Student Spotlight | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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December 7, 2017

Image: Penn State

 Noah Unger, the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) student marshal for the Fall 2017 semester, is not only graduating Summa Cum Laude but also has earned the admiration and respect of an esteemed faculty member.

“He’s phenomenal,” said Ed Glantz, IST assistant teaching professor. “He is very self-motivated and he just embraces problems and runs with them.”

November 14, 2017

Image: Penn State

“The next Bill Gates won’t look like him!” declared Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It was a powerful moment for College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) students Angela DeMarco and Kim Saira Sarte, who were among the crowd listening to the presentation. To them, and the six other IST students in attendance, it was a clear message the next technology magnate could – and should – be female.

November 13, 2017

Image: Jordan Ford

The term “tutoring” often has a negative connotation — students, especially at the college level, can be embarrassed to seek academic help because of what their fellow classmates might think. Penn State students Amanda Mahon and Aaron Stricker, co-coordinators of the Peer Tutoring Program in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), want to change that perception.

The program provides one-on-one coaching to help students practice and reinforce concepts in the IST curriculum. Tutors work closely with faculty to understand what is being taught and assigned in their classes, and then work directly with students to clarify concepts. They’re also working to serve a broader range of student needs.

November 2, 2017

Image: Jordan Ford

Obstacles never stopped Jackie Sanchez from pursuing her goals — they only provided her with more opportunities to be a leader.

Sanchez, a junior in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) majoring in security and risk analysis with a focus in cybersecurity, was recently awarded the David S. Suarez Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, named for a 1999 College of Engineering alumnus who died during the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001, provides recognition and financial assistance to eligible juniors. Two students receive the award annually based on outstanding character references.

October 19, 2017

Image: Penn State

When she returned to the University Park campus this fall as a sophomore, Emma Dodoo had already completed a full college career’s worth of experiences. Now, as a member of the Millennium Scholars Program, a student leader and a seasoned researcher, she is looking forward to taking on even more.

August 22, 2017

Image: Penn State

At the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), innovation and engaged scholarship are two pillars that drive the college’s growth. Two crucial elements that support these ideals are the Dean’s Excellence Fund and the College of IST Future Fund, which offer unrestricted financial resources to address IST’s most pressing needs and create opportunities for students.

August 11, 2017

Image: Erin Cassidy Hendrick

For Penn State undergraduate student Yuya Ong, data sciences isn’t just his major — it’s a way of thinking about life.

“[I’m able to] understand and conceptualize the link between how humans develop an understanding of the world around them,” he said. “Data science is the generator that will leverage all of that from now and into the future.”

July 21, 2017

Courtesy of Bertha Castaneda

Bertha Castaneda said she sees herself as spontaneous and adventurous.

So, when she decided to submit an application to compete in the 2018 Miss PA USA pageant competition, she had no idea the contest committee would choose her.

“It’s kind of a funny story,” she said with a laugh.

Castaneda, who hails from Washington D.C., said she tries to watch the Miss USA pageant every year. When she noticed Miss District of Columbia won two years in a row, she said she felt “inspired” and wanted to be like her.

“It was nice to have a winner that was beautiful on the outside but also on the inside,” Castaneda (senior—information sciences and technology) said.

June 20, 2017

Image: John Esteves

 John Esteves, who is majoring in Information Sciences and Technology (IST), had a rollercoaster experience during his 2017 internship at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

“I thought I would go into consulting, and my internship turned my world upside down,” he said.

The senior interned with the entertainment giant as it was launching a new theme park, Volcano Bay, and worked to implement wearable technology for park guests. The wristband, named TapuTapu, “is taking this concept of a virtual line and your wearable stands in line for you,” Esteves said. “There are also a bunch of little interactive things to get guests more immersed in their experience.”

May 5, 2017
Christy Grim quit her job to take an internship in the information technology field.

Image: Christy Grim

Christy Grim took a big risk in 2015, quitting her job as an optician to take an internship she hoped would lead to a career in information technology.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Fritz wanted a career change, too. He worked for more than 30 years as a purchasing and acquisition analyst but wanted to pursue his longtime interest in solar energy and sustainability.

Both Grim and Fritz chose Penn State World Campus to help make their career changes possible. They are two of the nearly 1,000 World Campus students who will graduate this weekend.