Matthew Knell, Tech Mentor-in-Residence and former Head of Social Media Care and Community Programs at Samsung, came to Pace University’s NYC campus for an open discussion on social media with students. The advisory board member and Seidenberg alumnus has twenty-plus years of experience in social strategy, customer experience, and community building. Students were engaged from start to finish—and not just because pizza was provided.
Matthew explained that he came to Seidenberg to share his “knowledge and experiences in a practical way… with the folks here who are learning how to be a professional and… [learning] new skills in the environment.”
Matthew opened the talk by explaining how to survive in the technology industry. His words of advice were wise and concise: “roll with the punches and…be willing to adapt yourself to the roles that exist.”
The discussion moved from current social media trends to the way media affects society, and lastly, to how it will continue to evolve in the future. Students engaged in open discussion and stayed after the event to ask more questions. Matthew explained that he hopes to offer up practical advice to those in attendance.
“As [students are] thinking about what they’re doing with their career and their life, I like to offer a few nuggets of [advice] to help them figure out what they want to do next” he stated.
While adding knowledge and names to your resume is important, gaining practical advice from an industry professional is priceless. Matthew took the time to steer students in the right direction, whether they were interested in social media or not. In an industry where connections and professionalism mean everything, it was a chance for students to understand just what it takes to be a leader.
Matthew noted that these discussions are important as they are a “good opportunity for anyone to grow and learn in their career.”
To wrap up his experience, Matthew noted, “[It was] a very engaging crowd. I think that it was really great to get a bunch of awesome questions. It… demonstrates the quality of the Seidenberg School and their students, and what they’re doing. It’s just fun to come back home and get to meet some new folks.”
We’re lucky to have such an involved alumnus who’s willing to reach out to the Seidenberg community. Make sure to attend future events to gain industry knowledge and much more!
The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is here to wish the happiest of birthdays to Katie Todd! The Pace University alumna and current Assistant Director of Communications and Strategic Operations has been with us since she began her Master of Science degree in Publishing in 2013. Upon graduating in 2015, Katie became the Communications Manager for the Seidenberg School. The Seidenberg School has so much radiance and hilarity with Katie around, which creates an environment everyone wants to be in.
As the Assistant Director of Communications and Strategic Operations at Seidenberg, Katie manages the activities and functions of the office whilst also instilling a culture of communication among everyone within the Seidenberg School. She’s a major contributor to the welcoming energy that’s contained within the Seidenberg Lounge and beyond.
In honor of her birthday, we asked the Dean of Seidenberg, Dr. Jonathan Hill, and student employees to express how they feel about Katie. Their quotes perfectly capture what Katie means to the Seidenberg community.
“She’s wonderfully perfect in every way, but don’t tell her I said that,” Dr. Hill explained with a whisper.
Jai Dengle, a student obtaining her masters in Information Systems, explained just what makes Katie a “boss.”
“The one who is beautiful at heart, obliging to everyone, sincere with work, and strict for perfection. That’s my boss, Katie Todd,” Jai exclaimed!
Christopher “Topher” Cherestal, a senior Information Systems major at Pace University, stated: “not only does Katie have a smashing accent but she also has this ability to make you feel like you’re on top of the world while also grounding you and bringing you back to earth, she’s amazing”
We want to express our gratitude to Katie for all that she does for Seidenberg! Katie, happiest of birthdays to you!
Pace University alumna, Melanie Madera recently took on the new role of Community Manager of the Seidenberg community (aka, the glue of Seidenberg). Last year in May, Melanie began her new position at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science & Information Systems. Her journey from university student to community manager is full of hard work and determination!
She began her college journey at Pace University on the downtown New York City campus in 2002. As a commuter, she worked numerous part-time jobs in order to pay for her education, gaining experience at Nintendo as a Marketing/Sales Associate and at a non-profit assisting children in the foster care system. She went on to earn her BBA in Marketing with a concentration in Advertising and Promotions.
“I will always remember my time at Pace with fond memories,” Melanie notes. “I still get a pang of nostalgia whenever I walk the halls at One Pace Plaza. They were some of the best years of my life!”
Now, as the Community Manager at Seidenberg, Melanie has the opportunity to make the Pace experience better for new students. Asked what her role entails, she quips, “what doesn’t it?”
She handles all of Seidenberg’s New York City campus events and clubs, as well as managing the student assistants at the front desk. She also assists Dean Hill in organizing his schedule and calendar to improve his time management. Overall, she makes the Seidenberg community better by listening to and observing the dynamics of the office.
Melanie explains, “in general, I keep the office going, make sure the faculty is supported and, most importantly, I always make sure that we have coffee stocked in the kitchen. Gotta keep Seidenberg caffeinated!”
As for what she brings to the office—besides coffee and an overall sense of community—Melanie believes that she has brought both a sense of organization and transparency.
“My work experience here in the Seidenberg School has been one of the most productive and positive community environments that I have had the pleasure of being a part of,” she explains. “I have to say that the culture here at Seidenberg is unlike any other place I have worked at. I have experience in many work environments: start-ups, small businesses, non-profits, large corporations; but the sense of community and comradery here is really refreshing.”
While she notes marketing as her true passion, she is also “passionate about treating the [Seidenberg] space with respect and to value what [the community has], because [she] feels that it starts with one person; once people see how much care and time you take in making it a great place to work, they tend to follow suit.”
She uses the skills that she learned at Pace to better the community of Seidenberg. “When I have the opportunity to flex my creative muscle and take someone’s vision and make it a reality, it really is a wonderful feeling,” she admits.
As long as Melanie flexes her creative muscles as the Community Manager for Seidenberg, the lounge will always be a safe space for students and faculty. We’re thankful for all that she does for our community and cannot wait for all that she has in store for the future.
“I feel like I was destined to be a part of this team and it feels like I just fit right in; everyone accepted me and is thankful for my hard work and dedication,” Melanie notes. “Everyone here takes pride in their work and in helping students and it shows! I’m really proud to be here and definitely have Seidenberg pride!”
On Wednesday, November 14, Peggy Yao, the first Mandarin-speaking Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher in the Tri-State area, is coming to the Westchester campus for a Tech Collective Lunch and Learn on “Mindfulness for Professional and Personal Success.” Peggy will be on campus to meet students and impact our School’s community in a positive way.
Yao, an alumna of the Pace University, attended several classes in Pace University’s Lubin School of Business Masters of Business Administration program from 1979 to 1981. She used her learning experiences to grow a lifelong dedication to community service and charity. As an MSBR teacher in Chinese schools and senior centers, local libraries, and the Tzu-Chi Foundation—of which she is an active member—Yao has served the community with her approach on growing stronger personal physical and mental health.
This event comes at a perfect time as the stressful season of midterms has just finished up. Students will have the opportunity to dive into a conversation about mindfulness and mental health with Yao over food provided by the School.
The event will take place at 12:00pm on the third floor at the Goldstein Academic Center. Students will have the opportunity to network and chat with Yao in the Seidenberg lounge.
On Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 Seidenberg School of CSIS hosted Leadership in Technology – Pioneering Pace Pride, a technology and networking event with six alumni who were the first generation from immigrant families to go to college. The event was held at 165 William Street and was a great opportunity for our students to hear from and network with inspirational alumni. With six leading personalities in the technical industry, the discussion was compelling and Pace students who attended were privy to a fascinating perspective.
The event started with a warm welcome to all the six leaders from our Dean Dr. Jonathan Hill on behalf of the entire Seidenberg School. Over the course of the evening, each of our guests shared their life experiences, career stories, and as their memories of Pace University which was a great help and motivation to all our current students.
Here are our honorable guests:
Michael J. Lynn – Currently Principal, ARG* Oversight. Michael’s parents are basically from Ireland. They moved to New York when he was a child. Initially Michael was very much interested to pursue his career as a doctor, but due to financial problems in his family he decided against it. After that, he planned to become an engineer. However, during those days there were almost no jobs in the field of engineering, thus he quit this thought too. Michael finally decided to achieve his career in the field of finance and came to Pace University. He worked as a student assistant at the Pleasantville campus, graduated in 1978, and remarked that “Pace gave me lots of opportunities to succeed in the first ”
Dora Gomez – Currently Dora is a board member of ACFE, HTCIA, and INFRAGARD. Initially she lived in Ecuador with her parents and her elder brother. Dora believes in working independently and not relying on anyone. She too got admission to Pace University and loved the environment and the people she met. Dora worked two internships (one during the summers and the other in the winters) during her studies, through which she was able to pay for tuition and books herself. Dora Graduated in 1986. She believes in the thought “Work hard to get what you want.”
Tom Reynolds –Tom comes from Ireland where he is the eldest child among five kids. He was inspired by his father (who worked for 12 hours a day) and so Tom started working at the age of 13 to support his family. After completing his high school, Tom got admitted to Pace University. Tom mentions that fellow panelist Maurice Dimeo was the first person he met at Pace. Due to his financial family conditions Tom wasn’t able to buy professional clothes for his internships that he did during his studies. Thus, he worked for loading and unloading of trucks to earn money for clothes. Tom graduated from Pace in 1982. He says “Pace gave me opportunity to work” and, presently, Tom works as Controller at Stone Harbor Investment Partners.
Vito J. Depalo – Presently, Chief Auditor of Global Information Technology, AIG. Vito is a techy, through and through. He comes from the southeast of Italy, where his father worked six days a week and 15 hours a day to support his family. Vito says: “Every day while getting ready I remember my dad’s hard work.” Vito had a cousin studying at Pace who always had great things to say about it, and so Vito ended up coming here too. Vito believes “No matter be it Columbia University or Stanford or Pace, it’s all about EDUCATION.” He had three internships during his studies. The last internship he had was converted into full time job after his graduation in 1996. Vito says “Coming to Pace was a like a land of opportunities for me which prepared me for the corporate world.”
Joe Nocera – Graduated in 1981 and currently, Deputy Chief Auditor BNY Mellon. Joe was born and raised in Coney Island. He says that he had no idea regarding business before he came to Pace. Joe expressed “Pace not only gave me an education foundation but also many more things apart from academics. Pace provided me opportunities to do different, do better. I learnt to take up and handle responsibilities here.” He advised students to listen to the professors and counsellors who will always help them to get better. He believes “You have to ask questions if you want to learn.”
Maurice Dimeo – Presently, Maurice is a Client Technology leader at EY. He comes from Italy. His father worked in the Navy and was a huge inspiration to Maurice. He has a very strong work ethic and believes in hard work. Maurice says “Work as hard as anybody can!” Maurice graduated from Pace in 1987, and added “Pace is one of the schools where we get a chance to prove ourselves!”
After the highly motivating discussion from the tech leaders, our students were really excited and curious to know more about their success and life achievements. Here are some questions that were asked by our current students to the panel.
How did Pace give opportunities?
Joe said “Pace teaches to learn to speak, learn to observe, learn to interact which is necessary to succeed”
Tom expressed: There are so many similar students in the same class. You need to be different. You need to stand out from the crowd. Pace helps to choose the right way for this which definitely was a great opportunity.
Dora said: Pace has high level of education compared to other schools. Teachers give good advises not only on academics but also regarding careers. Pace helps in building relationships which definitely helps in building careers.
2. What are the necessary skills that interns and employees must have?
Vito started with a great answer: “Hard work beats talent!” Everyone should be a hard worker, may he/she be an intern or an employee. Another important thing that Vito said, an understanding of the technology is really important and working passionately is a must.
Joe added up to this saying: “It’s all about communication (verbal and written). One must hire people who can communicate really well.”
Dora explained this by saying that interns and employees must have respect and good manners. It’s about how a person represents himself and lastly a person’s language is important too!
3. What slogan do you live by?
Tom: “Be on Time! Be late, be fired!”
Vito: “Regret the things you did, not the things you will do!”
Dora: “Take Risks!”
Joe: “Work hard and never forget where you came from!”
Maurice: “Live by your purpose!”
Michael: “Never give up! Do the best you can! Love what you do!”
4. How should Pace University’s students compete from other top level universities’ students?
Maurice came up with an outstanding answer to this saying that: “School doesn’t matter, what matters is EDUCATION! Show hard work, gain good knowledge, built in great skills and be passionate!”
Joe ended up with an amazing thought. He believes: “No doors will be shut if you are at PACE, all door will be open if you are here!”
The event ended up with our Dean Dr. Hill’s thank you note to all the six great leaders who were a huge motivation for all our current students. We thank our panel and hope to see them all again with an amazing event like this one!
Now in its 22nd year, the Leadership & Service in Technology (LST) award is bigger and better than ever, and this year’s celebration was an unforgettable evening.
On Monday, April 24, 2017, an impressive company of Seidenberg supporters came together as we honored Senior Executive Vice President and CIO at BNY Mellon Suresh Kumar for his pioneering leadership and innovative thinking in transforming finance and technology practices throughout his exceptional career.
BNY Mellon kindly provided the space and the catering for the LST awards at its downtown location. Guests enjoyed appetizers and a full bar during the networking hour before the main event. The room was packed with many of our dearest friends, including Seidenberg alumni, business partners, and friends from the Pace community. It was a warm atmosphere as people greeted old friends they hadn’t seen in a while, made new ones, and shared a fun evening and business cards alike. Seidenberg students were also present to give demonstrations of their projects facilitated by the NYC Design Factory.
When awards time came, guests were seated and Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean of the Seidenberg School, introduced the first speaker of the night – our student, Niamh Fitzsimon. Niamh is an honors student, vice president of Pace Women in Tech, and resident Googler (she’s interned there twice so far and will do again this summer!).
“Because of you, I have been able to push myself above and beyond what I could imagine,” Niamh said. “You provided me a platform to grow my confidence, network, and skills, and I am extremely grateful for your contributions towards the education of myself and my peers. I am highly honored to share the effect of your donations on my community.”
Following Niamh’s remarks, Lucille Mayer, the Chief Information Officer of Client Experience Delivery at BNY Mellon took to the stage to introduce the keynote speaker. Lucille has worked with the evening’s honoree Suresh Kumar for over 25 years. “Suresh is not only a visionary, as you’ll hear for yourself, but he is also a leader in championing and developing talent,” she said.
Lucille briefly discussed success in the tech industry, including the top tech trends for the year such as augmented reality, which has seen a swift increase in recent years due to the creation of virtual reality headsets and the release of mobile app games like Pokemon Go.
“Success depends upon the user or the client experience of the technology,” she said. “Technology is no longer about being the guy or the woman behind the curtain . . . technology is the business.”
She then introduced the evening’s keynote, Marie Wieck, General Manager at IBM Blockchain. Marie discussed the exponential growth of data and the benefits of diversity.
“Some of the stats in tech right now are quite frankly astonishing,” Marie said. “Think about data. In the last two years we have created more data than we have created as a species in the time period prior.”
She added: “Those people who can mine insights of out that data are the people who are going to accelerate their business.” Data analytics is certainly a burgeoning industry right now as companies scramble to make sense of the immense volume of data that is now collected through websites, social media, and other digital interactions.
Marie also spoke towards greater diversity in the workplace, particularly regarding more women in technology. “What constitutes the best performance you can get?” she asked. “New perspectives that help you see things in a different way and that is fuel for innovation.
“It’s not those who have the highest IQ but those who have the biggest EQ [emotional quotient] . . . and what brings higher EQ? More women.
“When you have three or more women on a board, you begin to get financial results.”
Marie noted that 36% of the Seidenberg School’s student base are women compared to a 20% national average – a statistic we are proud of and are committed to improve.
“You have to teach people the art of the possible . . . 74% of girls are interested in STEM, but only a third of them pursue it,” Marie said. Many of the girls who pursue STEM had mentors, teachers, counselors who pushed them.
“When you think about gender partnership, role models don’t have to be people you know. We also have to advocate for the people you don’t know.”
Marie finished with an inspirational request. “We know Pace is a trailblazer. We know BNY Mellon is a trailblazer . . . mentor a student. Share the opportunity to highlight someone who is doing something exceptional. Give people a voice. Share the wealth.”
After Marie’s keynote, alumni and Seidenberg Advisory Board member, Matthew Knell, introduced the Emerging NYC Innovator Awardee, Sara Chipps. Sara is the CEO of Jewelbots, which produces programmable friendship bracelets that can connect with other bracelets in the surrounding area, enabling wearers to send each other secret messages using code. The bracelets are aimed toward middle-school girls to encourage them to get into STEM education.
As Jonathan Hill remarked after her presentation, “Technology isn’t about selling for top dollar; it’s about giving back in some way.”
Dr. Hill then introduced the honoree of this year’s LST award.
Suresh Kumar is the Senior Executive Vice President and CIO for BNY Mellon, where he is leading the Client Technology Solutions organization to become the industry leader in delivering innovative solutions that enable clients and employees to succeed.
Suresh gave a wonderful presentation with excellent advice for our students and the community overall. His exemplary leadership style was apparent as he spoke: “I’m really privileged every day to work with an amazing group of colleagues all over the world,” he said.
“We all come from different places, different backgrounds, but each of us rely on education to get where we are. And the Pace Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems has long leveled the playing field . . . regardless of gender, ethnic background, and income.”
The LST award honoree went on to talk about how companies should embrace innovation and disruption for great results. Using Amazon as an example of a company that constantly innovates its techniques, offerings, and practices, Suresh warned against remaining stagnant, particularly when your competition does not.
He also had four ‘rules to live by’ (or at least conduct business by).
1 – Focus on execution. Being the best is better than being first
Innovation is important, but means nothing if you have a bad product. Google wasn’t the first search engine, but it was the best when it was released. Doing a phenomenal job is 1% innovation, 99% perspiration.
2 – Evolve your business model
It’s important to keep up with (and create) what people want. Suresh described a period of four phases of how business models have evolved and have to evolve to stay ahead: the arrival of the internet in the mid-90s, the social media revolution in the mid-2000s, collaborative spaces (now) and autonomous working (emerging). Successful business models were platform-based and enabled consumers and providers to get together and create something valuable
3 – Reduce latency between end users and developers
Skype had 27 engineers. What’s App had 33. Instagram had 13. What made them create such a powerful product in such a short period of time? Constant innovation, and enough people on the team!
4 – Organize innovation efforts by service
Unfortunately, the IT department in many companies is still not considered to be the backbone of operations. That said, an emerging model of IT looks promising – teams are small, self-governing, and are empowered to make decisions and make a difference in a large company. When given the freedom to innovate, IT teams can change the whole way an organization works for the better.
We are truly delighted to honor Suresh Kumar and his wonderful work as a leader in technology and in his work with staff at BNY Mellon.
Thank you to Suresh Kumar and BNY Mellon for your contributions to the Seidenberg School and for hosting this year’s LST Award reception, ensuring it was a fantastic night for all.
“The gifts you have provided tonight are much needed,” Jonathan Hill told guests in his closing remarks. “Thank you.”
Our deepest gratitude also goes out to everybody who attended the event and showed their support to the School, whether by buying tickets or donating. Thank you to Lucille Mayer, Marie Wieck, Matthew Knell, and Sarah Chipps. Thanks also go to Deth Sao, our director of development, for her unending commitment to organizing an incredibly successful event.
We look forward to seeing you all again next year!