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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.

Ongoing research at the Penn State Justice Center for Research is attempting to identify and understand opioid distribution networks and ways to disrupt them.
Image: Penn State


 Pete Forster, associate dean for online and professional education in the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology — hope to update people’s understanding of the distribution networks while also tracing how prescription painkillers make their way into rural communities.

Student Christina McMahon and IST research consultant Carmen Cole discuss research citations.
Image: Erin Cassidy Hendrick


Writing a research paper is nothing new to students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), but that doesn’t mean they always know the best place to go to get started. Thanks to Carmen Cole, the research consultant in the college, IST students have a personal resource to help them tackle their next big assignment.

Available to all IST resident and Penn State World Campus students, Cole helps students manage the entire research process. “I’m available to assist students with finding library resources, navigating the research process, citing their sources, and locating IST-specific sources,” she said.

Cybersecurity gets new focus for Penn State students, faculty
Image: Penn State


Kevin Houk and his Penn State team were told their client, a major bank, might have been the target of a data-breach attempt. Someone threatened to make customers’ information public unless the bank paid him off.

It was part of a scenario at the Deloitte Foundation’s annual Cyber Threat Competition in November, but it doesn’t sound like fiction. In fact, the threat of cybercrime is all too real.

State College borough
Image: Penn State


A partnership between Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology and the State College borough is working to increase meaningful citizen participation in local government.

The GeoDeliberation Project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, began in 2012 and is in its final year, said principal investigator Guoray Cai.

IST students Tyler Suehr and Kenny Dundorf with recently Liberal Arts graduate Andrew Simpson at Happy Valley Launchbox.
Image: Erin Cassidy Hendrick


At a recent networking reception at Penn State, Kenny Dundorf was approached by Tyler Suehr. Suehr didn’t know anyone at the event, so he just struck up a conversation about a passion of his.

“Tyler just came up to me and started talking about apps,” Dundorf said. “It was serendipity; he didn’t even know who I was.” As luck would have it, Dundorf, a senior in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is the co-founder of a smartphone application called “Someonew,” a digital solution for creating spontaneous social connections that was recently released on Google Play and the iTunes store.

GeoQ research team members discuss the results of a field study at the Red Cell Lab in Penn State's Information Sciences and Technology building.
Image: Patrick Mansell


A group of Penn State undergraduate researchers are using the University Park campus as a proving ground to break in technology that may one day help future emergency workers save lives through better disaster response.

The student researchers are currently testing an open-source platform that combines geolocation and mobile technology with social media and open-source software to efficiently coordinate responses to disasters and security problems, according to Jake Graham, professor of practice in information sciences and technology. He added that large scale campus events — like football games and THON — give the students a chance to run the technology in situations that would be nearly impossible to simulate.

IST students team up with local government to create disaster recovery plan
Image: Jessica Sallurday


The threats facing any municipal government are nearly infinite, ranging from a mild snowstorm to a full-fledged terrorist attack, and their impacts span from minor to severe. To prepare for these potential events, the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) is partnering with the State College local government to make State College safer and more secure from a variety of natural and man-made threats.

The initiative, led by Peter Forster in conjunction with Michele Halsell from Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, is incorporated into the IST 440W curriculum, a class offering a problem-based approach to technology integration by focusing on real-life problems faced by an organization. Students in the class, under the direction of Michael Hills, are creating a Disaster Recovery and Resiliency Plan, the first of its kind for the Borough of State College.

Kathleen Beck is a senior at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the president of the IST Benefitting THON student organization
Image: Penn State


With her spring graduation inching closer, Kathleen Beck regularly finds herself reflecting on her college experience. She is a senior at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the president of the IST Benefitting THON student organization, and her commencement will be the culmination of three years of hard work and a lifelong connection to Penn State.

Raised 30 minutes from the University Park campus in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, “I grew up with Penn State in my blood,” she said. From her mom working in the College of IST, to her brother earning his Penn State degree in 2011, to her dad holding season tickets for nearly every Nittany Lion team, her Penn State roots run deep.

Technology has made migrating to Europe easier. Over time, it will also make migration easier to manage
Image: Reuters©


SOMETIMES Hekmatullah, a 32-year-old Afghan, has to choose between food and connectivity. “I need to stay in touch with my wife back home,” he says, sitting in a grubby tent in the Oinofyta migrant camp, near Athens. Because Wi-Fi rarely works there, he has to buy mobile-phone credit. And that means he and his fellow travellers—his sister, her friend and five children—sometimes go hungry.