Academics

Twin brothers named co-marshals for IST Commencement

Twin brothers Daniel and Ryan McGill (pictured in foreground, left-right) are co-student marshals of this spring's College of IST graduating class, a first for the college. Credit: Emilee Spokus / Penn StateCreative Commons

Members of the Class of 2015 at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) will don their caps and gowns this weekend as they prepare to say good-bye to their college years and pursue their dreams and aspirations. A unique aspect of this year’s ceremony is that the co-student marshals, Daniel and Ryan McGill, are twin brothers -- a first in the history of the College of IST.

Both brothers have made their marks on the college in their own ways and are excited about the futures that lie ahead of them.

“My most treasured knowledge, relationships and experiences originate directly from the people I have met here in the past four years,” Daniel McGill said. “I wear my contributions to the College of IST like a badge of honor.”

“Building the College of IST often felt like an activity that built me more than I built it,” Ryan McGill said. “Distinguished professors who love teaching and challenging students to meet their potential, efficient administrators who regularly accept critical and college-changing feedback from every kind of student, and facilities that ooze technical excellence -- how could I possibly add to that?”

Daniel and Ryan McGill will be escorted, respectively, by faculty marshals Donald Shemanski, professor of practice, and John Hill, instructor in IST.

According to Deyo Olorunnisola, director of recruiting at the College of IST, Hill was instrumental in recruiting the McGill brothers to the college five years ago. Daniel and Ryan, along with their parents, attended an IST Open House, where they met Hill.

“John spent time talking to both of them and their parents and they were so impressed by that encounter and the college that they made the decision on the way home to attend Penn State,” Olorunnisola said.

Daniel and Ryan McGill, of Portage, Pa., are the sons of Roger and Laura McGill. Both are graduating with Highest Distinction with bachelor of science degrees in IST with minors in security and risk analysis (SRA). 

Daniel McGill has achieved the dean’s list each semester and is the recipient of the Evan Pugh Senior Award and PNC Technologies Merit Scholarship. He also has served as vice president of a student freethought organization. Daniel has achieved working relationships with business partners such as AT&T, Boeing, Dell, Lowe’s, PNC, and Lockheed Martin through his class projects. After graduation, he plans to work at Epic Systems in Madison, Wisconsin, performing information technology infrastructure development for healthcare providers.

Daniel McGill said that he credits his success at IST to the commitment of the faculty to “promoting and improving every aspect of IST, even after the college-recruitment dust had settled.” In particular, he benefited from the conceptual talks hosted by professors outside of formal classes, the opportunity to assist graduate students with their research, and the two annual job fairs and services offered by the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement.

“Honest feedback sessions gave myself and other IST students a voice to the administration, and more importantly, we were heard,” he said. “The college continually sets and exceeds its involvement and growth goals, and I have greatly enjoyed witnessing its continued vitality and spirit.”

Like his brother, Ryan McGill also sought to maximize the opportunities that were presented to him as an IST student. He spent a year-and-a-half as treasurer of the IST Consulting Group, in which students with an interest in the consulting field get together to work on consulting projects within the community and learn from current consultants about what life is like in the industry. He also demonstrated his entrepreneurial drive as the CEO of the Pennsylvania-based business, Twinformation Technologies, Inc.

“Originally a fun idea that became bigger than anyone expected, the company is now a vehicle to gain insight on how small businesses operate,” Ryan McGill said.

David Rusenko, co-founder and CEO of Weebly and a 2007 graduate of the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), will deliver the keynote address at the 2015 IST commencement ceremony.

Rusenko, who was twice named to Forbes’ “30 under 30” list and is the youngest recipient of the Penn State Alumni Achievement Award (2010), has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Newsweek, NBC and the BBC. His start-up company, Weebly, which garners more than 100 million visits per month, enables anyone to create a high-quality website with no HTML experience.

The Spring 2015 IST commencement ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 9 at Eisenhower Auditorium. The ceremony will be available via live streaming/video recording.

To honor graduates and their families, IST will host an ice cream social prior to the ceremony in Au Bon Pain at Reese’s Café and the West Atrium of the IST Building from 12:45 to 2 p.m.

Last Updated May 06, 2015