IST Alumni Newsletter
March 2021
Dear IST Alumni, Donors, and Friends,

March 16 will mark one year since Penn State shifted its normal operations in response to the ongoing pandemic. Though students continue a mix of in-person and remote classes this spring, campus – like the rest of the world – still steps cautiously and with less of its palpable buzz. There is, however, still plenty of enthusiasm and optimism to be found: first-year and change-of-campus students are feeling a bit more settled in their new environments, soon-to-be graduates are preparing to launch their careers, and our alumni and friends are finding new and unique ways to connect.

These bimonthly newsletters give us a chance to showcase how the IST community is leading, innovating, and inspiring throughout our everyday uncertainty. I hope you take time to read these stories, engage with our upcoming initiatives, and share your own stories of success and resilience. It is through you – your achievements and generosity – that our college has earned the strength and ability to be something consistent in a time of extraordinary change.

Andrew Sears, dean
Upcoming Events
Alumni Identity Talks – Women in Tech | Tuesday, March 16
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 women in technology as they navigated the college experience and work to advance their careers and grow their professional networks.
IST Alumni Hackathon | April 24-25
Alumni and students will showcase their self-expression and creativity through a series of workshops and competitions that will explore web and app development, professional branding, consulting, and more! Join us to learn new technical skills, create cool technology, and compete in Capture-The-Flag style games during this virtual festival.

*More details on the various workshops and competitions to come soon*
Additional Events
March 2 | Medical Marijuana Research at Penn State
Join Dr. Kent Vrana from the Penn State College of Medicine for a discussion on the current uses of Cannabis, its extracts, and the pros and cons of this alternative therapeutic approach. Learn more and register.

March 22-26 | Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC
Hear from founders, innovators, and thought leaders during this weeklong showcase of entrepreneurship and innovation. Visit the Startup Week website.

March 24 | Networking and the Art of Building Authentic Relationships
Learn how to build an effective professional network by defining the terms, overcoming internal barriers and fears, initiating the first meeting, and building relationships in a virtual environment. Learn more and register.
Getting Involved:
Internship Assistance
IST's Office of Career Solutions is seeking mini-internship and project experiences to support students’ professional development. These opportunities should provide students with a chance for practical application of their IST coursework and be between 80-100 hours. Please contact Brianne Lippert with any questions or to provide an opportunity.

Share your Story
We are working on the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of iConnect, the College of IST magazine, and are seeking your input for upcoming stories! We invite you to answer a few questions about your time in IST and professional experiences. And, as always, we encourage you to share your personal or professional updates – a new job or promotion, awards and accolades, and birth and wedding announcements – that you want to celebrate with the IST community.

Cooking Classic Recap
More than 550 alumni and friends participated in the recent Penn State Cooking Classic series and contributed $4,265 to The Lion’s Pantry to help students experiencing food insecurity! Special thanks to IST alumni Josh Hoch ’09 ’14g, Briley Marchetti ’16, and Andrew Weinert ’09 (along with wife Stephanie ’12 HHD) for leading “Cooking with Tech: Wings and Things,” to Rita Griffith of IST’s careers office for giving us some etiquette tips, and to Lion’s Pantry president and IST student Spencer Wallace for sharing more about the Penn State food pantry. You can view recordings of all events in the series here.

We also invite you to make a gift to help mitigate student hunger. Every $5 gift can provide 20 or more meals, or may be used to help stock pantries with other basic need items like toiletries and paper products.
News & Highlights
IST mourns the passing of Chao-Hsien Chu, one the college’s original faculty
IST Diplomats student organization celebrates 10 years
Stay informed: read the latest issue of iConnect magazine and subscribe to IST Headlines.
Alumni Shout-outs
Derek Slaughter ’03 and his wife Vanessa recently welcomed Jazlyn Serenity Slaughter on Jan. 7, joining Jayden (8) and Chloe (6).

Ken Panco '03 reports that he recently joined AWS as a business development manager, and that he and his wife are expecting their first child in May.

Nicolas Neumann '13 recently became the managing partner of a real estate firm in Miami.

Thank you to Jason Conrad, Ryan Feng, Peter Herr, Andrew Kline, Tracy Morris, Colin Murphy, Frederick Faylona, Nikita Page, Scott Robertson, Ka’Lee Strawbridge, and Andrew Weinert for helping to prepare students for the virtual Future Forum career fair during the Alumni Advice Session for Students on January 26. We appreciate your support!
Stay Connected!
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