IST Identity Talks

Join IST alumni as they share diverse experiences and perspective 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 now work to advance their careers and grow their professional networks. This event aims to inspire an open dialogue among students and alumni and provide unique viewpoints to help attendees prepare to thrive in diverse professional and personal communities.

Past Talks

Meet College of IST alumnae in this panel discussion about knowing your worth and preventing imposter syndrome from impacting your career and professional growth.

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Sarah Gori ’08

Sarah is the director of security architecture at Aquia. She has more than 15 years of public- and private-sector cybersecurity experience—including time spent in incident response, threat intelligence, and red teaming—with most of her career spent in the security architecture space with a focus on Cloud. Sarah enjoys spending weekends in the great outdoors or working on her next project at home in the company of her dog and two cats.

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Adanna Nedd ’21

Adanna is a games writer, games researcher, and narrative designer and has worked on KISS U and Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To. She earned a bachelor’s degree in information science and technology and a minor in English from Penn State in 2021. As an undergraduate student, she was a Millennium Scholar and member of WIRED IN, Black Caucus, and Gamma Tau Phi Honors Society. When Adanna isn’t writing for games, she loves making desserts and reading comics. She was recently featured by’s Black Voices Progress Report, which offers insights into the different experiences Black professionals have in the games sector.

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Maria (Verardi) Young ’14

Maria is a senior product manager at Microsoft, where she works on a security-focused AI product called Copilot for Security. She is passionate about developing products that empower people and make a positive impact. Throughout her nearly 10 years at Microsoft—where she has also served as consultant, technical account manager, and customer success account manager—Maria has been involved in DEI, culture, and accessibility initiatives. She resides with her husband Graham (Mechanical Engineering ’15) and two dogs in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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About the Panelists

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A panel of IST alumni will come together to talk about being a first-generation college student. Listen as they discuss their College of IST experience, their careers, and how being first-generation students impacted their journey. 

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Diana Long ’04,’08g

Diana came to Penn State from Brooklyn, New York. As an undergraduate student, she was active in the National Hispanic Business Association and sat on the executive board of the Sigma Lambda Gamma national sorority. Diana earned a master’s degree at Penn State Great Valley while working as a senior business systems analyst and quality assurance test lead at Vanguard. She currently serves as a senior director at General Atlantic, where she is responsible for IT project portfolio management. 

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Denise Dagadu ’14 

Denise earned bachelor’s degrees in information sciences and technology and economics from Penn State. As an undergraduate student, she was a resident assistant, grading assistant, web coordinator and peer mentor for EmpowerU, fundraising chair for the Black Student Union, and recruitment chair for UNICEF PSU. She currently serves as a a go-to-market (GTM) strategy manager at Google. Her prior experience includes GTM and consulting positions at Square, fifty-five, and Deloitte. 

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James Rowley ’16 

James is a first-generation Penn State graduate hailing from Minnesota. He earned a bachelor’s degree in security and risk analysis with the cybersecurity option. He currently serves as a data and detection engineer at Yahoo! There, the self-described data detective works on threat detection and response, keeping an eye on insider threats while also crafting the next-generation insider threat detection framework. 

Noel Claudio ‘14 

Noel is a first-generation Latino from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Raised in Philadelphia, he earned a bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology with a minor in security risk and analysis. Since graduating, he has worked for multiple fortune 100 companies, providing expertise in project management, agile delivery, process improvement, and strategy and operations. He currently resides in San Francisco where he works as a program manager for a large tech company.

About the Panelists

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Meet College of IST alumnae in this panel discussion about the experiences of women in cybersecurity careers. They will share their journey into cybersecurity, discuss their positions, and talk about their experiences as diverse alumni in tech.

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Nicole Buitrago ’18
Cybersecurity Consultant, PwC

Nicole Buitrago is a Cybersecurity Consultant with PwC. She earned bachelor's degrees in security and risk analysis and information sciences and technology from the College of IST in 2018. When she's not working, she spends time with her Pomeranian and two cats.

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Victoria Gibilterra ’16
Cyber Defense Manager, Avanade

Victoria Gibilterra is a Cyber Defense Manager at Avanade. Her work focuses on advising and transforming clients’ cyber defense strategies and operations through the design and implementation of predominantly Microsoft Threat Protection technologies. She consults with teams ranging from medium to large global enterprise clients. Her daily responsibilities involve leading a team of consultants to assist and grow Avanade’s cyber defense practice. Victoria earned her bachelor’s degree in security and risk analysis from the College of IST in 2016.

Himanshi Patel ’17 '19g
Senior Information Security Analyst, Erie Insurance Group

Himanshi Patel has been working in the cybersecurity industry since 2016 and got involved in the field because of its dynamic nature. She uses skills and education gained at Penn State in real life to protect her organization's infrastructure from both internal and external threats. Himanshi has been involved with various organizations to promote STEM education and provide mentoring to those in need. Outside of Erie, she has been involved in various intelligence and threat sharing organizations local to the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo areas.

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Annie Schoen ’19
Head of Cyber Administration and Management Office, GEICO

Annie Schoen is the Head of Cyber Administration and Management Office at GEICO. As a passionate people leader, Annie was ready to establish new cybersecurity management functions focused on talent management, security awareness, and associate experience at GEICO. While she helps centralize cross-team functions and mentor team members at work, she also enjoys spending time with friends and family. Outside of work, Annie spends time exercising, playing video games, and trying new things. She earned her bachelor’s degree in security and risk analysis from the College of IST in 2019.

Nandita Suresh '21
Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Nandita Suresh is an associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers's Data Risk and Privacy advisory practice. She brings an organized, detail-oriented approach to building and maintaining technology-enabled privacy programs, functions, and operations. She earned her bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity analytics and operations from the College of IST in 2021. While at the College of IST, she greatly enjoyed being a part of the Women in IST (WIST) community and had the privilege of acting as VP and co-founder of the WIST Mentorship Committee. Outside of work, you can often find Nandita binging Netflix, playing barista in her kitchen, or exploring places with her camera. 

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Meet College of IST alumni in this panel discussion about careers in consulting. They will share their journey into consulting, discuss their positions, and talk about their experiences as diverse alumni in tech.

About the Panelists

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Navarro Chamberlain ’09
Cloud Solution Lead, Booz Allen Hamilton

Navarro Chamberlain, who was born and raised in inner-city Philadelphia, is a senior cloud architect with Booz Allen Hamilton. His experience spans multiple areas of expertise including infrastructure planning and deployment, identity and access management, and security. He has worked in both public and private sectors with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, and several government agencies at the federal and state level.

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Cassidy DiPaola ’21
Cyber Risk and Regulatory Experienced Associate, PwC

Cassidy DiPaola simultaneously earned her B.S. in Security and Risk Analysis and Master of International Affairs in International Cybersecurity from Penn State in spring 2021. As a student, she interned with Consequential Flowers LLC and has since continued to advise and grow the platform with her mentor Jayme Anne Goldberg ’92. DiPaola is passionate about helping others – especially Penn Staters at PwC – through her continued involvement at the College of IST and her work with the PwC recruitment team.

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Meghan Swanton ’19
Senior Security Intelligence and Operations Consultant, MITRE Team Lead, IBM

Meghan Swanton is a senior consultant and team lead who has over three years of experience assisting clients with developing and optimizing SOC and SIEM maturity. Meghan specializes in MITRE alignment and proactive threat detection and response. She has mentored students at Penn State for the past two years and has participated in a number of panels focused on supporting women in STEM.

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Hear from Lauren Boland ’03 as she shares her diverse experiences and perspectives as a lesbian and transgender woman in tech. Learn from the challenges and opportunities she faced while navigating the college experience and working to advance her career and grow her professional network.

About the Speaker

Lauren Boland Headshot

Lauren Boland '03 is a seasoned software engineer in the financial services space who also spent a good part of her career doing systems engineering work for government contractors. She and her wife have been married for 15 years, have two children, and reside in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. She has a passion for all things personal finance, financial independence and retiring early (FIRE), and of course, writing code. Lauren was a member of the College of IST’s first graduating class and holds a master of sciences degree in Systems Engineering from George Washington University.

About the Host

Jocelyn Bennett Garraway is the assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology. She has more than 30 years of experience as a counselor, educator and administrator to oversee the college’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. She leads the college’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity Engagement, connecting students, faculty and staff to build a network that involves all constituents in the work of diversity; as well as the IST Office of Undergraduate Recruiting and the IST Office of Student Engagement, enriching the college’s scholarship awarding process, student engagement activities and strategic initiatives to provide equal opportunities to all. Bennett Garraway earned a B.S. in Psychology, an M.Ed. in Counselor Education, and Ph. D. in Counselor Education and Supervision – all from Penn State.

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About the Panelists

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Megan Costello ’08
Assistant Teaching Professor, Penn State College of IST

Megan Costello, Esq. is an assistant teaching professor at the College of IST. Megan holds a J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly, the Franklin Pierce Law Center). She graduated from Penn State, magna cum laude, in Information Sciences and Technology with minors in Security and Risk Analysis and English. Megan brings her legal background to the classroom, where she teaches a wide array of classes in technology law, privacy, cybersecurity, and entrepreneurship. She likewise speaks and regularly publishes on cyberlaw, intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and geek-culture related topics.

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Nikita Page ’17
IT Audit Manager, Microsoft

Nikita Page earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of IST in 2017 and now is based out of the greater New York metropolitan area, where he works as a technology risk professional for Microsoft and a music production entrepreneur. Over the last five years, his Penn State education effectively prepared him to work across a variety of industries and geographic regions, both domestically and internationally. Originally from Ukraine, Nikita is passionate about implementing a global and inclusive perspective for all the projects of his portfolio.

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Joel Sakyi '20
Systems Administrator, ValidaTek Inc.

Joel Sakyi is a Systems Administrator at ValidaTek, Inc, based in McLean, Virginia, where he manages information systems as a contractor for the Department of Defense. Prior to his graduation, he launched Vybrnt, a startup company that aided underrepresented students in connecting with organizations, finding resources, and forming mentoring relationships. He became a participant of the Invent Penn State's Summer Founders Program and released their mobile app in October 2020.

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Sara Weston '05
Founder and Executive Director, 911der Women, Inc.

Sara Weston is the founder and executive director of 911der Women, Inc. (pronounced 9-1-wonder women), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with a mission to empower and provide tools for women in public safety. She has been a consultant for 911 technology systems for the past 17 years where she works on federal projects and with states on planning, procuring and implementing Next Generation 911 systems. Sara is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds the Emergency Number Professional certification through the National Emergency Number Association.

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The Women in IST (WIST) student organization is planning their 9th Annual Lean In Panel in collaboration with the IST Identity Talks series. This discussion brings together a variety of IST alumnae to share support and insight in STEM careers. The leadership panel is based on the national “Lean In” movement from best-selling author and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, which aims to empower women to lean into their ambitions. The panel strives to open the conversation among students and alumni and encourage them to become part of a larger conversation.

About the Panelists

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Janay Coles ’15
Sr. Cyber Analyst, Textron, Inc.

Janay Coles graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Security and Risk Analysis (Information and Cyber Security option). She’s currently a Senior Cyber Analyst at Textron where she has worked since graduation. She’s worked with many different IT teams supporting them in multiple projects, including upgrading Anti-Virus software, installing and maintaining new security products, and monitoring and responding to security incidents. Janay has earned multiple certifications including GCIH, GSEC, and GCFE. She enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.

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Shelly Gasperine ’06
Consulting Solutions Transformation Director – Technology Sector, PwC

Shelly Gasperine is a director in PwC’s consulting solutions practice, focusing on helping her clients in the technology and telecom sectors navigate company-wide transformation programs. In her more than 15 years of consulting, she has managed programs ranging from M&A integration, finance transformation and talent management. As a part of enhancing the employee experience, Shelly also worked as a product manager for an internal PwC application, focusing on improving the natural language processing for PwC's digital assistant app, Astro. Having started her career in Philadelphia, Shelly now resides in Seattle with her two sons, spouse and a community garden plot.

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Angela Govila '05
Executive Director, Head of Product, Embedded Banking, JPMorgan Payments

Angela Govila is a growth-mindset FinTech executive with extensive experience building organizations to deliver technology solutions. She has deep experience in end-to-end customer success lifecycles and new product innovation in digital banking. Angela is currently the Head of Product for Embedded Banking with Chase’s Corporate Investment Bank. Previously, she was the Head of Digital for Chase for Business. She has also held roles at Capital One, Ernst & Young and General Electric. Angela has an undergraduate degree from the College of Information Sciences and Technology, of which she is also a board advisor. In her spare time, she loves hiking and backpacking in the remote wilderness with her family. Lately though, she’s learning how to hit a PR as a new Peloton Mom.

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Neha Sharma ’17, ’18 MPS BUS
Senior Consultant, IBM

Neha Sharma is a Senior Consultant within IBM's Consulting Services – Federal Group. She earned her Master of Professional Studies in Management and Organizational Leadership (MOL) from Penn State in 2018 after completing her bachelor's degree at the College of IST. Her expertise lies in providing analytical support to her clients while leveraging technology to uncover new opportunities. Neha has continued to find ways to bridge her technology and business skills by receiving professional certifications in Project Management (PMP) and AWS Cloud Computing. Aside from work, she loves to travel, give back to the community, and spend time with friends and family.

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About the Panelists

Kevin Afoakwah (moderator/panelist) graduated in the Class of 2020 with a B.S. in Information Sciences & Technology. He is now currently a Software Engineer at Lockheed Martin supporting programs with cloud technology and application development. He looks forward to sharing what he has learned in his year and a half worth of work experience.

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Deon Butler ’08 LA, ’15g Homeland Security
Network Security Engineer, Cox Communications

Deon Butler is a uniquely experienced retired pro athlete and current IT professional with over 5+ years of experience in datacenter high availability enterprise environments. Designing/configuring end to end connectivity working to support and manage internal and external customers.

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Desmond Lamptey ’12
Master Software Engineer, Capital One

Desmond Lamptey is a Software Engineering manager at Capital One focusing on Tech learning, in domains like Cloud Computing, Cyber and Software Engineering. His biggest passion is traveling the world to experience culture (and food) and dreams of one day earning his pilots license. He truly lives by the mantra, it's the journey not the destination.

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Megan Tucker ’18
IT Business Partner, Boeing

Megan Tucker (she/her) is an IT Business Partner for The Boeing Company. She supports one of their defense programs with IT requirements gathering and implementation. She has explored many different areas in IT in previous jobs and internships including in the areas of Data Science, Cyber Security, and Business Analytics. Outside of work, she is pursuing her Masters in Information Systems Engineering and enjoys hobbies such as hiking, skiing, and traveling.

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Korey Wallace ’09
Operations Technology Security Lead, DuPont

Korey Wallace (he/him) is a Penn State IST graduate, and MBA graduate from the University of Texas. Korey currently works as the Operational Technology Security Lead for DuPont, where he works to defend global manufacturing IoT devices from ransomware.

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Meet College of IST alumni in this panel discussion about careers in consulting. They will share their journey into consulting, discuss their positions, and talk about their experiences as diverse alumni in tech.

About the Panelists

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Daniel Battisto ’18
Information Security Engineer, Workday Inc.

Daniel Battisto, originally from the Philadelphia area, began his career as a physical security specialist in the United States Air Force where he had the opportunity to serve in several roles that provided him the opportunity to support Air Force One missions and work at the White House. After leaving the military in 2014, Daniel has supported the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense in a variety of information security toles. Daniel lives in the Washington, D.C. area is now employed as an information security engineer for Workday Inc., and is finishing his M.Eng of Cybersecurity Policy and Compliance through George Washington University.

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1st Lt. Juliana Wright Coleman ’18
C-130J pilot, United States Air Force

1st Lt. Juliana Coleman is currently serving as a C-130J pilot in the United States Air Force. Juliana graduated from Penn State with a degree in Security and Risk Analysis and a minor in Military Studies in 2018. After graduation, she was commissioned into the Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant and attended Pilot Training in Columbus, Mississippi. She and her husband, who is also a Penn State alumnus and C-130J pilot, are stationed out of Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas.

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Michael Payne '20
Data Leakage Prevention – US Team Leader, UBS

Michael Payne is currently the Data Leakage Prevention Team Leader – United States at UBS -  Union Bank of Switzerland.  He served 26+ years in the United States Marine Corps, and attained the rank of Sergeant Major.  While an active duty service member, he completed his degree in Security and Risk Analysis – Information and Cybersecurity through Penn State World Campus.  While at Penn State, he was selected as one of two RSA Security Scholars to represent the Pennsylvania State University at RSA Conference – San Francisco.

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Lance Corporal Nhien Truong (USMC Reservist) ’21
IT Security Analyst, Underwriters Labs

Lance Corporal Nhien Truong enlisted in February 2019. After completing the training and check in to his Reserve Unit, the pandemic happened. As a result, he couldn’t find a job and instead focused on earning a college degree in Information Sciences and Technology through Penn State World Campus. At first, finding a job and internship was hard, sometimes he got stuck not getting any call backs, but the Office of Career Solutions in the College of IST was very dedicated and provided helpful resources. Lance Corporal Truong started getting more communication from recruiters after having some resume reviewing sessions. After taking ENGL 202D – Business Writing, he was able to get an offer from Tesla for a position based on his military experience. A few weeks before graduating, Lance Corporal Truong found a recruiter’s posting from Underwriters Labs on LinkedIn, reached out and applied. He is now entry-level with the company, working for their Cryptography compliance team.

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Meet College of IST alumni in this panel discussion about careers in consulting. They will share their journey into consulting, discuss their positions, and talk about their experiences as diverse alumni in tech.

About the Panelists

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Cassidy DiPaola '21
Digital Assurance & Transparency Associate, PwC

Cassidy DiPaola graduated in May 2021 from Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis and a Master of International Affairs in International Cyber Security. During her four years at Penn State, she completed internships in the following sectors: machinery, information technology and services, accounting/consulting, defense and space, research, academia, and online media. In August 2021, she began her full-time career with PwC as a Digital Assurance and Transparency Associate.

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Joel Gill Jr. '09
Technology Manager and Management Consultant, Grant Thornton LLP

Joel Gill Jr. is a Technology Manager and Management Consultant at Grant Thornton LLP with more than 12 years of experience. He serves as one of the leaders in the Public Sector practice specializing in agile transformation and enablement and product management. His experience has spanned all stages of the software development lifecycle which includes mobile and web application testing and reporting, business and systems analysis. He received his bachelor’s degree from the College of IST in 2009.

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Michelle Ngo '12
Product Marketing Strategy Lead, JPMorgan Chase

Michelle Ngo is currently a Product Marketing Strategy Lead at JPMorgan Chase. She graduated from Penn State with her Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology and a minor in Supply Chain. She worked for Deloitte Consulting LLC shortly after graduation, where she was staffed on multiple technology projects assisting clients from various industries. Michelle also holds a Master’s of Business Administration degree from Temple University, with a concentration in Innovation Management.

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Steve Pipino '03
Cloud Cyber Security Expert, Salesforce

Stephen Pipino is a Principal Security Specialist with Salesforce, where he supports Public Sector organizations as a pre-sales engineer with their secure adoption of Salesforce’s PaaS and SaaS offerings. He works closely with DoD agencies and U.S. Government Contractors to provide expertise addressing security and compliance requirements associated with Government programs, such as FedRAMP and CMMC. Prior to joining Salesforce, Stephen built his career with small startup vendors and large consulting firms. He has earned recognition as a Certified Salesforce Administrator, a Certified Enterprise Architect (CEA), a Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP) and a Registered DoD Risk Management Framework Practitioner (RDRP). In addition to his undergraduate degree from Penn State’s College of IST, he holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from the George Washington University.

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Meet College of IST alumni in this panel discussion about careers in consulting. They will share their journey into consulting, discuss their positions, and talk about their experiences as diverse alumni in tech.

About the Panelists

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Aubrey McElrath '21 (they/she)
Security & Risk Analysis student, Moderator & Panelist

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 they live with C-PTSD and has been navigating that ever since. In her free time, they love to rock-climb, read, and write poetry, in addition to hanging out with her pet rats.

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Scott Robertson PhD ’13
Policy Advisor, US Federal Government

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.

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Alexander Ross '03
Senior Clinical Systems Analyst, Allegheny Health Network

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.

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Andrew Weinert '09
Staff Research Associate, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

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.

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About the Panelists

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John Esteves ’18
IT Project Manager, Universal Parks

John Esteves is a Project Management Professional working as an IT Project Manager at Universal Parks and Resorts for just over 3 years now. He has the opportunity to work on a variety of software and infrastructure projects. He is excited to talk about the diversity he has experienced at Universal and how that has encouraged him to get involved locally to work with the Clinton County LGBTQ Group in Clinton County, Pennsylvania.

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Elizabeth King ’79 (Liberal Arts)
Retired Vice President of Human Resources Solutions and Services, Starbucks Corporation

Elizabeth M. King is a retired vice president of Human Resources Solutions and Services for Starbucks Corporation. During her tenure, the company grew from 1,100 to over 26,000 coffee shops with locations in four countries to 75. This significant growth provided exciting challenges and opportunities for Elizabeth during her 20 years at Starbucks.

Today she is the managing partner of Elizabeth M. King Consulting, LLC, a niche consulting company that she founded after retiring from Starbucks. Also, Elizabeth serves as a Penn State Adjunct Professor in the School of Hospitality Management and serves on the Advisory Board in the School of IST.

She splits time between her homes in Bellevue, WA and Boalsburg, PA.

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Justin Roth ’15
Director, Technology Services

Justin Roth is a technology and management consultant with technical leadership and delivery experience in software development/integration and information assurance across commercial markets and the Federal Government. He is passionate about people development & process improvement and currently serves as Director of Technology Services at Coalfire Systems, an accredited Third-Party Assessment Organization (3PAO) supporting the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). Justin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State along with various industry certifications including CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, CAP, CDPSE, and CCSK.

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Lauren Zieziula ’17
Project Manager, Red Ventures

Lauren Zieziula graduated from Penn State in 2017 with a degree in Cyber Security. She began her career at GE as a member of their Digital Technology Leadership Program. She found her passion for Agile software development and took on role as Scrum Master for the next 3 years. This year, Lauren joined Red Ventures, a digital marketing and media company, as a Technical Project Manager. Lauren recently bought her first home in Erie, Pennsylvania with her fiancé Jamie, PSU IST grad Class of 2016 and their dog Sunnie.

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About the Panelists

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Noel Claudio ’14
Strategy and Operations Analyst, Twitter

Noel Claudio is a Strategy and Operations Analyst for Platform Engineering at Twitter. Before joining the flock, Noel spent 6.5 years in consulting working for Deloitte and Slalom. He has consulted clients across various industries in technology project & program management. He is originally from Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic and is a first-generation college graduate. Outside of work, Noel enjoys basketball, football, Marvel TV shows, and traveling. He is also a huge advocate for the LatinX in Tech community.

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Diana Long ’04
Director and Program Manager, General Atlantic

Diana Long is from Brooklyn, NY and found her way to Penn State University. She graduated with her B.S. in 2004. While at Penn State she was active on the Executive Board of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority and the National Hispanic Business Association. She earned her Master of Science at Penn State Great Valley while working full-time at Vanguard. Diana is currently a Director, Program Manager at General Atlantic in NYC overseeing the firm’s IT Project Portfolio. She is married with two children living in NY. Fun facts: she has a sister who is also an IT Alum, a younger sister, and a nephew currently attending Penn State; she also started her own beauty brand in 2012 called DIOSA (Nail and lip products all made in the USA)!

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Jacqueline (Jackie) Sanchez ’19
Technology Risk Consultant

Jackie Sanchez is currently located in NYC working as a Senior 1 Technology Risk Consultant at a Big 4 firm for almost two years. Jackie assists clients by assessing the controls they have in place to support their IT environments to confirm the controls are working effectively. With her firm, she volunteers as a Penn State class representative to assist a team of students with a case study throughout the entire semester. Additionally, she volunteers to mentor and prepare a high school junior through their senior year for the college process. Outside of work, Jackie spends time with her rescue pup, Kefla.

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About the Panelists

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Maria Cody '14
CSIRT Manager, Salesforce

Maria Cody is the Government Cloud CSIRT Manager at Salesforce and is based in Northern Virginia. She has worked in Incident Response, Tech Audit, Forensic Investigations, and Threat Intelligence for Johnson & Johnson, Comcast and Salesforce. Maria is passionate about Latinx in Tech, Women in Tech and work life balance.

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Pedro Huerta '08
Digital Expert, McKinsey & Co.

Pedro Huerta is a Digital Expert with McKinsey & Company based in Lima, Peru, he supports organizations in various industries through digital transformations, helping organizations adopt new agile ways of working, deliver digital products and transform organizational structures, culture and processes. Prior to McKinsey, Pedro worked for Verizon where he led the agile transformation of the Cloud & Data Center organization as part of Verizon Enterprise Services. Prior to that he had multiple roles with General Electric leading and managing technology projects. Pedro was born and raised in Peru, moved to the US in 2003 and joined Penn State in 2004 where he majored in Information Science & Technology with a Minor in Engineering Leadership.  While at Penn State he was highly involved in IST including the IST interest house, Pro Expo, Student Government and with Latino organizations on campus, Pedro also developed an interest in global cultures including learning Portuguese and Chinese, studying abroad in Shanghai and participating in a program collaborating with Hungary students to help cooperatives in Morocco.

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Krista Krebs '15
Product Strategist & Designer, UPMC Enterprises

Krista Krebs is a product strategist and designer with seven years of leadership experience across product, design, and engineering. She has led and influenced multimillion-dollar products in various industries, including eCommerce and healthcare. With proficiency in multiple product disciplines, she excels at managing the entire product lifecycle—from product roadmapping to delivery. She’s Founder of That’s Valid, an apparel brand on a mission to fight against mental health stigma, and is a company of one at Krista Krebs Co, her digital product consulting business. Her sweet spot is advising companies on mobile app product strategies and designs that deliver quantifiable results.

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Ankur Sheth '04
Senior Managing Director, Ankura Consulting

Ankur Sheth is a senior technology and cybersecurity professional based in New York working across a variety of competencies and industries for almost 20 years serving his clients in successfully mitigating potential cyber threats. Ankur possesses an extensive knowledge of cybersecurity risk controls, processes, and technologies, and continues to assist clients with projects ranging from strategy to implementation. He has worked with clients across multiple industries ranging from financial services to consumer products to help them strategize, analyze, plan, architect, design, implement, and support cybersecurity related controls and systems. Ankur utilizes his extensive education and experience along with his business and security knowledge to deploy leading practices across all security aspects within enterprises. Additionally, Ankur has worked with his multi-national clients at a global level across North and South America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Ankur holds his MBA, CISSP, and CISM certifications in addition to his BS from PSU.

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Adam Stavely '14
Engineer in Residence

Adam Stavely graduated from the College of IST in 2014 with Bachelors of Science in Information Sciences and Technology and minor in Security and Risk Analysis. He is completing a Master’s degree in Information Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Stavely has worked for the Federal Government since graduating where he currently serves as the Engineer in Residence at one of the government’s innovation hubs. In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and nights in with his boyfriend.

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Watch This Talk

Meet College of IST alumni in this panel discussion about careers in consulting. They will share their journey into consulting, discuss their positions, and talk about their experiences as diverse alumni in tech.

About the Panelists

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Prerana Dalal '08
Senior Product Manager, Huge

Prerana Dalal is a Senior Product Manager at Huge, a user-centric digital agency where she helps companies transform into trusted parts of people’s lives by creating digital products, services, and brands that people love. She previously worked at Bloomberg and Deloitte. Prerana lives and works in Washington, D.C. She is a self-proclaimed foodie, enjoys watching Bravo shows, and in her nonexistent free time, she likes to write, dreaming of one day publishing a book of short stories.

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Caitlin Doyle Weiss '12
Director of Core Technology GRC, GlaxoSmithKline

Caitlin Doyle Weiss graduated from the College of IST in 2012. During her time at IST, Caitlin interned with the CIA and was Vice President of Women in IST, President of Gamma Tau Phi, and a founding member of IST Diplomats. After Penn State, she joined Deloitte Consulting as a Business Technology Consultant. After 5 years with Deloitte, she joined Slalom consulting to work locally in Philadelphia. In 2018, Caitlin joined GSK as a Risk and Compliance Manager and was promoted to Director of Core Technology Risk and Compliance earlier this year. Currently, Caitlin oversees the secure and compliance implementation of all of GSK’s globally used technology.

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Brianna Malcolmson '11
Principal Security Engineer, Atlassian

Brianna Malcolmson is an information security professional and advisor with over ten years of experience transforming the security posture of cloud-based companies. Most recently, she founded the Red Team at Atlassian where she helped drive foundational change to secure its over 100,000 customers. She is a graduate of Penn State University’s Security and Risk Analysis program where she specialized in Information and Cyber Security.

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Tammara (Tammy) Ross '11
Project Delivery Manager, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Tammy Ross from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was an IST major and former President of Women in IST. She helped bring the TEDxPSU conference to campus and worked to increase the presence of women and underrepresented minorities within the College of IST. Tammy now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, and works for Deloitte Consulting. Her current project is with a member of the Department of Justice. There, she serves as a system administrator for a BI Reporting Platform which helps them make data-driven decisions daily. In her free time, she enjoys coaching girls’ basketball at the AAU and high school levels.

About the Panelists

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Cierra Freeman ’12
Project Manager, Confluence

Cierra Freeman has seven years of experience managing projects across the financial and technology sectors. As a graduate of the IST and Community, Environment, and Development programs, she leveraged her academic experience to grow as a forensic technology consultant at PwC and later transitioned to project management to further her deep knowledge within software development. Today, Cierra works as a Project Manager at Confluence, a fund administration software company, and volunteers with Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, a local community development non-profit.

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Corey J. Lee ’12
Enterprise Security Executive for U.S. Education, Microsoft Corporation

Corey Lee was born and raised in Hopewell, Virginia. He started his Penn State journey as a Bunton-Waller Fellow in the fall of 2007. After his first semester, he decided to change his major from Criminology to Security and Risk Analysis and join the College of IST. During his time at Penn State, Corey studied abroad in both Argentina and China while also serving as a member of the SRA club. He became a Schreyer Gateway Scholar and wrote an honors thesis titled “Cybercrime: Analysis of Offending Patterns and Offender Characteristics with Special Emphasis on Women." Corey graduated with a B.S in SRA and a minor in International Studies in 2012. Corey now works at Microsoft Corporation as the Enterprise Security Executive for U.S. Education.

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Ka’Lee Strawbridge '18
Threat & Vulnerability Management Analyst, Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Ka’Lee Strawbridge-Moten was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, serving as a Threat and Vulnerability Management Analyst at Lowe's Companies, Inc. His work focuses primarily on vulnerability remediation for internal/external PCI regulatory compliance, on-premises infrastructure threat reduction, and vulnerability metrics and reporting. Ka’Lee has worked on projects that include ensuring consumer privacy as well as reducing risks of internal threats by means of streamlining Identity and Access Management Processes. While at Penn State, Ka'Lee was a member of W.O.R.D.S, TheLion 90.7 FM, and the Residential Computing Team.