Jan Mahar Sturdevant | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Jan Mahar Sturdevant

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Jan Mahar Sturdevant
  • Senior Lecturer of Information Sciences and Technology

University Park, PA 16802
  • Project Management Professional (PMP), 2009

  • IT Project+ Certification, Project Management, 2006

  • M.A., Operations Research/Administrative Management Union College, 1975

  • B.S., Mathematics Grove City College, 1970


Currently teaching and developing methodology to enhance the online user experiences in courses such as Project Management and Information and Organizations at Penn State University. Additionally Mahar Sturdevant teaches project management at the Rady School of Business, University of California, San Diego as well as at Portland State University’s PhD program in Engineering Technology Management. In addition to her thirteen years of academic work, Mahar Sturdevant worked thirty years for IBM in their laboratory, manufacturing, statistical modeling research and 3-D graphic corporate office. As an SAP Educational Corporate Consultant, she developed and deployed SAP education in Logistics to IBM’s Production Procurement Division worldwide. Mahar Sturdevant also consulted for IBM in the area of project management, designing and educating their management in this area. One of her last assignments with IBM was consulting for the e-business applications, such as web-requisitioning for catalog buying to feed SAP, e-Business training, and optimizing contractors’ bids and contracts.

Mahar  Sturdevant is the recipient of the George J. McMurtry 2015 Award in recognition of her Excellence in Teaching and Learning Faculty that recognizes faculty who provide an exceptional learning environment for undergraduates through their innovation teaching commitment to student learning and creative interface with students. Previously, as the Assistant Director of Business & Career Solutions, Mahar Sturdevant was responsible for providing strategic leadership and business planning, as well as representing IST during client visits. She re-engineered many processes to improve student placement resulting in IST having one of the highest placement rates at the University. Currently she continues to develop partnerships with business, government, and other related educational institutions. These partnerships involve brokering faculty expertise and developing sponsored student internships which optimize career placements with corporations.

Mahar  Sturdevant served on the Advisory Board for the I-Tech 99 Corridor Alliance, encouraging corporations to move into this location. She was awarded over $330,000 in grants from Ben Franklin, Team PA, and various chambers to develop PA FutureConnect, which matched IST students with tech companies in local research parks throughout Pennsylvania. Currently she is the project manager for Department of Defense DTRA multi-million-dollar projects: Student Research Associate Program and the Post PhD Program which create research partnerships among various universities through the nation.

Research Interests:

Mahar  Sturdevant is a Professor of Practice at the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). Previously she delivered computer courses for IBM in the areas of project management, programming languages and SAP Logistics. While at IBM, she focused in the technology areas of their laboratory developing statistical models to forecast logic and mechanical problems and in the corporate headquarters as a design engineer of graphic programs such as CADAM, CATIA, CAEDS. Additionally, she was responsible for designing tutorials and deploying SAP Logistics worldwide throughout IBM's Production Procurement Division.

At Penn State University, Mahar  Sturdevant was responsible for designing and implementing the first IST project management course with Lockheed Martin entailing student research projects in Criminal Justice Information Systems. She has taught IST 302: Project Management in Information Systems involving companies such as IBM, PwC, KPMG, BAE. She developed IST 390: Professional Development - Theory and Practice, which helps students jump-start their professional careers. Curretnly her research is focusing on how to tailor teaching behaviors based on online students preferred methods. (See presentation for AACE eLearn World Conference, October 2015, Kona, Hawaii. “Personalizing Instruction - A Case Study: How an instructor used results from an inventory measuring students’ preferences in online teaching behaviors to personalize instruction “.



National Science Foundation: Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service, August 2011-July 2018. $2,671,354 4-year award. Co-PI: Design/manage student involvement with the goal to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government's critical information infrastructure.

Department of Energy Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) for Energy Efficient Buildings November 2010 - April 2011 $129,000,000 5-year award Project Management Team * Design / lead process for managing this project with over 22 partners from academia and corporations

DTRA – Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Program 2007- Present $2,700,838 Award, DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency Principal Investigators: Jan Mahar and Meghan Flannigan NSF

DTRA’s Strategic Planning And Innovative Research 2003-2010 $1,691,913 Award, DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency Program Manager * Design / Lead DTRA’s University Sponsored Programs’ Approach And Capabilities (Subtask 1) * To Align Support for DTRA’s Long Term Research Needs (Basic Research Through Technology Transfer) With Their Six Campaign Missions.

DTRA’s Student Research Associate Program 2005 - 2010 $1,424,000 Award, DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency Program Manager * Design / Lead DTRA’s Blue Team Consortium Of 5 Universities, 2 Being HBCUS * To Build Mission-Critical Skills For Next Generation Of WMD Threat Reduction Experts * Provide Innovative, Independent Academic Research Projects To Students * Enhance Participation Of The HBCU Consortium Members By Exposing Their Students To Facilities And Faculty At Larger Universities * Encourage Students To Pursue Post-Graduate Work In Areas Which Contribute To DTRA’s Mission

Broadening Participation In Computing – DP 2009 “Developmental Community For Recruiting & Retaining Women To CISE Education” (Partnering With Cornell University) PSU PI * Support And Collaborate In Developing A Sustainable, Multi-Level Community Of Women From Four Different Levels: High School Girls, Freshmen-Sophomore IST Majors, Junior – Senior IST Majors, Alumni

NSF- STEM $448,793 “Exploration Of The Effects Of Race, Diversity, And Socio-Economic Class On Gender” Principal Investigators: Eileen Trauth, Lynette Kvasny, K.D. Joshi (WSU) Investigator: Jan Mahar NSF - Broadening Participation In Computing - DP Principal Investigator: Mary Beth Rossen; Co-Pi Jack Carroll; Investigators: Craig Ganoe, Jan Mahar “A Developmental Community For Recruiting And Retaining Women In Cise Education”

Pa FutureConnect 2001- 2004 $332,500 Grant From State Of Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin, Team Pa Principal Investigator * Designed And Lead State-Wide Program To Attract And Retain Talented Students And Employees * Bolstered Economic Development In The It Sector Through Subsidized Part-Time Students To Support Companies’ IT Goals And Objectives Best (Business, Engineering, Science and Technology) July 2000 Project Manager * Sponsored By Kodak Company * Underrepresented Minority High School Students: 40, Rochester, NY Cities Throughout Pennsylvania



Presenter, AACE eLearn World Conference, October 2015, Kona, Hawaii.
“Personalizing Instruction - A Case Study: How an instructor used results from an inventory measuring students’ preferences in online teaching behaviors to personalize instruction “

Presenter / Poster, HCI International Conference July 2009
“wConnect – A Place for Females Connecting through Online Communities”
J. Mahar, M.B. Rosson, H. Sinha, D. Zhao, J.M. Carroll, and C. Ganoe
Posters, p. 542 ff.

 Presenter, SIGCSE May 2009, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“A Scaffolded Introduction to Dynamic Website Development for Female High School Students”, Mary Beth Rosson, Anastassia Ioujanina, Timothy Paone, Gretel Sheasley, Hansa Sinha, Craig Ganoe, John M. Carroll, and Jan Mahar


Fundamentals of Project Management. (March, April, June 2008)
Saint Gobain: Valley Forge, Pa & Northboro, Ma

Optimizing Meeting Management/Professional Communication. (May 2008)
ESSROC, Italcementi Group Martinsburg, WV.

Virtual Adventures Workshop. (January 2008)
NSF “Developmental community for Recruiting & Retaining Women to CISE Education” , http://ist.psu.edu/Newsevents/?Pageid=736&Headlineid=1773.

Essentials of Project Management. (May, June 2007)
Saint Gobain: Valley Forge, Pa & Northboro, Ma

Mahar, J.B. & Donahue, R. & Cline, J. (June 2006). Solving Symptomatic Synergy©: Employer Need and Student Opportunity. Session to be presented at the annual meeting of National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), Anaheim, CA.

Mahar, J.B. (June 2006). Common Pitfalls of Project Management. Session to be presented at the Pennsylvania CIO Digital Summit, Harrisburg, PA.

Mahar, J.B. (January 2006). Jumpstarting Your Professional Career. Session presented at the 2006 Achievement Conference of Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), University Park, PA.

Mahar, J.B. (June 2005). Common Pitfalls of Project Management. Session presented at the Pennsylvania CIO Digital Summit, Harrisburg, PA.

Mahar, J.B. (Summer 2003). Project Management Principles. Module presented at Pennsylvania Management Development Program, Harrisburg, PA

Mahar, J.B. (Summer 2002). Principles of Project Management. Session presented at The Pennsylvania eGovernment Conference, Harrisburg, PA.

Mahar, J.B. (Summer 2000). Bringing Women into the Field of Information Technology. Series of seminars presented for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Information Technology, University Park, PA.