DUBOIS — Penn State DuBois alumni returned to campus during finals week to help Jason Long, assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology, review final projects and provide feedback — grounded in real-world experience — to current information technology students.
Each team of students was tasked with building a network over the course of the semester, including providing documentation of their work to allow another person to be able to easily navigate the system as an end user.
The stuff this project covers is huge for supporting via help desk because you need to be able to troubleshoot and understand the user processes from both ends.
—Amanda Butler , 2013 alumna and systems administrator for Redapt
Amanda Butler, a 2013 alumna, is in a fully remote technical position as a systems administrator, level two at Redapt, a Seattle-based company.
“The two-year IT program really gave me the basis for everything I needed in my career,” said Butler.
She described her career path, which starting at a hospital working the computer help desk, and said that the lessons students learned while completing their projects will help them in their careers.
“The stuff this project covers is huge for supporting via help desk because you need to be able to troubleshoot and understand the user processes from both ends,” Butler said.
Butler said she loved being able to come back to campus to assist Long in the evaluation process and reminisced about the project she completed years prior.
“It’s great for these students to see how other IT people are going through these processes, reading their documentation, and understanding their processes,” she said.
Aaron Prisk, a 2014 alumnus, is currently the technology director for Curwensville Area School District after spending eight years in the technology department at West Branch Area School District. Prisk credits having the skills to manage the technology to the time he spent in the Penn State DuBois information technology programs.
I feel like it’s come full circle a little bit and it’s funny because I had that moment of anxiety when I sat down thinking like, oh, 11 years ago I was here but on the other side.
—Aaron Prisk , 2014 alumnus and technology director at Curwensville Area School District
“I feel like it’s come full circle a little bit and it’s funny because I had that moment of anxiety when I sat down thinking like, oh, 11 years ago I was here but on the other side,” Prisk said.
Prisk has made it a point to set up technology programs at each of the school districts he has served, and he said it was gratifying to see some of those former students now enrolled in the information technology program at Penn State DuBois.
Prisk also advised students not to underestimate the importance of their other classes. While the technical skills gained in the information technology program will help students succeed, Prisk said it is just as important to focus on writing, verbal communication, and other skills to become a well-rounded professional.