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!

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.

May 21, 2015
IST alum uses tech skills to help revitalize Detroit

Image: Penn State

Most graduates of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) become consultants for companies or work for the government in security-related areas. However, Rich Samartino, a 2010 IST graduate, has taken a rather unconventional route by using his information technology background to help promote social justice inDetroit. “There are not a lot of tech-savvy people in these social activism groups in Detroit,” he said. “Having a college degree in IST, that’s definitely something I could help with."

April 2, 2015
Daniel Yosua

Image: Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Daniel Yosua, IST Class of 2013 and subject of the Information Sciences and Technology Alumni Spotlight, is happily working to shape interactions between people and technology.

Yosua’s passion for manipulating analytical data into easily understandable information patterns is what drives him as a business intelligence reporting analyst at Blue Mountain Quality Resources in State College, where he’s worked since 2014. It’s also why he loves making a game-play experience more intuitive or fun, he said.

February 11, 2015
After graduating magna cum laude from Penn State, Megan Costello earned a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Image: Emilee Spokus

Image: Emilee Spokus

Bridging the gap between the languages of technology and policy withTechnoLAWgical, her Pennsylvania-based solo law practice, attorney Megan Costello (IST, Class of 2008) has been named to the Information Sciences and Technology Alumni Spotlight for February 2015.

Costello, who always knew she wanted to pursue a career in law, has been a fan of technology since childhood.

“As soon as I was big enough to put my hands on the keyboard, I was obsessed with computing, technology and gaming,” said Costello. “It was natural for me to choose technology when I began thinking of college.”

December 8, 2014
Eugene Meidinger

Image: Penn State

Eugene Meidinger, Class of 2010, has been named to the IST Alumni Spotlight for December for his career achievements and philanthropic efforts in the Pittsburgh area.

Meidinger, who graduated from Penn State Beaver's information sciences and technology program, was recently named the third annual Pittsburgh Volunteer Citizen of the Year by Direct Energy. The annual award program, currently operating in 11 U.S. cities, has received more than 1,000 total nominations, which showcase the extraordinary efforts and stories of everyday heroes.

November 3, 2014
Maggie Sapovchak

Image: Penn State

Maggie Sapovchak was a member of the College of IST’s first graduating class.  In the past decade, she has made significant advances in her career through a combination of seizing challenging positions, obtaining additional education, and using her intellect, personality and work ethic in a way that naturally led to positive results.

Upon graduation in 2003, Maggie spent two years completing the competitive and prestigious Information Management Leadership Program at GE. She was an outstanding performer on the IMLP team, as a committed, intelligent and high performing professional.  Her attention to detail, highly organized and results driven approach, allowed her to prove time and time again that she could met ambitious metrics and launch, complex technology projects and major initiatives with success.  After completing the leadership program, Maggie was promoted to IT Project manager.




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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