Janet earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Michigan Tech in 1984. After working in the software industry for 12 years, she returned to school to earn her master’s in Computer Science in 1999 and doctorate in Computer Science in 2005, both from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She is currently an Associate Professor at Miami University in Oxford Ohio.
Cathy Colman earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Michigan Tech in 1980 and went on to earn an MBA in General Management from the University of St. Thomas in 1996. She is currently the IT Director of the Quality, Process and Support Solution Center for 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota.
After graduation from Michigan Tech, Cathy started her career as a Software Engineer for Honeywell’s Military Avionics Division. Following five years with Honeywell, she worked for Digital Equipment Corporation providing pre- and post-sales support. In 1988, Cathy went to work for 3M as a Supervisor in IT Distributed Technical Services. She was recently promoted to her current position where she exercises oversight for IT Divisional Standard Processes.
Steven Fitzgerald enrolled at Michigan Tech as an Electrical Engineering major in the fall of 1970. He would have never predicted he would soon become the University’s first-ever Computer Science graduate in 1974. It was the dawn of Computer Science studies at Michigan Tech, and together with two other students, Fitzgerald’s senior project was the first widespread interactive computer terminal network across Michigan Tech’s campus.
Kathy earned a BS degree in Computer Science from Michigan Tech in 1984. Kathy began her career as a software developer with internships at General Motors and the Sperry Corporation. Upon graduation she worked for Hewlett Packard in Colorado. As a product manager she led the marketing effort to bring HP’s first low-end color workstation to market. In 1991 Kathy co-founded Colorado Spectrum which specialized in aviation-related PC computing for gaming enthusiasts. As the worldwide sales manager, she established distribution channels in North America, Europe, and Asia. In 1995 Kathy returned to HP. Since then she has held various roles in business planning, operations management, and channel management. She is currently a Business Strategy Manager where she leads the Partner Web Enablement team within HP’s software and solutions business.
After graduating in 1983 with a BS in Computer Science, Brenda Helminen began her career as a programmer with IBM Corporation in Rochester, MN. She returned to the Copper Country later that year to work for the Department of Computer Science at Michigan Tech. While working, she completed her Master’s degree in Computer Science in 1988. She continued her career with the University as a Senior Systems Programmer in the Center for Experimental Computation followed by a position as Information Systems Specialist working with supercomputing in the Advanced Scientific Computing Center in the late 1980s.
Dianne Marsh started her career in 1987 as a Software Engineer for LECO Corp. in Michigan and then worked for AEG-Mictron and Candid Logic before returning to Michigan Tech to earn her master’s degree. She worked for several different companies as a Software Engineer, Independent Consultant and Technical Lead/Software Architect before starting her own company in 2000. SRT Solutions specializes in keeping clients, including start-ups and Fortune 100 companies, at the forefront of technology. In 2007, her company was awarded the Ann Arbor Business Review Fast Track Award in recognition of their success.
Stacey Morrison earned a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, in computer science from Michigan Tech in 1988 and earned a Master of Science degree in computer science from the University of Houston - Clear Lake in 1993. After graduating from Michigan Tech, she joined NASA as a mathematician at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Alumnus: Honor and Duty, Faith and Work
Raphael Mudge has had two salient experiences in his adult life: service in the military and success as an entrepreneur. His service lent him pride; his work “self-actualization.” Mudge, 30, who was in Tech’s ROTC program, graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s in computer science. He served in the air force until March of 2008. He speaks in a heartfelt way about “the honor of putting on the uniform.”
Robert Rajewski graduated from Michigan Tech in 1981 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Computer Science. After graduation, Bob was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force and assigned to NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California. His responsibilities included development of computer control and data acquisition systems.
Adil Shafi graduated from Michigan Tech in 1986 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. In 1993, he also received an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Tech. He is president of SHAFI Inc, the company he founded in 1991 in Houghton with $1,000.
After leaving Michigan Tech, Jan Tervonen joined the Eastman Kodak Company as a Programmer/ Analyst. In 1986 she left Kodak and took several years off to raise her children – two of those years were spent in Paris. She returned to the work force initially as a consultant, and then in 1993 accepted a position with Mammography Reporting System, Inc. (MRS) as a Senior Programmer/Analyst. MRS is the leading provider of mammography information systems in the US. She worked her way through the ranks as a Product Manager, Technical Director, and ultimately became the Vice President, Technology.
Alums Team up to Engineer a Better Beer
Chas Thompson '91, computer science, had a good reason for becoming a brewer. "I was thirsty," he says, pouring beers from the Schmohz Brewery counter at the recent Grand Rapids alumni tailgate party. Jim Schwerin '87, owner and brewer at Schmohz (pronounced shmoes), had a similar reason. "I couldn’t find a beer I liked," he says.
A generous scholarship and Michigan Tech’s reputation as a good school for students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields brought Danielle VanDyke to Houghton. She graduated in 2006 with dual BS degrees in Computer Science and Psychology. VanDyke credits the University with teaching her leadership and team-building skills, improving her communication skills, and encouraging her to seek new challenges every day.
Daniel S. Wakeman graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1990 with a BS in Computer Science. While at Michigan Tech, he served as the treasurer of Blue Key. He subsequently received a MS in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and is now an active member of the Wharton Fellows Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Linda Wittbrodt received a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Michigan Tech in 1983.
Linda began her career as an Engineer in the Picture Tube Division at Zenith Electronics where she wrote software to perform statistical analysis on data taken from pilot picture tubes which was then used to determine production specs. Later, as Lead Programmer she was responsible for programming equipment used to automate production tasks on the new flat screen monitors being designed.