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Even a child I was the 'creative sort', and so set my mind on becoming a designer/artist while still quite young. I began working as a freelance graphic designer in 1978 while still in high school. At first it was rarely anything more exciting than menu updates for local restaurants, or projects for family and family friends. However, I quickly expanded my skills to include expertise with items such as Line-O-Scribes and hot-presses. (For those of you not old enough to remember, those are antiquated, rarely seen let alone used pieces of equipment for creating/manipulating text.)

This experience helped me work my way through college at Penn State. During that time, I held a variety of both part-time and full-time jobs including modeling, waitressing, line-cook and bartender, as well as continuing my freelance work. I also worked for Penn State as 'work study student' for Extension Visual Aides and the Sign Print Shop - both of which greatly increased my knowledge and skills in design and greatly expanded the media with which I had experience.

Nothing waivered my intentions of becoming a designer - until I discovered computers. It was love at first sight - or should I say first button pushed.

Realizing that I was a technophile, and not wanting to give up the artistic aspects of design, I began integrating computers in my work in 1981 (not an easy task back then.) I also started looking for jobs which required computer experience and, in 1985, began working in the graphics department at AccuWeather, Inc. This position offered a great deal of experience with technology. If the system wasn't in use, you were welcome to sit down and use it or learn it - and I learned as much as I could about everything they had.

Besides technology, I also learned about newspapers, TV, the internet, interactive CDs - and deadlines. It was due primarily the constant tension and stress of meeting 5-minute deadlines all day long, that I began looking for work elsewhere. In 1998 I began working, again, for PSU in the College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS).

As part of the CAS ICT team, I worked in all media, troubleshooting problems with applications and graphics, offering IT support for the College, and teaching graphic and web-related applications, designing for all media types, and web-development.

That position with Ag ICT lead to CMS, or Content Management Systems, RedDot to be specific. In turn, mastering CMS lead to more advanced programming - which ultimately lead me to a position with the Materials Research Institute (MRI) in 2007 as a programmer/analyst, web developer.

Since MRI had no in-house design or multimedia, I very quickly assumed those roles too. My current responsibilities include: webmaster for the MRI site, web developer/support for related sub-sites, Dreamweaver and multimedia support for the MRI community, web-app creation/maintenance, design/layout of printed marketing materials and exhibits, and poster printing.

...a title which accurately describes all of my current job responsibilities would be so long it wouldn't fit anywhere, so I continue to use Programmer/Analyst, Web Developer.


Penn State | College of Agricultural Sciences | AgICT
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