Student Spotlight | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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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.


May 2, 2017
Audra Stafursky is using the skills she's learned as a student majoring in information sciences and technology to program a cost-saving inventory solution for Student Technology Services.

Image: Rachel Garman

There are many ways students leave their mark in their four (or more) years at Penn State. But how many can say they implemented a solution that will save the University valuable time, money and resources?

That’s exactly the legacy Audra Stafursky, a senior studying information sciences and technology with a focus on design and development, will leave behind long after she’s left the classroom.

Since November 2016, Stafursky, also a computer lab consultant with Student Technology Services (STS), has been leading a project to program a new automated inventory system for computer lab locations across Penn State’s University Park campus.


May 1, 2017
Student Marshals John Hatzell and Joshua Parrish

Image: Penn State

On May 6, students from Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) graduating class of 2017 will don their caps and gowns and march down the aisle at commencement toward their future goals as graduates, following student marshals Jack "John" Hatzell and Joshua Parrish.

Hatzell, who will represent the College of IST, and Parrish, representing the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), will be escorted by their faculty marshals, senior lecturer of IST Edward Glantz and Lt. Col. Richard Garey, respectively.


April 6, 2017
Victoria Bardusch, a double major in IST and security and risk analysis, has nine job offers more than a month before graduation.

Image: Victoria Bardusch

Victoria Bardusch knew she wanted to study in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) from a young age. As a high school sophomore, she toured IST with then-Dean David Hall, while her father, Bob, a Penn State architectural engineering graduate, served on the college’s advisory board.

As she nears her graduation this spring, Bardusch is reflecting on what she has accomplished in the college — and deciding which of her nine job offers she should accept. “I had a great experience,” she said. “I declared a double major in IST and security and risk analysis after falling in love with both of the introductory classes.”


February 10, 2017
Kathleen Beck is a senior at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the president of the IST Benefitting THON student organization

Image: Penn State

With her spring graduation inching closer, Kathleen Beck regularly finds herself reflecting on her college experience. She is a senior at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the president of the IST Benefitting THON student organization, and her commencement will be the culmination of three years of hard work and a lifelong connection to Penn State.

Raised 30 minutes from the University Park campus in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, “I grew up with Penn State in my blood,” she said. From her mom working in the College of IST, to her brother earning his Penn State degree in 2011, to her dad holding season tickets for nearly every Nittany Lion team, her Penn State roots run deep.