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Research in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) focuses on understanding and solving complex challenges where information, technology and people intersect. This interdisciplinary curiosity was on full display as the college’s newest doctoral students presented their research proposals during a poster session.

Andrea Tapia, associate professor of IST and the director of the college’s graduate program, explained, “Nothing you saw [at the event] will be pure computer science. At IST, we’re on the edge of all these disciplines.”

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 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.”

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Steven Haynes, associate teaching professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), recently received the 2017-18 George McMurtry Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award. As part of this recognition, Haynes presented the annual McMurtry Award Lecture, titled “Learning Scenarios in IST,” on Nov. 9.

Established in 2002, the McMurtry Award is given annually to an IST faculty member who teaches at least one undergraduate course at the University Park campus. Funded by George McMurtry, one of the founders of IST and former associate dean of the College of Engineering, the award celebrates faculty who demonstrate innovative teaching methods, a commitment to student learning, and creative interaction with students.

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Alejandro Cuevas was a freshman majoring in engineering who simply wanted to learn more about cybersecurity.   

“I was accepted into the Schreyer Honors College, and early on they start telling you to think about your thesis,” he said. “Computer security had always been appealing to me, so I thought this was a good opportunity to explore it in depth.”

Image: Erin Cassidy Hendrick


On a typical day, you can find Michael Khorosh and Emir Myrzabekov consulting with clients, leading meetings, and strategizing marketing outreach campaigns. It's a regular day for seasoned professionals, but when they clock out, they return to their lives as undergraduate students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST).

At their internship at SURGE Business Development located just off the University Park campus, they’re taking on a variety of independent projects to support client goals while gaining valuable real-world experience.

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“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.

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.

Image: trajectory magazine


The power of the crowd builds upon NGA’s open-source platform to better equip first responders with geospatial information

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.

Image: Mel Evans | AP


“I think the listening sessions will be really critical to collecting what I might call on-the-ground information about where we are in the crisis,” Forster said.

He added he thinks the listening sessions will be an opportunity for people to gather in a nonthreatening environment to discuss the issue of opioid abuse in their communities in more depth.

Forster and the rest of the team are hopeful the information and data they accumulate will be able to help do additional research in not only Pennsylvania, but across other states as well. Ultimately, they hope their work will be able to help law enforcement and other agencies develop strategies that will combat the epidemic.