executable file to install these materials to your computer.



From 2000 through 2004, the National University of Rwanda and the University of Maryland had a USAID-funded partnership. I was the co-director of the computer science component of this project, and also contributed to the distance learning component and to the emergence of the NUR's Center for Instructional Technology. Among other things, this project created course materials for a course in database systems. Materials for that course were created by my students in BMGT 402 at the University of Maryland: Click here to view the course materials online, or download the huge (83 MB) self-extracting executable file to install these materials to your computer. This project also sponsored the development of materials for teaching Microsoft Office, used in the PGCC-NUR Project mentioned above.



Many PGCC faculty donated books to the NUR. Then in 2003 Prentice Hall Publishers decided to donate 14,000 remainder books (the books left over when a new edition of a text is published) to the NUR library -- these pictures were taken during the unloading of the truck in Butare. The container was loaded with books from several Prentice Hall warehouses, then shipped by boat to Mombassa, Kenya, then overland by truck to Butare.





The Polish-American Management Center in Lodz, Poland, was created by the University of Maryland and the University of Lodz, with grant funding from USAID. I continue to work with the PAM Center on their MBA, Global Mini-MBA, and Distance Learning Certificate programs.


NetTel@Africa is a network of eight African universities and their American partners, along with various African and American regulatory bodies and service providers in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector.  NetTel@Africa is building post graduate diploma and masters degree programs in ICT regulatory management and policy formulation. I serve as a consultant in e-learning to the NetTel@Africa partners in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, and Uganda.



I served for ten years as the faculty coordinator for an internship exchange program between Prince George's Community college and Tietgen Odense Business College in Odense, Denmark.


A most interesting project from 1999 to 2001 was a joint effort of several Maryland community colleges with Vista University in South Africa. (Vista University went out of existence in 2003, and its seven campuses were merged with local universities, so the link to the Vista homepage may not work much longer.) I worked on the distance learning and computer literacy aspects of this project.


Other professional and personal links:

My principle employer since 1981: 

Prince George's Community College 




My other employer since 2004:

University of Maryland University College



My newest consulting assignment since 2005:

United States Department of Agriculture Graduate School


My other employer for 19 years (where I taught as an adjunct from 1984 to 2003):

The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland


My alma mater (undergraduate):

University of Notre Dame

My other alma mater (masters):

Georgetown University

My other-other alma mater (doctorate):

George Mason University. (I also taught as an adjunct in the George Mason University Graduate School, 1989-1993)



    Most Important Family Pix

The whole family

Dr. Mary Helen Spear, my wife

Brain Jeopardy.ppt

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Dr. Robert Spear
Department of Computer Information Systems 
Prince George's Community College 
301 Largo Road 
Largo, MD 20774 
301 322-0156 (office), 301 325-8571 (cell), 301 336-2851 (fax)
Last updated February 2005 

The information contained on faculty web pages does not necessarily reflect the official viewpoint of Prince George's Community College. The college is not responsible for, and does not guarantee, the accuracy of any information on a faculty member's web page.


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