Alumni Spotlight | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Alumni Spotlight

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The IST Alumni Spotlight is to showcase and recognize outstanding IST alumni for their success as leaders in their professional field and for the impact they have had and will continue to have on society and their profession on a monthly basis. This exceptional alum should be an outstanding role model for prospective and current IST students. Do you know an IST alum who fits this bill? Please nominate them for the IST Alumni Spotlight!


June 13, 2017

Image: Penn State

Born in the United States and raised in Hong Kong, Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) graduate Edward Chan has always felt the constant need to travel. “I haven’t really stayed into one place for too long,” he said. 

After hopping a few thousand miles across the country for various jobs, his sights are now set even further. As a future student of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, he dreams of being one of the first million people to live on Mars. “My childhood and adulthood made me an explorer,” he said. “And I think of Mars as the backup hard drive for humanity.”


May 15, 2017
Carrel Reid, graduate from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) in 2016

Image: Google

Five months before Carrel Reid was set to graduate from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) in 2016, he began applying for jobs.

“I applied to a countless number of IT jobs in New York City, and I was thinking about where to apply next,” Reid said. Though he didn’t have plans to relocate to the west coast, he found himself “sitting there looking at the Google search page and I thought to myself ‘why not?'”


April 27, 2017
Krista Theodore, a 2013 graduate of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST)

Image: Penn State

Krista Theodore, a 2013 graduate of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), always knew a career in technology was in her future.

She was sure when her parents asked what she wanted for Christmas when she was eight, assuming she would want to a "My Size Barbie" like many of her classmates. But instead, she told her parents she wanted a computer, and handed them a sheet of specifications for the custom-designed laptop that she wanted to build. “I eventually got that Barbie for my birthday, but it was nothing like that computer,” she said.


April 6, 2017
Victoria Bardusch, a double major in IST and security and risk analysis, has nine job offers more than a month before graduation.

Image: Victoria Bardusch

Victoria Bardusch knew she wanted to study in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) from a young age. As a high school sophomore, she toured IST with then-Dean David Hall, while her father, Bob, a Penn State architectural engineering graduate, served on the college’s advisory board.

As she nears her graduation this spring, Bardusch is reflecting on what she has accomplished in the college — and deciding which of her nine job offers she should accept. “I had a great experience,” she said. “I declared a double major in IST and security and risk analysis after falling in love with both of the introductory classes.”


February 22, 2017
Jennifer and Kelly Lee on their graduation day.

Image: Penn State

Nancy Lee passed more than a last name and a love of Penn State sports down to her twin daughters, Jennifer and Kelly. With a degree in computer science from the College of Engineering, she also instilled a love of technology in her daughters, inspiring them to pursue degrees from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and join Nancy as Penn State alumnae working in technology.

Nancy, a 1985 alumna, was delighted when both daughters chose to pursue degrees and careers in technology. Having started her career at RCA Missile and Defense Systems, later earning experience at Microsoft, and now serving as director and interim chief information officer at Alvarez & Marsal, she knew that a career in technology could offer long-term opportunities for Jennifer and Kelly. All three women agree that they benefit from the unique perspective and level of expertise each can offer.


October 4, 2016
Mark Poblete '07 IST, center, received the 2016 Outstanding IST Alumni Award for his professional achievement and commitment to Penn State.

Image: Jordan Ford

Since graduating from Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) in 2007, Mark Poblete has successfully followed two paths: a professional career focused on information systems management and a personal passion for supporting his alma mater. In honor of his achievements, he was recently recognized by the college as this year’s recipient of the Penn State Outstanding IST Alumni Award during the board’s annual meeting on Sept. 30 on the University Park campus.


May 25, 2016
Hope in the Unknown: the Story of My Unexpected Life

Image: Rich Samartino

My name is Rich Samartino, and I have a story to tell. It starts with me being born in Pennsylvania, and it ends with me living in Detroit, Michigan, contributing my technology skills to the fight for social justice. It’s what happened in between that’s the interesting part. Many unanticipated and unexpected events occurred, causing me to question everything I was doing and where I was headed in life. The answers sent me down a new, surprising path with an unknown future and many failures along the way. After it all, I feel I have ended up in the exact right place for me. I hope there is some wisdom to be gained in all of this. Here is my story:


December 11, 2015
Karthikeyan Umapathy

Image: Penn State

Karthikeyan Umapathy earned a doctorate in information sciences and technology (IST) from Penn State's College of IST and is now an associate professor at the University of North Florida’s School of Computing, Engineering & Construction in Jacksonville, Florida, where he enjoys facilitating the learning process and creating project opportunities that offer lifelong lessons to students. His research interests center on designing and developing complex information systems, analyzing Web service standards, and empirically investigating IT standardization processes, he said.


November 10, 2015
Sleep Disruption

Imapge: Penn State

Penn State alumni John-Thomas Marino and Daehee Park used their knack for problem solving to build a company that flouts conventions of the traditional mattress industry. After graduating from Penn State, alumni John-Thomas Marino and Daehee Park eventually ended up at the same startup in Silicon Valley. But it only took about six months before the two realized they’d like to start up something of their own.


November 5, 2015
Alumni Profile: Mark S. Pfaff

Image: Penn State

Mark Pfaff, lead human-centered engineer at the MITRE Corporation, leveraged his doctorate in information sciences and technology (IST) to transition from a career in photography and later in media production, into his current work at MITRE, a nonprofit research company that runs several federally funded research and development centers across the country.


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Spotlight

The IST Alumni Spotlight is to showcase and recognize outstanding IST alumni for their success as leaders in their professional field and for the impact they have had and will continue to have on society and their profession on a monthly basis.

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Email: alumni@ist.psu.edu
Phone: (814)-863-6823
 

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