Fatmah Alafari (Drexel Library, SJU, Philadelphia, PA)

In the summer of 2015, I interned as a web development in Francis A. Drexel Library at Saint Josephs’s University specifically, My main responsibility was to develop and maintain some of the library webpages. Thus, I worked on various projects and learned how to use different techniques and tools to approach web-based projects.

The first project I worked on involved designing two responsive SVG web banners for the Library Catalog and iLL webpages. We used Adobe Illustrator software to generate the SVG image, which is the perfect image format to avoid resolution and pixilation problems. In addition, I learned a bout Bootstrap tool, and designed two responsive webpages in which I used the bootstrap’s Scroll Spy plugin for the technical webpages and Bootstrap’s responsive Tab forcomputer classroom webpages. In addition, I used some of CSS3 properties to customize the style of the two designs. Also, I worked on AngularJS for the first time in which I created an Instant Search for the journals webpage. In this project, I had a chance to learn about AngularJS filters, directives and many other main concepts. Thus, I was able to write my customized search filter. Moreover, I used JSON for data exchange in that webpage in which I needed to convert old data from HTML to JSON. Another project that I worked on involved developing the library Staff webpage, in which I used jQuery UI library, JavaScript and CSS3 to design an interactive accordion menu contains the staff images and information. In this project, I wrote my own accordion function since my script file will has less size than the built in accordion script file. Also, I experienced working on backend development application in which I uploaded the new design of Staff webpage on university server using Cascade CMS. Lastly, I learned how to use WordPress which is probably the easiest and most powerful website CMS tool today.

Alumni Reflections: Angela M. Pawlowski

What an exciting time in your life this is: a time to reflect on your accomplishments to date, and a time to plan for your professional career. I remember well this period of planning for me twenty years ago, when I received my acceptance from Saint Joseph’s – and the rest is the history of my career.

Now, as I manage research and development in one of the country’s largest artificial intelligence laboratories, I can look back and recognize the major impact Saint Joseph’s and the professors in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department had on my future. Through my Saint Joseph’s experience I learned not only how to solve technical problems, but also how to define the problems themselves. I learned how to innovate ‘outside the box’, and how to couple my math and computer science capabilities with solid writing skills that have become a hallmark of my current responsibilities at Lockheed Martin.

As an undergrad, Saint Joseph’s gave me the opportunity to test my developing skills as a student consultant in their computer labs, and as a member of their ACM programming team. Complementing those opportunities with Saint Joseph’s well-respected liberal arts education made me a technically savvy and well-rounded job candidate in 1986, when I began at Lockheed Martin (then RCA) as a software engineer upon graduation. Through a series of successive promotions leading to greater responsibility, I arrived at my current position – but that’s my history.

Now is the time for you to begin to create your career history. I’m confident that Saint Joseph’s will serve you well, too, and I encourage you to respond positively and become a Saint Joseph’s Hawk. Twenty years has been a long time for me to reflect on the value of my Saint Joseph’s education. Twenty years of progressive success tells me that you won’t be disappointed, either!

Go Hawks!

Angela M. Pawlowski, B.S. ’86, M.S. ‘89
Manager, Artificial Intelligence Programs
Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories

Alumni Reflections: Glenn Brunette

There are many factors to consider when choosing a college and area of study. The options are many and the choice is never an easy one to make. Your task is complicated by the fact that there are many great schools and programs, each having their own strengths and benefits. It is essential therefore that you take the time to discover what each school has to offer and how each can help you realize your dreams.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Glenn Brunette, and I am an alumnus of Saint Joseph’s University (B.S. Computer Science, 1993 and M.S. Computer Science, 1999). Nearly seventeen years ago, I was facing the same questions and challenges that stand in front of you today. I wanted to attend a good school, study an interesting and challenging subject, meet new friends, and enjoy my college experience. Certainly, I wanted to be able to apply what I had learned, upon graduation, to secure a well-paying position at a good company. Looking back, I can without hesitation say that Saint Joseph’s University exceeded all of my expectations by enabling me to realize my dreams.

Today, I am a Distinguished Engineer working for Sun Microsystems, Inc. as its Chief Information Security Architect and Director of its Security Office. I have had the pleasure of working with Sun’s customers from around the globe on their information security challenges helping to protect sensitive information, critical infrastructure and intellectual capital. I have published papers and tools that have become Sun and industry best practices and have spoken with universities, corporations and even governments from around the world on how best to protect their information assets.

Reflecting on my life and career, I can safely say that the kernels of this success were planted and cultivated during my years at St. Joe’s. Please allow me to take just a few moments to share with you some of my college experiences and thoughts in the hopes that you may better understand the impact that St. Joseph’s University has had on me.

One of the first things that struck me about St. Joe’s was their classroom environment. Being a liberal arts college, one expected the core curriculum to expose you to a well-rounded set of ideas from a variety of disciplines. Certainly, St. Joe’s did not disappoint. These courses consistently provided a friendly and open environment for the thoughtful debate and exchange of all kinds of ideas. Back then, I never could have guessed how many of these ideas I would apply later in life both professionally and personally.

What is great about St. Joe’s is that this kind of academic culture is encouraged through the appointment of knowledgeable, friendly and dedicated faculty, who provide instruction and facilitate discussion across small classes of students where every student can receive the attention that he or she deserves. The small class sizes also afford faculty members the opportunity to better understand their students, including their particular strengths and needs. Similarly, students are more easily able to participate with and learn from one another in a friendly environment.

Throughout my academic and professional career, my focus has solely been in the area of information technology. While in pursuit of my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at St. Joe’s, I studied Computer Science where I learned concepts, theories and methods that I use even to this day. It never ceases to amaze me how much of what I learned during my tenure at St. Joe’s I have applied since graduation. Throughout my professional career, I have worked in a variety of areas such as research and development, software engineering, systems and network administration, and even IT sales and consulting. Regardless of the role I was in at the time, I always have found that St. Joseph’s University had given be the educational foundation and tools that I needed to succeed. To give you just two quick examples:

  1. Courses in algorithms and data structures were applied immediately upon graduation when I worked as a software engineer in an Artificial Intelligence Laboratory for a major defense contractor. There, I applied lessons I had learned at St. Joseph’s University to defense related command and control and combat identification problems.
  2. Courses in operating systems and systems programming have enabled me to better understand how operating are designed and operate. It is with this understanding that, since joining Sun, I have been able to contribute code to our products, help set software engineering direction and policy, and even participate as a community leader in Sun’s OpenSolaris community.

It does not matter whether you want to be an educator, a researcher, a software or hardware engineer, an IT consultant or something else entirely, a degree in computer science can give you the foundation and tools you will need to accomplish your own dreams. Computer science is helping to shape the ways in which people communicate, collaborate, do business and interact with their governments. It is at the forefront of medicine, space exploration, national defense, banking, and much more. Whether you want to work on the smallest forms of nanotechnology or the largest supercomputing grids, computer scientists are there. Not only that, the IT industry continues to rapidly mature and evolve. In doing so, each and every year, new opportunities for computer scientists are born.

One of the great aspects of St. Joseph’s Universities is that the opportunities did not end in the classroom. Whether you wanted to participate in independent study or apply your knowledge to jobs around campus, there possibilities were many. While at St. Joe’s, I worked in the Academic Computing organization initially doing basic hardware and software installation and later systems and network administrator for large parts of the campus. During this time, I was able to solidify my coding and IT management skills that would become so very useful later in my career. In fact, many of my classmates participated around campus in similar ways both as a means to make some additional spending money while at the same time working to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations.

Looking back, I have only the fondest memories of my time at St. Joe’s. The lessons that I had learned there prepared me for my future and gave me the tools that I needed to succeed in the marketplace. More than just the academics, the life lessons I learned while at St. Joe’s, have and continue to shape my future. Without reservation, I would strongly encourage you to consider St. Joseph’s University and its Computer Science program.

Glenn Brunette B.S. ’93, M.S. ’99
Senior Director, Cybersecurity, Oracle Public Sector at Oracle Corporation

2015 UPE Induction Ceremony

2015 (President: Dr. Suzan Koknar-Tezel)

Mary Krueger (faculty)
Abrar Alrumayh (graduate)
Mohmmad Alsubaie(graduate)
Ather Sharif (graduate)
Christine Anderson (undergraduate)
Jimson Mathew (undergraduate)
Patricia McGann (undergraduate)
Sarah Cooney (undergraduate)
Luigi Nunez (undergraduate)

Krzysztof Kurzyna (Arris Group Inc., Philadelphia, PA)

My Internship was at Arris Group Inc. ARRIS Group Inc., which is a telecommunications equipment manufacturing company that provides cable operators with high-speed data, video and telephony systems for homes and businesses. My involvement was in the data and video service integration part of the business. The Main part of my internship revolved around performing integration between multiple software systems.

Integration is the function of two pieces of software communicating with one another either using third party translation software or a direct driver integrated in the software. The software we integrated with was the ARRIS Converged Edge Router (E6000) and the skyline Dataminer. The E6000 is a converged Edge Router. It is physical hardware which enables the conversion between RF (Radio Frequency) and IP. This main hardware allows home/business users to connect to the internet through an ISP such as Comcast or Verizon. The main task of my internship was to interact with the two groups and our customer to create the specific requirements which needed to be integrated between E6000 and DataMiner. I communicated with both groups to create rules, SNMP OID monitors, trap lists, GUI layouts for the DataMiner Agent (DMA). This was the main part I helped to contribute in the entire phase of the project.

Elaine Zhang (Drexel Library, Saint Joseph’s University, PA)

Elaine worked as a web developer using Adobe Illustrator to create maps of the library and converting them to the SVG format. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation.

Elaine also used other web technologies such as JavaScript, jQuery, JSON, and HTML5 to create interactive maps for the library. The web app designed by Elaine helps library users find information about library resources such as availability and location of study rooms, book call numbers, installed software packages on various computers across the library, etc.

Patricia McGann (Lockheed Martin, King of Prussia, PA)

Last summer, I interned with Lockheed Martin as a College Intern Tech Spec. My task was to create an internal mobile application to be used by all the employees at Lockheed Martin. Over the summer, I worked closely with the project lead on the research, design, and development of the app. As part of the intern experience, I was able to learn about and visit the various sections of the company and hear from employees about their careers and projects. While my classes gave me the background to be successful in my internship, my time at Lockheed Martin gave me a focus for my senior year, real life experience in a workplace, and the desire to learn more.

After graduating, I will be returning to Lockheed Martin as a Software Engineer Associate and continuing to create more mobile applications for them.

Matthew Karliner (Lockheed Martin, King of Prussia, PA)

During the summer of 2014, from May through August I was an intern at Lockheed Martin. I worked out of their Valley Forge Offices more specifically in the IS & GS Division, which stands for Information Systems and Global Solutions. I was put on the JASSM (Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile) Program and worked closely with the other interns and Engineers.

We used C#/.NET and SQL Server as the back end system for our web application we created over the summer. Working at Lockheed Martin was a really good experience. I learned a lot and gained valuable on the job experience. I highly recommend this internship program.

Michael Schiff (Star Group, Philadelphia, PA)

I spent the summer as a web development intern at Star Group in Philadelphia. During that period I gained firsthand experience working in a modern development environment. Web development requires knowledge of a variety of web technologies, and as such, I developed skills in PHP, HTML, CSS, SASS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and MongoDB. I also gained experience working with content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal.

I learned the importance of version control, and how to work on large-scale team projects. During the course of my internship, I worked on a variety projects. The primary project was a large-scale survey system for use by PepsiCo of South America in Mexico, Brazil, and other countries. This was designed as a web application that could be used online in desktop browsers and offline on android tablets for survey administration. The project brought with it a large number of challenges with regards to data organization and migration. I also worked on a number of WordPress sites, and a website built upon the CodeIgniter framework.

I went into the internship with some web development experience, though I was not proficient, nor did I know modern practices. The team at Star Group was extremely understanding with regards to my skill-set. They assured me that they brought me on because it was apparent that I was driven to learn, and that I could quickly become an asset to their team. In the early weeks the developers took turns breaking off from their tasks to give the interns lessons on modern development practices and tips and tricks for various languages. They would also occasionally assign us minor tasks on which to work, aside from the current development project, to strengthen our abilities. I appreciated these extra steps that the developers took, and I came out of the internship much more capable than when I started.

I highly recommend an internship to any computer science student. It is a perfect way to complement the education that is received in the classroom, and to gain experience developing in a real-world environment.

Banu Kutlu (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

During my summer internship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, I worked as an Application Analyst at the Information Technologies Services department. Some of my responsibilities included understanding the business needs for the Infoporte system and translating those into system requirements, developing and implementing these requirements, performing unit testing on new and modified components, writing and maintaining queries for grabbing data from the campus-wide data warehouse and business intelligence system and finally, documenting in the bug tracking tool.

During this time, I gained experience in working with a custom built PHP framework organized in a Model-View-Controller structure and got familiar with the object oriented design aspects of PHP and JavaScript and also with database connectivity via PHP (ODBC, mysqli, oci8) and Object Relational Model for querying and transactions/CRUD. Various tools that I have used includes NetBeans, GIT – distributed version control system, Mantis – bug tracking tool, Oracle SQL Developer – Oracle Database IDE that allows users to do their database tasks. My job mostly incorporated of implementing and unit testing the Infoporte’s new release requirements for the modules that I was responsible of. In this roll-out, Infoporte system was migrating its source database from the University’s data warehouse to the new PeopleSoft structure. Along with this change, the underlying security for authorization of pages and data has changed as well. I’ve mostly involved on the issues those included migration and security on the HR, Calendar and Inbox modules of Infoporte. Doing an internship had been a great opportunity for me to gain more experience and allowed me to test my technical skills so that I could get more prepared to attain my goal of continuing my career in the computer science field.