Accomplished Alumni

"Technology is an integral force in addressing global challenges. We do not shy away from change; we embrace the need for innovation and creative thinking. What you dream, we help make real."
Gary R. Bertoline, Dean of the College of Technology

Throughout the 50th anniversary year, we will check in with some of our most influential and accomplished alumni, alumni who are addressing global challenges and making their dreams real.

Anthony Smith CIT ‘09

Early successes in Anthony Smith’s entrepreneurial career are starting to reap even more rewards for him and his colleagues.

Pocket Tales, the reading game he helped create with Yaw Aning in 2010, is being rolled out to a limited set of Indianapolis schools. Teachers and students both love the product, Smith reports. “We’ve spent the last two years refining the platform and working with teachers to build something that will help revolutionize how teachers track reading engagement with their students and give them the proper information to really make an impact,” he said. The product will be rolled out to more schools outside of Indianapolis and the state later this year.

Smith’s company, Sticksnleaves, has helped 12 companies launch new ventures over the last six months. They expect to double the company’s size by the end of 2014. “If anybody’s looking for product management or engineering jobs, hit us up,” he said.

The College of Technology’s impact: We’re starting to see a big shift in technology. Over the past 10 years we have seen the web transform from a strictly consumable medium to the infrastructure that powers literally everything. We’ve also seen how the power of a decentralized global network can be used to win elections, topple nations and power world economies. The massive amounts of information traveling over this infrastructure is unimaginable and quite literally staggering. To compete in today’s economy, it’s not enough to offer a compelling product. Leveraging the information within an organization is essential to operate effectively. The emergence of Big Data as a technology category is telling for how important data analysis is on a massive scale. With the emergence of technologies like Hadoop, it’s now possible for any organization, no matter the size, to crunch numbers like Google and Facebook. Over the short-term, Big Data will provide a competitive advantage for any technologist in the market. Over the next 50 years, Big Data will transform everything. It’s already changed how we surf the web and buy goods. It’s in the process of changing how we manage our homes, and pretty soon it will be powering our self-driving cars. Being a network administrator is cool. Building self-driving cars is awesome!

Read Smith’s original story from December 2011.

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Brad Lang AT ‘85

In November of 2012, Brad Lang, Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron leader, helped bring the Rise Above exhibit to Purdue’s campus. The exhibit is used to educate and inspire Americans by using the Tuskegee Airmen as role models.

Since it debut in 2011, more than 91,000 guests have visited the Rise Above exhibit. During the same time, 35,000 students have received free dog tags extolling the six Red Tail Squadron principles: Aim High, Believe In Yourself, Use Your Brain, Never Quit, Be Ready To Go and Expect To Win.

“We continue to look for new communities that might be interested in our educational message and corporate support,” Lang said.

The College of Technology’s impact: The College of Technology has the opportunity to showcase new concepts and ideas that, hopefully, will solve challenges that we face as a society. From agriculture to nursing, as society grows, more issues develop which require new technological solutions. The students in the College of Technology will be facing these challenges once they graduate, and they must learn how to successfully incorporate what they learned into the real world.

See Lang’s Distinguished Technology Alumni biography from February 2013.

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Josh Hurst MET '01

After seven years working at the Fender facility in California, Josh Hurst moved with his wife to work at Fender’s Nashville, Tenn., facility.

He is still a senior designer with the company, and he has expanded his work to include more acoustic instrument design with the Guild and Ovation product lines. The central location makes him and his work more accessible to the New Hartford, Conn., facility and east coast factory.

“Living in Nashville has also given me access to some of the best guitar players in the world, which helps me gain inspiration and improves overall design,” he said.

The College of Technology's impact:  The College of Technology will impact society in the next 50 years by continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible. True innovation starts at the edge of impossible and crazy. The College of Technology is developing the minds of people who are forward thinking and not afraid of these challenges.

Read Hurst’s original story from May 2012.

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Maryanne Flynn OLS '94

A year and a half after winning RFID Journal's Best RFID Implementation Award, Maryanne Flynn says the honored project continues to be very successful at Cisco. Her job focus has changed to leading new project teams related to strategic business areas.

Outside of her career, she is vice president of the YWCA Silicon Valley board of directors; she will be president of the organization in 2014. The organization serves over 18,000 clients annually in the areas of domestic violence, rape crisis, counseling and child care. 

The College of Technology's impact: The impact that the College of Technology can have on society in the next 50 years is to develop leaders to compete successfully in the dynamic global economy. The College of Technology blends a nice mix of technology, practical business applications, and leadership into the education it delivers to its students. That is the winning formula to shape successful leaders for our future.

Read Flynn's original story from November 2012.

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Tyler Kupferer CGT '08

Tyler Kupferer has enjoyed many animation successes in the five years since he earned his bachelor's degree.

Owner and co-founder of his own animation studio, Base14, Kupferer also works for Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif. He worked as a layout apprentice on the feature film "Frozen," which will be released November 27, 2013.

Base14's newest animated short, "Rain Dance," premiered in New York City in July 2013, and it will premiere online in 2014 while it appears in a variety of film festivals. Kupferer was producer and editor of the film.

"The Girl and the Fox", the subject of Kupferer's original story on the College of Technology web site in June 2012, has received an American television distribution deal through Ouat Media.

The College of Technology's impact: In CGT, we learned technology is the application of knowledge. As the Internet reaches maturation and the majority of the Earth's population gains access, proliferation of knowledge will grow exponentially. As students of technology, we are the gatekeepers to that knowledge and how it is applied for better or worse throughout society. The College of Technology can impact society by understanding the needs of the modern global world, and how this dissemination of knowledge creates opportunities for further innovation.

Read Kupferer's original story from June 2012.