The Clark University Department of Computer Science welcomed alumni to its new home in the Center for Media Arts, Computing, and Design at a Sept. 9 event designed to give students insight into career paths and opportunities available to them.
An alumni panel, “Leverage Your CS Degree Beyond Writing Code,” featured Betty Jean Jaskoviak ’83, a member of the first class of Clark computer science graduates, now retired after a career as a project manager at IBM; David Robbins ’87, president of the Boston Product Management Association; Andrew Kawa ’87, director of enterprise applications and development at Goodwin, a global law firm based in Boston; and Mark Granoff ’87, iOS architect at Wayfair.
“It was truly eye-opening to discover that many of our alumni, despite holding degrees in computer science, have spent minimal to no time during their careers actively involved in coding,” said Nina Carlson ’24, who appreciated “such a practical and informative discussion facilitated by individuals who have achieved remarkable success following their graduation from Clark.”
Carlson, who is double majoring in computer science and economics, has interned at Microsoft the past two summers.
“As the faculty liaison with the CS Alumni Board, I had the privilege of collaborating with our alumni in the planning and execution of this event,” said Professor Li Han. “Alongside me were our dedicated department staff member, Rayyan Abid, our visiting assistant teaching professor, Catalin Veghes, and our veteran student contributor, Jack Rogerson (now a 5th-year ADP student), all of whom are CS alumni themselves.”
John Magee, professor and chair of the Computer Science Department, was also on hand for part of Alumni Day, along with Professor Pawan Gupta, who joined the department this fall.
A second session, “Land the Role,” featured Sarwar Raza ’00, president of the Clark Computer Science Alumni Board and a vice president and general manager at Red Hat, a billion-dollar open source company; and Rehan Rasool ’15, Samantha Hughson ’19, Evan Hoffman ’12, and Hung Nguyen ’21.
Isaac Tomeho ’26, who spent his summer conducting research with computer science faculty, attended “Land the Role” and said he appreciated the opportunity to interact with the alumni.
“The alumni are very knowledgable,” he said, noting that they discussed how to best position yourself in the job market and prepare for an interview. “I found it all to be very helpful and was even able to exchange contacts with two alumni.”
Han said a key highlight of the day was the launch of the CS Career Advancement Support Request Form, which lets students communicate their specific support needs to alumni and faculty — such as mentoring, guidance on career planning and graduate schools, résumé and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, company and industry insights, and more. “We’ve already received support requests from 15 students,” Han said. “It’s a promising start to what we anticipate will be a highly beneficial program.”
“Alumni Day underscored the invaluable dedication of our alumni to the growth and development of our students. It was a resounding success,” Han said. “We are immensely grateful for their commitment to supporting the next generation of computer scientists at Clark.”