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LeVon-Smoker

Helping people do good work better

On his Messiah College application in the early ‘80s, LeVon Smoker checked computer science as his major (with a pen—the online application being years in the future) “on a whim,” he recalls. “Computers were new, I thought it would be fun, and not a lot of people would be doing it.” Since his graduation in 1986, Smoker h ...More

Lynn-Roth

From software to 3D carriage wheels

When asked what he does in his spare time, Lynn Roth ’99 mentions his 3D printer, home built with the help of open source plans. He’s printed “doodads,” his catch-all word for a variety of objects to replace, repair or decorate things around the house for his wife, Anita, and a horse or two, as well as some carriage wheels, for his equine-craz ...More

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In defense of learning weird stuff in college

Running a power plant effectively requires keeping tabs on an awful lot of data relating to fuel consumption, power output, weather conditions, grid demand, etc. & etc. And in turn, keeping tabs on all this data effectively requires clever software that allows users to visualize and understand what might otherwise be a confounding torrent of raw informati ...More

Dan-Shenk-Evans

Falling backwards into God’s calling

Dan Shenk-Evans ’92 characterizes his career in technology as “falling backwards” into God’s calling. For years, every position he sought in direct social ministry eventually led him reluctantly to a computer, where he would quickly solve IT problems and streamline organizational workflow. “I wasn’t sure I would find meaningful w ...More

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One of 8 doing I.T. at Ten Thousand Villages

Each holiday, Rick Rutt ’84 and his family add an ornament from Ten Thousand Villages to their Christmas tree. This year, 14 ornaments from different countries hang from its branches, a sign of Rutt’s commitment to the business and its values. When Rutt purchases gifts for himself and his family, he has a special affinity for Indonesian crafts. He spent h ...More

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Four I.T. Entrepreneurs

Starting in refugee camps Philip Borkholder’s ’89 journey to information technology began by majoring in fields that had little to do with computer science: biology and international agricultural development. This led to a five-year stint with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) shortly after graduation in 1989. Borkholde ...More

Craig Shoemaker '78 is responsible for the functioning of the computer systems in two schools in Harrisonburg. (Photo by Michael Sheeler)

A little bit of everything in schools’ I.T.

If a computer glitch threatens to derail something like a state-required proficiency test at Harrisonburg (Virginia) High School, Craig Shoemaker’s phone is bound to start ringing. “[Teachers] get anxious,” he said, chuckling. “I’m the one they try to get a hold of.” A computer resource technicia ...More

John Swartzendruber '79 was the matermind behind one of the first intranets deployed in a major global corporation. (Photo by Matt Kiefer)

Swartzendruber pioneered early global intranet for Lilly

Soon after graduating with a degree in chemistry, John Swartzendruber ’79 landed a job in the scientific research group of Eli Lilly and Company, one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. That’s where Swartzendruber says he got interested in computing, writing software for the Lilly X-Ray crystallography group. He also began working with hig ...More

UPenn

I.T. in higher ED: In the end, it’s about people

As a UNIX systems engineer at Virginia Tech, Josh Akers ’07 is charged with “provisioning” a few dozen “enterprise systems” at university, while also “administrating VMware infrastructure” and supporting operation of “Advanced Research Computing clusters.” “Anyone in the field would know what I’m talking about, ...More

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EMU’s Own Techies

As a work-study student on EMU’s helpdesk in 1999, these were Jason Alderfer’s tools: “A telephone and a legal pad.”  A couple times a day, Alderfer or another work-study student would check the phone and write down the messages – who had called and what their problem was – and then either go fix the problem or relay the ...More