IST Alumni Newsletter
January 2021
Dear IST Alumni and Friends,

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to move into the new opportunities that 2021 brings. Looking back at 2020, I hope you and yours are well, and that you managed the new ways we worked, learned, and behaved in our everyday lives.

As I would expect, I’ve seen the IST Alumni community continue to become more vibrant and connected than ever. Being at the forefront of technology enables us to stay connected and engaged with the world. Despite ongoing challenges, IST prepared us to learn from and thrive in this new normal by being students on a lifelong learning adventure.

The goal at the heart of the IST Alumni Society remains providing opportunities for alumni to connect, network, volunteer, and rekindle friendships made during your time in IST. So, as we begin this new year, I encourage you to join us for the events highlighted below to learn something new, connect with Penn Staters, and have fun.

Stay in touch and watch for more information on our annual tailgate, regional networking get-togethers, mentoring and virtual networking events, and more! If you have any suggestions about how to improve the IST alumni experience, email me at


Luke Simonetti '07
Alumni Society President
Event Highlight: Cooking Classic
Join with Penn Staters each week to learn new cooking and life skills, while also helping students faced with food insecurity by supporting the Penn State food pantries across the commonwealth!

  • January 20 - Pierogies, Pies and Pigs: Fresh from the Farm Show 
  • January 27 - Cooking with Tech: Wings and Things (featuring College of IST alumni!)
  • February 3 - Healthy Hints with Penn State Extension
  • February 10 - Mallo Cups and Merlot
Additional Events
January 18 | Alumni Resume Reviews hosted by Alumni Career Services
Save your spot for a virtual resume review! Participants will be able to receive feedback on their resume in just 10 minutes!

February 24 | Alumni Identity Talks - Celebrating Black History Month
Though geared toward students, alumni and friends are welcome to join us for this event series where IST alumni share their diverse experiences. This month will feature Ka'Lee Strawbridge-Moten '18, Corey Lee '12, and Cierra Freeman '12. Watch your email for a link to register!

March 28-29, 2021 (Tentative) | Hackathon
Stay tuned for more information about this exciting new event from the IST Alumni Society, which will be open to all IST alumni and students.
Opportunities to Give Back
Thanks for Your #GivingTuesday Support!
To Penn State IST alumni, friends, faculty, and staff, thank you for your generous support during Penn State Giving Tuesday. You provided $3,470 to the IST Alumni Society Board Endowment, advancing experiential opportunities for our students and helping us surpass our goal of $2,020. You were also part of a group of Penn Staters who contributed over $990,000 through more than 10,400 gifts, setting records in giving for the sixth year in a row.

“During an unforgettable year, our community once again stepped up to show their pride in the College of IST,” said Mike Weyandt, IST’s director of development. “We are forever grateful for those who are helping to enrich the total student experience through their support of the IST Alumni Society Program Endowment.” 

Special thanks to IST Alumni Society Board members Luke Simonetti ’07 and Scott Lyons ’05 for their matching gift challenge, which helped double the impact of your gifts.

If you overlooked making a gift on Giving Tuesday, you can support the Alumni Board Program Endowment by making a gift at

Help Students During "Alumni Advice" sessions
On January 26 from 6-7:30 p.m., the IST Alumni Society is hosting its second "Alumni Advice" session to help students prepare for the Future Forum on Feb. 1. If you interested in participating, complete this online form no later than January 18. Alumni can assist students with reviewing resumes, offering tips on virtual interviewing, mock interviewing, and more.

Alumni Identity Talks
We are seeking alumni to participate in “IST Identity Talks,” a monthly event where our undergraduate students can hear about the diverse experiences of IST alumni. These sessions aim to help students prepare for the challenges and opportunities they may face in their careers, understand the personal and professional experiences of diverse individuals, and learn how to be an ally. While open to students from all backgrounds, our goal is to educate and inspire those from underrepresented backgrounds by highlighting successful IST alumni who look like them and have similar lived experiences.
If you are interested in sharing your experience, please complete this online form.
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.
News & Highlights
Jacob Sisko ’15 makes an impact through civilian career with Department of Army
Alumnus' software gift to help train Penn State cybersecurity students
Check out the most recent issue of iConnect magazine and subscribe to IST Headlines.
Alumni Shout-outs
Welcome to the alumni society's newest board member, Ka'Lee Strawbridge-Moten '18. Ka'Lee is a Threat & Vulnerability Management Analyst for Lowe's Companies, Inc. in North Carolina. Welcome, Ka'Lee!

Congratulations go out to IST alums Audra Stafursky '17 and Simon Wong '15 for their August 2020 wedding. We wish you both the best!
Send Us Your News!
If you have career or personal news you'd like to share with IST alumni, send your update to

Update your information to stay informed of the latest IST news and events.