IST background helps Homecoming tech director deliver an engaging celebration

Senior Taryn Campion oversees and implements all technological pieces for Penn State Homecoming

Taryn Campion, a senior majoring in human centered design and development, is the technical director for Homecoming 2021. Credit: ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State students, families, faculty and alumni are all familiar with the parade, weeklong spirit events, and spectacular football game that exemplify Penn State pride during Homecoming Week. But few pull back the curtain to see the evolving technology that makes the annual celebration engaging and entertaining.

Taryn Campion, a senior majoring in human centered design and development in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, is this year's Homecoming technology director. In this role, she is responsible for the oversight and implementation of all of Homecoming’s technological pieces. Working with the tech committee, Campion maintains the Homecoming website, manages all technical advancement of Penn State Homecoming, and oversees distribution management supply requests. The committee also manages a Homecoming trivia app and is working to develop an augmented reality scavenger hunt app.

“Really, we’re responsible for anything tech related,” Campion said.

In addition to fostering technical skills, a large part of the IST curriculum focuses on preparing students to work in group settings with people from different backgrounds. As the Homecoming technology director, Campion has used and expanded upon those skills in this position.

“I am definitely a leader myself, but I am more on the shy side,” said Campion. “In IST, group work is a very big thing, which definitely prepared me in that way to just work with people and deal with tough situations. I took this role to become more outspoken and build on those leadership qualities.”

Apart from Homecoming, Campion is involved in the Women in IST (WIST) student organization. As a part of her WIST experience, Campion served in a mentorship role and was partnered with a mentee to help a younger student acclimate to campus life and the College of IST. Campion expanded that role beyond the College of IST and has shown her new friend the world of Penn State Homecoming.

“She’s gotten involved in Homecoming now, too,” Campion said. “It’s kind of like a passed down tradition now.”

Homecoming is bigger than just the Penn State student body, and that is Campion’s favorite part of the overall experience.

“We have such a diverse group of people,” said Campion. “It is so cool to see all of our ideas come together and create something amazing.”

She added, “I love seeing the alumni come back and be a part of Homecoming, as well as the whole community. It’s not just Penn State. So many people and families from the surrounding area outside of campus come together as well.”

Campion said that getting involved with Homecoming has been rewarding, and she encourages other students from the College of IST — especially in their first and second years — to get involved with the tech committee.

“I feel like first-year students think that they need to have a certain background or prerequisites for the position, but you don’t need to know anything specific,” said Campion. “As long as you are willing to learn and are committed to Homecoming, we will teach you and you will learn something great.”

Penn State’s Homecoming Week takes place this week, with the parade to begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, and the Homecoming football game at noon on Saturday, Oct. 23 against Illinois. Download the Penn State Go app from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store to check out the Homecoming event icon for exclusive access to all the events, or visit

Last Updated October 19, 2021