Join IST alumni as they share their diverse experiences and perspectives gained through their educational and professional journeys. Learn from the challenges and opportunities faced by these individuals from underrepresented backgrounds as they navigated the college experience and work to advance their careers and grow their professional networks. This event aims to inspire an open dialogue for students and alumni, and provide unique viewpoints to help all attendees be better prepared to thrive in diverse professional and personal communities.
- Aubrey McElrath '21 (they/she) | Security & Risk Analysis student
- Scott Robertson PhD ’13 | Policy Advisor, US Federal Government
- Alexander Ross ’03 | Senior Clinical Systems Analyst, Allegheny Health Network
- Andrew Weinert '09 | Staff Research Associate, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
About the Panelists
Aubrey McElrath is a current senior at Penn State studying Security and Risk Analysis, German, and History. Aubrey serves as a Student Diplomat in the College of IST. During her sophomore year of college, Aubrey learned that she lives with C-PTSD and has been navigating that ever since. In her free time, she loves to rock-climb, read, and write poetry, in addition to hanging out with her pet rats.
Dr. Scott Michael Robertson is a policy strategist, social scientist, and consultant. He currently works as a senior policy advisor in an agency in the federal Executive Branch. He advances national policies and practices for inclusive apprenticeships, neurodiversity at work, and accessible work technology. He also holds an affiliate faculty appointment at Syracuse University as a Research Professor in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. Dr. Robertson previously served as a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Fellow for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). Previously, he served as the Founding Vice President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Robertson earned his Ph.D. from the College of IST in 2013. His honors include a 2020 Service to the Citizen Award from Dorris Consulting International and the 2011 Jay S. Drotman Award for emerging leadership from the American Public Health Association. He is an inductee of the national Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and a nationally recognized public speaker.
Alexander Ross has lived his entire life with a bilateral severe hearing loss and a mild case of Cerebral Palsy (CP). He is a member of the first graduating class of the then-School of Information Sciences and Technology in 2003 and obtained his master’s degree in Health Information Systems from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. He currently works at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, PA. In his spare time, Alexander likes to watch his kids play soccer, watch auto racing – particularly Formula One – and drive his classic cars. Additionally, he races his 1970 Datsun 240Z in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.
Andrew Weinert is a member of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Systems Group in the Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In recent years, he has worked with public safety and academia—including Penn State—on programs to integrate drones into the National Airspace System and enable communication in disconnected and latent environments. Andrew is considered one of the technical leaders in support of the Federal Unmanned Aircraft Systems Executive Committee and the federal government’s drone efforts. Since 2011, he has served as technical lead on an MIT and Penn State collaboration to develop smart information communication systems for first responders. This collaboration has tested equipment at Beaver Stadium and Heinz Field during football games. As part of these efforts, Andrew is a significant contributor to the research and development roadmap for the upcoming nationwide FirstNet Public Safety LTE network. Andrew earned his bachelor’s degree in Security and Risk Analysis in 2009.