UTSA Meet a Roadrunner: Humayun Zafar is a rock star in two arenas

Humayun Zafar

UTSA alumnus Humayun Zafar

Share this Story

(Dec. 18, 2013) -- Meet Humayun Zafar, Ph.D., '10. Simply put, this guy is a rock star.

A graduate of the Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security in the UTSA College of Business, Zafar is now a tenure-track professor in information security at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

At the age of 33, he is not only an up-and-coming researcher in his field, he is the top-ranked marathon runner for the entire state of Georgia. In fact, this November he placed third out of 380 runners in his age division at the Atlanta Half Marathon.

He's found a creative way to prove that academics and running can go hand-in-hand.

"To get extra credit in my classes, I challenge my students to beat me in a half marathon," he says. "It takes a student a few months of training to complete a half marathon, let alone beat me. This is where discipline and the right attitude come into play. By the time a student runs the race, the effort made will assist him or her in many other areas. After all, discipline and following through on a plan are all very useful traits."

So far, no student has ever beaten him.

Zafar credits his time at UTSA for helping him get to where he is today and reflects upon his experience with fond memories. In fact, he remains closely connected with many of his former professors including Yoris Au, professor and chair of the UTSA Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security.

"Dr. Zafar is one of the more successful graduates of our Ph.D. in Information Technology program," says Au. "He is intelligent, hardworking and has shown significant accomplishments in his young career."

As a relatively recent graduate who has already achieved success, Zafar shares this advice with the UTSA students graduating this month:

"In order to succeed, you need to truly believe in what you are doing and be willing to deal with the ups and the downs."

------------------------------

Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at social@utsa.edu and your submission will be considered for the next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.