Thank You (My 1st Song)

Originally posted on the Facebook.

Me at the Lion ShrineIn my senior column for the Collegian I said “Thank you to all the students, professors, bosses, colleagues, friends and family who made my college experience an experience. When I look back on my years at Penn State I will think of you, not Old Main.” I originally wrote that as a little dig at Penn State’s administration, but I realize now it’s actually very meaningful. I spent the last week on a half-dead campus and realized that Penn State is just a place on a map with a lot of buildings that probably won’t be there in 15 years (let the fundraising begin for IST II Building). College has been more about the people who shared these four years with me. So without further ado, shout outs to the people who made my college years special. (Feel free to skim – this is ridiculously long)

Frank Whitehead was more than my manager at the pool, he is also a great teacher and friend. I appreciate all his career advice and assistance, even after I left the pool. Also thanks to Joe Pardini, who was the greatest first boss anyone could ever have. Thanks to Caitlyn, Maureen, Steve, Tim, Emily, Craig, Jess, Alicia, Marta, Kelsey, Dan, Rachael, Dennis, Lydia, Amanda, Joey, Dennis, Brian, Lori, and Megan and whomever else I’m forgetting for all those summer memories.

Tony Pasquarette and Jean Denis at GE – Transportation gave me a meaningful introduction to the corporate world last summer and I thank them for their time. Also thanks to my fellow interns Vishad, Yaara, Jon, Chad, Trevor, Ross, and Scott.

IST Learning Initiatives was a great opportunity for me to stretch my legs in design and learn a little more about education. I thank Larry Spence and Lisa Lenze for all their support and I thank Tory, Stephanie, Prerana, Angelica, Liling, and Dan for being fun and easy to work with.

The Daily Collegian has a number of professionals who work behind the scenes to make our lives easier. Special thanks to Tom, Sharkey, Becky, Dave, Candy, Patti, and Gerry.

John Harvey, news advisor, is a great teacher and I believe he was one of my biggest advocate’s within that organization. Rick Simpson, Collegian systems manager, is one of the busiest people I know yet was always willing to answer any question Chris or I had. I hope we were more helpful than we were a headache. Thanks.

The lifeblood of the Daily Collegian is its students. Thanks to Krystle, Kayur, both Kathleens, Alex, Meg, Terry, Jess, Andy, Travis, Halle, Devon, Dan, Sirage, McGill, Lauren, Spolar, Horan, Rossilyne, Billy, Prah, Pfister, Sarah, Heather, Freel, Weeden, Adrienne, Jim, Kyle, Greg, Brandon, Sarim, Serpiello, Kim, and all the other people whose names I am forgetting. You accepted me and were responsible for bringing to life some of the stuff Chris, Ali and I dreamed of and welcomed me into your family – so thank you.

Jimmy Young brought me back to the Collegian as a Web intern and Jeanette Hannah supported us for a year. Erin James, though, ultimately pushed me to finish something and gave us free reign to change the organization. It was a risk to let a let someone with only a semester’s worth of writing experience and no editorial skills become an editor and I thank her for that.

Ali Busacca, Web editor, brought energy, leadership, and voice to the Web project. If we accomplished anything, it was because she pushed us and the rest of the staff. Chris Bajgier probably ranks among the most remarkable people I have met in college – hearing his story made me realize how much I take for granted. He is also a technical leader who is responsible for some of the most sophisticated work we’ve contributed to the Collegian. Both Chris and Ali have been great partners and friends to me, so thank you.

The College of Information Sciences and Technology has been a great home and community for me to pursue my undergraduate studies in. I would like to thank Jim Jansen for being an ever patient thesis supervisor and a great teacher. I would also give a shout out to Dr. Santoro, Dr. Wang, Dr. Mitra, Dr. Mudgett, Dr. Fronseca, Ms. Mahar, Dr. Tapia, Dr. Lucas, Dr. Maitland, Dr. Smith, Dr. Sawyer, Dr. Kavsny, Dr. Clark and Dr. Bagby for helping my learning experience. Also thanks to Dr. Supon and Shawn Knight for all their helpfulness and advice.

I also owe thanks to all the group members I have had over these 4 years at IST. I hated group work in high school and last semester I was actually leading a group. I won’t even attempt to name you all, but thank you for all your help. Special thanks to Dana Kracaw, Jason Scott, Rishi Das, and Mark Poblete for hanging out in class together, you guys truly represent the sense of community I am talking about in IST.

Mike Logan instilled in me a passion for film and DVD collecting that has become a passion for me. I’m sorry we didn’t see as much of each other this past year. Ditto for Dan Kerins, the puniest man I know and a fellow Sunday brucher at the dining commons.

I thank Greg Lathbury interjecting humor, oddity, and some real wisdom into our lives. I thank Boots for inviting me to my first real college party and just hanging around with us these last couple years. I thank Marc Kordell for hanging out as well and putting up with my frequent button pushing.

I thank Cat Cornett for letting me tag around with her and Rob these past couple years. I enjoyed the SameTimes over the summer and the little whiteboard messages on my door. I also give her a lot of credit for being the hardest working student I met in IST.

I thank Chris Somers for being my best friend at Penn State for four years. I know I’m kind of a downer and anti-social at times, so I give him a lot of credit for hanging around with me all the time. I enjoyed all the intellectual debates we got into, as well as the personal conversations, so I appreciate him listening. I told him it takes a lot of balls and brains to continue studying some of the most complex energy problems our society faces as a grad student and I’m sure he’s up to the challenge.

I thank Rob Shedd for also being my best friend and my roommate for four years. I told him he’s been the model of an academic and a professional for me and I meant it. I’m not sure how many deadlines, assignments, and events I would have missed if I couldn’t just turn around in my chair and ask him. I’m really proud of all his work and I’m sure he’s going to keep amazing us. I thank him for sticking by me for four years – I hope he’s gotten at least a fraction out of knowing me as I did from knowing him.

Last I turn to my family, who have been in the background supporting me all the way. Pat, Caitie, Chris, Brian, Michael, Kevin, Jack, and Billy are also my best friends. I really enjoy being able to come home and get immediately swept up into your lives. I’m proud of everything you guys do and I hope you forgive me for being a jerk sometimes. I also thank all my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins for their interest and support along the way.

Finally my parents, the most generous, unselfish individuals I have ever met. Every time worry, get paranoid, or mess up they always support me and comfort me. For example, my mom first pushed me to go back to the Collegian to work on the Web site – I probably wouldn’t have done that on my own. Likewise their encouragement when I started looking at jobs that would take me further from them was really amazing. I never realize how much my dad cared about his children until he started hassling me to call home more often (even when I was calling every other day ). I’m glad to hear you guys are proud of me. I feel like I will be successful in life if I can even attempt to match your honesty, kindness, and selflessness. Thanks for all the sacrifices you’ve made to raise me the way you did and help put me through college – I will always be grateful to you.

And that wraps up my ridiculously long thank you note. Sorry for the sloppy writing – I’m finishing this after midnight after compiling it these last few days. I apologize to anyone who I forgot – I know even this list is not comprehensive and I could have written more about everyone.

I also want to congratulate the class of 2007, I am proud to know you and share this time in my life with you. And finally I wanted to encourage everyone to keep in touch with me. I am headed to ESPN in Bristol, CT on June 2 to work on their Web site as a technical producer. It’s an exciting opportunity and a fresh start, but I don’t want to lose this amazing network of friends I’ve made in college. Feel free to contact me at and check my Web site at as I start to blog again in the coming weeks. Thanks again for all the memories. May God Bless You All.

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