College of IST announces spring 2020 student marshals

Genesis DuBon (left) and Brett Sigoda Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. ­­— The College of Information Sciences and Technology will honor two graduates as student marshals at spring 2020 commencement. Genesis DuBon, senior in information sciences and technology, security and risk analysis, will represent the college as student marshal, and Brett Sigoda, senior in information sciences and technology, will serve as ROTC student marshal during the virtual commencement ceremony on May 9.

Genesis DuBon, IST student marshal

DuBon, originally from Lower Macungie, Pennsylvania, will graduate summa cum laude. She has always been drawn to the technology field, but found that the societal focus within the College of IST solidified her choice in her dual degree programs.

“I noticed how technology often captures some of humanity’s greatest characteristics, like ingenuity, and I wanted to dedicate my career to promoting those characteristics and making a positive impact on the world,” she said. “I chose the College of IST because it was the only college that seemed to put equal emphasis on the ‘people’ or social and cultural side of technology. That’s a trait I believe is very unique to the College of IST.”

It’s the people within the college who have made an impact on DuBon as well. Among them is Fred Fonseca, for whom DuBon served as a learning assistant for three semesters and has selected as her faculty marshal.

“I learned a lot about coding, leadership and mentoring from watching him interact with students, and I want to emulate that,” she said.

For DuBon, the honor of being chosen as student marshal has proven to be a humbling experience as well as recognition for the accomplishments she’s achieved at the University. She has won multiple awards during her time at Penn State, including The President's Freshman Award, the President's Sparks Award, and the Evan Pugh Scholar Senior Award. She also served as vice president for the Women in Politics Club and was a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society. This fall, she will work as a Cyber Systems Engineer at Raytheon in Boston.

“It feels like a culmination of all of the personal growth I’ve experienced as an IST student,” she said. “That personal growth is not unique to me though — I know every IST student has experienced key events during their undergraduate career that changed them in a positive way and helped guide them towards the kind of people and professionals they want to be.”

She added, “As IST student marshal, I see myself as a representative for IST students as a whole and for that personal growth we’ve all undergone over the last four years. I’d like to thank the people I’ve met in the college for making my time at Penn State such an amazing experience. All IST graduates have bright futures ahead of them and I can’t wait to see what the Class of 2020 does.”

Brett Sigoda, ROTC student marshal

Originally from Mohrsville, Pennsylvania, Sigoda is a midshipman in the Navy ROTC, where he has been recognized in the top 25% of his graduating class and received regular dean’s list honors. He has held multiple leadership positions throughout the Penn State NROTC battalion, and also received the 2019 American Legion ROTC Award for Scholarship Excellence and the 2020 Vice President’s Award.

He had always known he wanted to come to Penn State, and enrolled in the College of IST because of the faculty and academic support he found there.

“All the professors and instructors were friendly and knowledgeable and the material was engaging,” he said. “I picked my option within IST — integration and application, because it seemed like the perfect balance between the business and IT worlds.”

At commencement, Sigoda will be escorted by Captain Wayne Wall, former commanding officer of the USS Wyoming and current commanding officer of the NROTC unit of which Sigoda has been a part of during his time at Penn State.

He said that leadership was a quality well learned from Captain Wall.

“He is able to give us the knowledge and guidance of how to make important decisions under stress, so his leadership to not only our senior class, but also the PSU NROTC battalion as a whole made it an easy decision to choose him as my faculty escort,” said Sigoda.

After graduation, Sigoda will attend Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida to begin flight school, after which he will officially be a Naval Aviator. This next step in his path is the culmination of his years at Penn State, and he says that it is an honor to be chosen as student marshal.

“It means being recognized for all of the hard work I have put in throughout my time in IST and NROTC, and I cannot adequately express my gratitude to all the people who have helped and encouraged me along the way,” he said. “I would like to just extend another ‘thank you’ to everyone in the College of IST who organized the student marshal position and allowed me to have this amazing opportunity.”

Last Updated April 22, 2020