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!


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.


October 21, 2015
Kirstein, IST alumna, blazes path at BNY Mellon

Image: Penn State

“I’ve always had a passion for technology. I love tinkering with new gadgets,” said Darah Kirstein, a 2007 graduate of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST.) Kirstein, vice president of the technology services group at BNY Mellon, currently works as the digital workplace employee engagement lead. She joined BNY Mellon in 2007 as an associate in the firm's Information Technology Leadership Development Program, and in just a few short years has risen through the ranks.


September 24, 2015
Cooney honored with Penn State Outstanding IST Alumni Award

Image: Emilee Spokus

Since graduating from Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) in 2006, Sean Cooney has had a unique career path that has led him to interesting places -- including a luxury yacht. In honor of his accomplishments in the information technology field, he was recently recognized by the college as the recipient of the 2015 Penn State Outstanding IST Alumni Award. “I am honored to have been selected for this award given how many successful IST alums there are in the workforce today,” Cooney said.


September 3, 2015
IST alum part of effort to provide high quality medicine to people in need

Image: Penn State

David Caruso has leveraged the knowledge he gained from his degree in information sciences and technology into on-the-job success and a sense of fulfillment that drives his expertise in technology and business. Caruso, a 2004 graduate of the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) who came to the college when it was only in its second year, said that many of the courses he took as an IST student are still valuable and applicable to the work he’s doing today as a senior director in information technology at Mylan, one of the largest generics and specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world.


June 22, 2015
Dan Hansel

Image: Penn State

“I enjoy the challenge of keeping up with technology and always being on the bleeding edge,” said Dan Hansel, information technology (IT) consultant and support desk manager at Penn State, and a 2007 graduate of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). In January, Hansel and a team of Web developers won gold in the Microsite category at the second annual Educational Digital Marketing Awards for their redesign of the Schreyer Honors College website.


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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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