School of Computer Science and Mathematics
Alumni Success Stories

Wondering who our alumni are? Take a look or submit your Alumni Update!


Shawn Kernes, Class of 1998

 Major: Computer Science

Shawn graduated from Marist in 1998 with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree.  While at Marist, he worked as a technician and team lead for data communications.  Since graduating from Marist, Shawn has been a visionary trailblazer in the tech industry, building and leading startups. A highly-driven entrepreneur, Shawn, has been building and managing teams using his exceptional expertise in technology, operations, business strategy, business development and customer service. Co-founder and CEO of LARKR, Shawn and his team are committed to improving people’s lives by delivering accessible and affordable therapy to meet people's mental health care needs. Prior to co-founding LARKR, Shawn was at the helm of exciting burgeoning companies including serving as Senior Director for Product Development at eBay, CTO at StubHub, COO of Cash4Gold, CTO of BeyondTheRack, CTO of Boost Media, CTO of JOIST, and CTO of BuzzMob.  Shawn played an instrumental leadership role in directing these startups, helping the companies grow rapidly and disrupt their industries for the better. His professional passion for innovative solutions has cultivated remarkable success rates, driven by his personal quest to wed the best of technology with the unmet needs of society. Throughout his career, he has earned the confidence and respect of the startup community in Silicon Valley and some of the nation’s leading venture capital firms. Shawn also gained career experience working at Bell Atlantic, AlchMe, Inc. and This impressive business career combined with an innate ability to anticipate the world’s evolving needs through intuitively-friendly platforms have catapulted Shawn to the forefront of his industry.

Conor Proce, Class of 2015

Major:  Information Technology

Conor graduated from Marist in 2015.  While at Marist he worked in the Desktop office of the IT department, before moving on to the Marist/IBM Joint Study where he oversaw the operation of the Hancock data center and worked on SDN projects with companies such as Adva, Ciena and Plexxi. He presented his work at the IEEE conference in Kingston, Ontario, the Adva Symposium in NYC and at the SDN and Openflow World Congress in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2014. After graduation, he worked at IBM in the System Test division, testing the new versions of zOS and the next generation of mainframes before their release.  Conor was offered this position at IBM during September of his senior year thanks to his involvement with the Joint Study program.


Justin Svegliato, Class of 2014

 Majors: Computer Science and Philosophy. Minor: Mathematics

Justin graduated as Marist’s 2014 valedictorian. He immediately started working at Goldman Sachs where he had interned and consulted for two years starting in his sophomore year. After working as a software engineer at the firm for several years, he recently left to pursue a PhD in Artificial Intelligence with a focus on decision-making in robots. He credits his Marist education with helping him with his people skills making it more likely that he would succeed as a software engineer.


James Arama, Class of 2014

 Majors: Computer Science

James hails from Rochester, Minnesota.  While at Marist he worked in the Web Services department where he helped build the current Marist website.  Before graduating, James had the opportunity to intern with Intel Corporation as a Software Engineer.  While at Intel, James stayed in touch and did some freelance work for his high school mentor who is a co-owner of Funeral Innovations, a funeral technology company.

While James worked at the company he saw an opportunity to make the funeral experience easier for the loved ones when choosing a headstone.  He wrote an app to allow families to design headstones.  The designs were sent directly to a granite company to carve the monuments.  His mentor was so impressed that he persuaded Funeral Innovations to fund James in exchange for equity in the new company, Memorial Labs.  James retained part-ownership of Memorial Labs and he is now Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at memorial Labs.


Gabriela Rosales, Class of 2014

Major: Computer Science

Gabriela came to Marist from Hawthorne, California. She credits her Marist education with providing both the technical skills and the people skills that prepared her for interviews for industry positions. While at Marist, Gabriela worked as part of the Telecommunications Department helping to maintain the school’s telephone and network communications system.  Immediately after graduation, she accepted a position in New York City at Con Edison. At Con Edison, Gabriela she began an 18 month rotational which is comprised of three 6 month assignments. Throughout her rotations, she developed the skills to supervise and lead a multitude of projects.  After the completion of the program, Gabriela accepted a job offer with the Advanced Metering Infrastructure team as a project lead working to implement a new asset management system in preparation for the installation of smart meters throughout New York City, Westchester, Orange, and Rockland counties.


Jason Wong, Class of 2014

Major: Computer Science

Jason came to Marist from Honolulu.  He honed his skills in web development at Marist while working as part of the IT team responsible for developing the Marist website. Later he helped revamp the room selection process for on-campus housing, moving the entire system online.  Jason is now working at a private investment firm in a position he accepted prior to graduation, having learned of it from a Marist alum.


 De'Ron Billups, Class of 2014

Major: Computer Science

De'Ron came to Marist from Los Angeles and headed back to the LA area after graduation. There he attended the Los Angeles Recording School for audio engineering and graduated summa cum laude.  While going to school, De'Ron went on a 27-city album tour throughout the U.S. and Canada with hip hop artists Dizzy Wright, Demrick, and Jahni Denver.  Currently, he is working as a studio assistant with Paramount Recording Studios. There he has worked with the likes of Kanye West, The Chainsmokers,  and Katy Perry just to name a few.  According to De'Ron, the end goal is still the same. "Learn all aspects of the music industry and find a way for technology to further improve the artist - fan relationship.


 Morgan Machuta, Class of 2014

Major: Information Systems

Morgan knew that she liked technology before she came to Marist, but it was in her course work that she found the path for her career. She took a project management course in senior year and found she really liked it. That experience led her to seek jobs that would allow her to step outside a purely technological role and engage in management, presentations and dealing with clients. After graduation, Morgan secured a position as IT Project Manager at Verizon in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. There she was in charge of the Enterprise B2B Ordering Portal. In 2015, she changed career paths and is currently teaching English in Tokyo, Japan. She plans to apply for graduate school in Germany in the coming year and get her Masters in IT Management.

2000 - Present

Chris Patla - Class of 2008

Chris Patla

5-year BS/MSIS student: "During my internship with Morgan Stanley I interacted closely with vendors such as Cisco and Fujitsu, and was able to inspect their next generation roadmaps. At the conclusion of the internship, 40 interns were eligible to be accepted into the 14-week Morgan Stanley training program at which time they become full-time employees. I was 1 of only 3 to be extended an offer. I was in a group of Ivy-league students but I found that the skills and techniques learned at Marist College more than paid off. My degree from Marist gave me the skills, confidence and experience needed to excel in the real world. Marist's commitment to providing cutting-edge technology made it possible for me to become a desired asset to a Fortune 500 company."

Ryan Zavras - Class of 2007

Ryan Zavras and Al Esposito

Left to Right: Ryan Zavras and Al Esposito.

BS/IT "Dr. Fisher's Data Quality Course helped me understand the specifics of data as it relates to ITS and business in today's 'information age.' Understanding data and its properties helps in communicating with both very-technical and non-technical professionals. In addition to theory, there is a fantastic hands-on study with real-business, and that study helped land my internship-turned-job with IBM." --Ryan Zavras, October 2007.


Justin Glass - Class of 2005

BS/IS is a Database Administrator at GHI HMO - "I enjoyed the versatile technical training and the emphasis on seeing the big picture during my education at Marist."

Jacob Morrison - Class 2004

Jacob Morrison

BS/IS is a Programmer/Analyst for Dutchess County Information Systems -- "Understanding both the business and technical side of IS helps me build stronger relationships with the customers." Jake credits his Marist professors, particularly Prof. Craig Fisher and Prof. Anne Matheus, with providing him with a strong academic foundation in Information Systems. He also had an opportunity to do an Internship with IBM full-time during the summer before his senior year and then part-time throughout his senior year. To quote Jake, that internship experience "greatly enhanced my practical skills and gave me a great advantage in the workplace." While he was at Marist, Jake was a volunteer firefighter with the Fairview Fire Department. This is the fire department that covers the main Marist campus. Jake has a tradition of volunteer service and was a volunteer firefighter in the Verplanck Fire Department even before he came to Marist. He continues to volunteer as a firefighter today.

Jonathan Lapoff - Class of 2004

now Assist. VP of Private Client Support at Citigroup - "The degree allows more diverse career paths; also excellent emphasis on the overall management of systems."

Russ Nalick - Class of 2003

BS/IS is in zSeries System Testing, IBM, Poughkeepsie, NY. "I just wanted to let you know that my presentation on Knowledge Management and motivation for the subject all came about from the Data Quality class. I wanted to let you know that I am still leading the knowledge management push in my organization. I also want to let you know that Marist has changed me from a quiet High School student in to a confident person with all the tools necessary to be an agent of change, and I would like to thank all the IS professors for that.

Chris Van Wagner - Class of 2002

BS/IS is now a Systems Management Integrator at IBM -- "The Marist IS Education helped me develop business sense rather than just becoming a computer-guru."

Jeff Yacobucci - Class of 2002

said that "Working for the Department of State has been a blast. I've been in DC .... Next month I'm heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 2 years to work at the US Embassy. After 2 years then I move to another country."

Rakhee Chopra - Class of 2002

Rakhee Chopra

MS in Information Systems. Rakhee came to the US and to Marist from India to pursue her Masters in Information Systems. After receiving her degree in 2002, she got professional experience at General Electric and Cisco. She has worked in IT for 3 years now and thoroughly enjoys her work. She was recently promoted to Senior Business Analyst at Capgemini Consulting Services where she leads a team of other business analysts on a multi-million dollar project in Swiss Re to integrate their legacy information systems into the Business of the Future model.

Rakhee studied at Marist at the same time that her future husband, Nishal Sikriwal, was pursuing his Masters at Marist. After a year of study, they returned to India for their wedding. She credits Marist College with providing an invaluable foundation of strength and knowledge that is needed in every aspect of life. She found the student-teacher relationship that Marist provides to be truly unique. In Rakhee's words the relationship "is not only at the academic level but at a personal level too."

Rakhee recalls that Professors Jerry McBride and Craig Fisher not only taught the material in the book but also gave their students the benefit of their personal experiences. She also enjoyed working with Ms. Barbara McMullen who provided a strong role model for her as a woman working in IT while they worked together in the Ecommerce department.

Nishal Sikriwal - Class of 2001

MS in Computer Science. Nishal came to Marist with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Bombay University and with a background in technical sales. Nishal was inspired to come to Marist after attending a seminar in Bombay by Dr. Onkar Sharma, professor and graduate director in Computer Science at Marist. While at Marist, Nishal got the opportunity to join the Adjunct Faculty and to work in internships at IBM and GE. After graduation, he went on to teach at the Culinary Institute of America. Shortly after graduation, Nishal joined Ascent Computing as a technical systems analyst. He is now spearheading the establishment of their new branch in Pennsylvania.

Nishal credits Professor Jerry McBride for showing him teaching techniques and methods and Professor Ron Coleman for showing him entrepreneurship skills that he will use throughout his career. He feels that the opportunity to teach while he was at Marist gave him a valuable perspective and helped him get his first position on the Adjunct Faculty at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition, his practical experience in his on-campus job in Academic Technology helped him land his current job at Ascent Computing. To quote Nishal, "the diversity of experience and the encouragement to take initiative and step out of ones comfort zone are some of the principles that Marist strives to achieve."

Rakhee and Nishal both work in the IT industry now. They make their home in Yonkers, New York but they fondly remember the beauty of the Marist campus and they make a point of returning to campus each year for Home Coming weekend. In her leisure time, Rakhee loves to exercise, listen to music, cook and travel to new places while Nishal enjoys painting and playing cricket.

Kristyna McMahon - Class of 2000

is a junior Web designer at in Garden City, N.Y.

James Crutchfield - Class of 2000

BS/MSIS, is a Vice President of Information Technology at Morgan Stanley.

Joseph Verderame - Class of 2000

BS/MSIS, is a Vice President of Information Technology at Morgan Stanley.

Jason Phillipon - Class of 2000

BS/IS, says "I got my dream job with SNET." Jason is a network specialist supporting Wide Area Networks.

Guildry Santana - Class of 2000

Manager of Information Technology at SportsNet New York (SNY), said, "The Marist IS Program allowed me to learn business analytic concepts which are paying dividends today."

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1990 - 1999

Joshua Matheus - Class of 1999

Vice President and Technology Fellow at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Robert Hoey - Class of 1998

is a Systems Analyst at NEC America, Inc.

Geoffrey Ayres - Class of 1997

is a technical infrastructure analyst at Emisphere Technologies, Inc. in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Melanie Bendfeldt - Class of 1997

is an instructional technologist for the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Bobby Land - Class of 1997

BS/CS is an IT Specialist at IBM Global Services

Christine Quintero - Class of 1996

is a Software Developer, IBM Corporation

Lisa Pleines - Class of 1995

has purchased a townhouse in South Windsor, Conn., and is programmer analyst for Computer Sciences Corporation in Wethersfield, Conn.

Michael Murray - Class of 1995

completed work on in Sydney, Australia. He now works for IBM in Hawthorne, N.Y., as a Web developer.

Michael Walsh - Class of 1994

is a Vice President at Global Investor Services, Chase Manhattan Bank

Brian Adkins - Class of 1994

teaches math at Bunnell High School in Stratford, Conn. He is head girls' soccer coach at Bunnell as well as head boys' lacrosse coach at Branford High School in Branford, Conn. He lives in Milford, Conn.

Thomas Torrillo - Class of 1994

has taken a position as senior programmer/analyst at The company writes software that "watches" television for other companies.

Brian McCourt - Class of 1994

has been promoted to director of enterprise technologies for Darwin Partners in Wakefield, Mass.

Patricia McKeon - Class of 1994

has been promoted to vice president and controller at e-Commerce Solutions L.L.C. in Stamford, Conn.

Joseph R. Proto - Class of 1993

is a senior financial analyst at Computer Science Corp. He also completed all classroom requirements from Albertus Magnus College.

Fred Koslowski III - Class of 1992

was recruited by and accepted a position with Computer Sciences Corp., a $9.4 billion management/technology consulting firm. As a project manager in the technology management group, Fred is responsible for major industry and government information systems consulting and program management including strategic development, integration and implementation. Previously he served as an IT project manager in the PASS software division of Fred is also nearing completion of an M.B.A. from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.

Martin Hochhauser - Class of 1992

is a quality assurance consultant at Test Force Corp in New York, N.Y. Marty helps to improve the quality of Web sites for various companies. He says he owes a debt of gratitude to Marist and Jerry McBrides's MSCS graduate program for their excellent education.

Christine Carbone - Class of 1992

has been promoted to I/T senior specialist at IBM in East Fishkill, N.Y.

Mark LeVie - Class of 1991

BS/IS is a Principal Software Engineer at Fidelity Investments

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1980 - 1989

Linda Betz - Class of 1988

Linda Betz

Inside IBM's on-demand e-business world, Linda Betz '88 and her team of security experts are engaged on the front lines helping the company develop and implement integrated security strategies that readily identify unauthorized users and defend systems from the threat of information technology (IT) security breaches, accidents and natural disasters. Their job: to ensure 24/7 the security, integrity and continuity of the day-to-day business operations of all IBM eServer customers.

Linda is an IBM Director and a certified Project Management Professional. Linda and her staff connect to leaders in all IBM development groups and product divisions and are directly linked to the corporate security strategy team.

Since joining IBM in 1983 at Poughkeepsie, Linda has primarily supported the manufacturing and engineering lines of the business. She began her career by helping build tools to load microcode onto tapes and diskettes, and working on the ALPS robot.

From there, she became technical assistant to the division vice president and Kingston, N.Y., general manager, splitting her new responsibilities and time between product groups in the Hudson Valley and Endicott, N.Y.

She later held development management positions in the MVS software area and the Highly Parallel Query System organization, where she helped bring standard IBM hardware and software together to create an offering that helped companies scan, join and then break down huge amounts of data, into manageable parts for faster processing. This assignment led to a second-line management position, overseeing a large team of developers who concentrated on security strategies and focused on some key aspects of systems management.

In 2002, when IBM consolidated all servers from within various product lines into one brand, senior management asked Linda to assume a leadership role to help develop the security direction for the new family of IBM eServers. The concept took off fast.

"At the time when I decided to work toward my master's in computer science, there were a few places in the area where I could have studied, including a Union College extension," says Linda. "However, I was attracted to Marist because the college offered a real campus, not a representative satellite location."

John H. "Jack" Wicks - Class of 1986

has accepted a principal consultant position with the Capital Markets Co., a management-consulting firm in New York City. Jack specializes in financial service technology consulting to large banks, investment banks, broker-dealers and asset management firms. Formerly with Price Waterhouse Coopers, L.L.P., he is a professor at Hofstra University in the business computer information systems/ quantitative methods department. He is also on the executive editorial advisory board for The CPA Journal. He is married to Marie Esperancilla Wicks '86 and has a daughter, Kathleen. He resides in Stewart Manor, N.Y.

Barbara Adams - Class of 1985

BS/CS is a Senior Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin

Ross Mauri - Class of 1980

BS/CS is a Vice President/System 390 at IBM

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1970 - 1979

William N. Anderson - Class of 1972

earned a doctorate in management from Rutgers University. The title of his dissertation was Cultural Values and Communication Mode: A Study of Culturally Homogeneous and Culturally Heterogeneous Groups. Bill is assistant vice president for enrollment planning at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he is also an adjunct professor in the Computer and Information Science Department.

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1960 - 1969

James C. O'Brien - Class of 1966

has been promoted to computer programming department chairman at the Chubb Institute in Westbury, N.Y.

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1950 - 1959

Richard Foy, Ph.D. - Class of 1950

is a Senior Vice President at Boyden World Corporation

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