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Globe-trotting grad returns as IBM advocate, alumni ambassador


The 2015 grad urges students to consider participation in "Call for Code," which carries a lucrative prize purse (and the invaluable satisfaction of making the planet a better place).
The 2015 grad urges students to consider participation in “Call for Code,” which carries a lucrative prize purse (and the invaluable satisfaction of making the planet a better place).
The 2015 grad urges students to consider participation in "Call for Code," which carries a lucrative prize purse (and the invaluable satisfaction of making the planet a better place).
The 2015 grad urges students to consider participation in “Call for Code,” which carries a lucrative prize purse (and the invaluable satisfaction of making the planet a better place).

On the eve of Career Fair, as futures weigh heavily on the minds of imminent graduates, a 2015 alumnus returned to show students just how far a Penn College degree can take them. Information technology majors heard Monday afternoon from Derek E. Teay, who earned a bachelor’s degree in software development and information management and is traveling the world as a developer advocate for IBM. Teay – whose campus resume included Resident Assistant for the IT Living-Learning Community, Connections Link, Student Activities Event Assistant and graduate of Leadership Boot Camp – has continued that high-intensity involvement with IBM’s “Call for Code” initiative. The project challenges developers to create solutions (using such tools as cloud, data and artificial intelligence) to significantly improve preparedness for natural disasters and accelerate relief when they hit. This year’s grand prize winner from among 5,000 applicants, employs multiple sensors to gather data on temperature, humidity and smoke concentration in order to protect firefighters from the cumulative effect of toxic inhalation while battling blazes in the wild. Teay has traveled extensively in his work at IBM, and soon will go to Barcelona to help developers implement their solution and field-test it under real-life conditions. In addition to encouraging students to participate in future “Call for Code” competitions, Teay sprinkled some “cool techy stuff” into his talk such as hooking up his Tesla to IBM Cloud through the Node-RED programming tool … all within hours of buying the car. Joining students in listening to Teay’s presentation were two faculty members from his alma mater: Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science.

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