Mathematics Alumni in Computer Science and Software Development Careers

Sam Blakely '15

I am currently working as a Technical Consultant at Galen Healthcare Solutions after graduating in the spring of 2015.  Galen is a consulting firm that has been in the healthcare tech industry for ten years.  At Galen, my projects have revolved around developing solutions related to ‘Electronic Medical Record’ databases.  For example, I have been contributing to a statewide project in North Carolina extracting data from private practices and hospitals, and organizing it so it could be accessed by medical providers across NC. 

We face challenges such as evaluating logical arguments, anticipating special cases, graphically representing complex information, and learning new technology.  Internally, there is a strong sense of team collaboration that gives both learning opportunities and challenges in coordinating group problem solving. Beyond the technical problem solving, we often need to communicate with clients from a less technical background. This requires that we translate our solutions to include less-technical individuals in a discussion.  It is exciting to combine interpersonal and problem-solving-oriented sets of challenges.

The time I spent at Saint Mike’s played an absolutely crucial role in my ability to succeed at Galen.  Starting with the analytical skills developed in the Math and Computer Science departments, and supplemented by the rich liberal arts educational background, I feel very comfortable moving forwards applying skills I learned and gaining new ones.  Additionally, Saint Mike’s taught equally essential social and personal lessons that are just as important as the technical abilities.  If you have an interest in carrying your skills gained at Saint Mike’s over to the consulting world, or have other career interests, please feel free to reach out to me at

Katherine Garaffa '14

Katherine Garaffa I began working at in Burlington, VT in February of 2015 as a Content and Creative Intern. In April of 2015, I was offered a full time position as a Digital Campaign Specialist. I help manage auto dealership websites on the manged services level using platforms created by  My main focus at is helping assist the 500+ Subaru clients on daily updates to their site by creating landing pages using HTML, updating information using a platform, and creating/adding assets using Adobe Photoshop.  There is a heavy focus on marketing, which is why I plan to head back to school in the coming year for my MBA.

The Saint Michael's Mathematics Department helped me prepare for the job I have now by teaching me how to handle different situations and programs. The programs I work with here are exclusive and must be learned on the job. Being able to adjust to this was easy for me because I worked with programs like Maple, R, C++, etc. Being a mathematics major made me adaptable to any situation, which is very helpful in the work force. I plan to use my adaptability in the future as I turn towards a more marketing based job.

For more information regarding my position, or job opportunities please feel free to contact me at

Janelle Lavery '14

Janelle Lavery '14 I am reaching my 6-month mark working as a Technical Services Analyst for Epic Systems in the Madison, WI area. Epic develops electronic medical record software for many hospitals and clinics across the country and even the world (Australia, the Netherlands, Dubai and Singapore to name a few). As a Technical Services Analyst, I serve as the main contact for our customers once they have “gone live” with our software and any issues, questions, change requests etc. with the system that they have will come to me and I work to help resolve them with the help of my team of coworkers. Technical Services (TS) are usually referred to as the “face of Epic” for our customers, since we are the long-term support and typically build a lasting friendship of sorts with the customer analysts we work with on a weekly – or even daily – basis. It is a very rewarding career to become a part of not only because of what the company does as a whole to make hospitals and physician’s groups more successful in their work but also with the smaller, daily “wins” in solving problems independently or collaborating with a group. There are a variety of areas of the medical field you can become a part of but the app I work on is the Professional Billing App. We support customers who use Epic to route all professional charges patients incur during an inpatient or outpatient hospital stay to the appropriate insurance coverage (i.e. sending out claims), or on a statement for self-pay collections, etc.

My education at Saint Michael’s College has helped me in many ways; in particular the problem solving skills I developed as a math major are infinitely useful. I’ve always enjoyed working with numbers and equations and delving into/solving complex problems which has become a big part of what I do at work on a regular basis. It is challenging (and often quite frustrating!) but when you finally find the answer you were looking for, it’s very exciting. I also recently took on an internal project in which I redesigned a web-page for the professional billing team. I would not have been able to accomplish this without the knowledge I gained in an eCommerce class I took for my minor in computer science. Reading and understanding the HTML code is a very useful skill to have – and building the page was a lot of fun! All in all, there is no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am without the knowledge, help and support I received from my professors at SMC.

Emma Hauser '13

I began my work with Epic in Verona, WI in August of 2013. Epic makes electronic medical record software for mid to large size medical groups, hospitals, and integrated healthcare organizations. I work on the access side of the system, in the Eligibility application. On Eligibility, we mainly work with bi-directional real-time interfaces, connecting from our system to clearinghouses and/or payers, to verify coverage and benefits for patients in our hospitals.

I’ve just recently hit my two year mark at Epic, and my one year mark as a Software Quality Assurance Team Lead. I started at Epic as a Quality Assurance team member on the Eligibility Team. As a Software tester, my main role was to ensure that the software we released was high quality, easy to use, and fun for our end users.

Now, as a Quality Assurance Team Lead, I oversee the overall quality of my application, manage team members and their workloads, and work with the development team lead to prioritize new projects on the team. Outside of my main role, I was able to use some of the computer science skills I learned at Saint Michael’s in creating and maintaining an excel based tool that evaluates external data through SQL to give build suggestions, and uncover best practices for implementation of our software. I also travel to our community member hospitals to speak with end-users, uncover issues in the software, and assist during software go-lives.

Saint Michael’s College, and majoring in Mathematics, prepared me for the technical troubleshooting and problem solving that goes into testing software. But on top of that, the professors, especially those in the mathematics department, the athletics, and campus life at Saint Mike’s provided me with the social, moral, and critical thinking skills necessary for success in any career role I might face. SMC provided me with the capability to pick up technologies quickly, adaptability in tricky situations, and the self-awareness and confidence to grow as a manager and work with many different personality types, all skills essential to my career growth.

For more information regarding my position or Epic, please feel free to contact me at

Eric Parziale '13

eric parziale

I just started a new role as a software engineer at Goldman Sachs in Burlington Vermont, and I'm psyched to be working for such a well-respected company and living back in VT! 

Before joining Goldman, I spent two years as a software developer at Credit Suisse in New York City. At CS I worked as part of the bank's equity swap trading team, and I really enjoyed the fast-paced environment of financial software. My team interacted with traders on a daily basis, built and maintained high-volume trade processing applications, and provided data analytics for a global business.

Building on the experience at Credit Suisse, I was fortunate to earn an opportunity with Goldman's fixed income team in Burlington. My new team directly supports the bank's Stable Value portfolio management desk, and I continue to find the balance of business and technical challenges very exciting. Whether building a new web feature or automating a previously manual process, every day presents a new and interesting puzzle. 

Looking back, I'm very thankful for my time at Saint Mike's. I was very fortunate to have the support of the college's alumni network throughout my four years, and I truly believe that the culture and community at Saint Michael's shaped the person I am today. 

Whether asking questions in small classes led by knowledgeable and passionate professors, engaging in the sports and activities on campus, or learning how to start a conversation while riding a chairlift at Smuggs, the unique balance of opportunities at SMC creates a learning experience that can't be beat. 

Emily Pratt '12

emily pratt

I am currently working as a Proposal Design Consultant at National Life Group. National Life Group is a life insurance company located in Montpelier, Vermont. I began working here over four years ago as the Product Development Actuarial Intern. I held that position for 7 months and then transitioned over to the job I hold today. I worked two days a week the Spring semester of my Senior year and began working full-time as soon as I graduated from Saint Michael's College. I still work closely with the Actuaries, but I don't work on creating the life insurance products like I did during my internship. Instead, I work on testing the software that we use to illustrate the life insurance policies. Just over a year ago we launched a new web-enabled illustration system. This was very exciting for us as it made us one of the first life insurance companies to have such a system! When we went live with this new web-enabled system we had a number of our life insurance products moved over to the new system, while some still lived in our old desktop illustration system. Over the past year, we have continued to add/convert products and make enhancements to the new system, while also continuing to maintain and improve the desktop illustration system as well.

As a Proposal Design Consultant I spend my days writing test cases, performing tests, managing (opening, re-testing, closing, etc.) defects, performing peer review on product specifications, writing specifications myself, performing installation testing, and more. In the last three years I have written complete sets of test cases for about five products (these sets of test cases contain around 500 cases each) as well as written a number of sets of test cases for product/rider enhancements, performed testing on over 10 different products as well as numerous product/rider enhancements, managed hundreds of defects, performed specification review on any product/enhancement that was put into either the web-enabled system or the desktop system, and performed installation testing on different operating systems and with different browsers before every release (typically we have 3 or 4 releases every year).

Saint Michael's really prepared me for life after college. By majoring in math, I developed the work ethic and analytic skills needed to succeed after college. Both of these skills have been very useful in my success as a Proposal Design Consultant. I also majored in economics which helped me in understanding how insurance works. Majoring in Mathematics and Economics at Saint Michael's College did a great job at preparing me for my career at National Life.

Edward Hakey '11

ed hakey I began my career with National Life in Montpelier, Vermont as a Corporate Actuarial Intern in September of 2010.  In the spring of 2011 I took a permanent position in Product Development as a Business Analyst working with and supporting the actuaries who price our Life Insurance products.  While working under the title of “Business Analyst”, I helped to lead an effort to rebrand our positions as “Actuarial Systems Analysts”.  Our day to day tasks focused on the testing and validation of the systems used to illustrate and administer our products.  While the actuaries were charged with developing the formulas used for calculation of premiums and charges of our products, my area was tasked with assuring that the formulas and calculations were properly implemented by developers on the systems.  This effort required the development of test plans and strategies as well as individual test cases and scenarios specific to the product and system being tested.

My experience testing in a product specific role lead to me being offered my current position as “Quality Assurance Lead” in the newly formed Business Delivery Office in early 2015.   The BDO as an organization offers such services as organizational design and opportunity, strategic roadmap development and planning, quality assurance, business analysis, project management, and process improvement.  As a part of the Quality Assurance team, I am heavily involved in the majority of software and testing related initiatives throughout the company as a whole.  We lead efforts to develop test strategy, planning, coordination, execution, and reporting on an individual basis as well as tailoring each of these to the specific needs of each project.

My time at Saint Michael’s College prepared me well for my career with National Life.  My background in mathematics and computer science allows me to think logically as well as analyze and mediate any risks to project delivery.  Much of my job requires me to communicate clearly and efficiently with IT Developers and Programmers as well as Business Users and Stakeholders.  This requires an extensive technical background and also the ability to keep up with the ever changing business trends of the Life Insurance industry.

For more information about me, Quality Assurance, or opportunities with National Life, please feel free to contact me at

Kate Berry '09

I am a Customer Success Specialist in the Systems Engineering group at Avid Technology in Woburn, MA. I've been at Avid for a little over a year and I really love it. The product I support is called Interplay Media Asset Management (MAM for short), which is essentially a big database used to store video archives. There's a lot of customization involved at each site, which means they're all set up very differently, and one of the ways they're customized is via short pieces of code called workflows. They're written in a proprietary coding language, but it's really similar to some of the languages I learned at St. Mike's and a lot of the time when I'm troubleshooting an error for a customer, I start with the following the code in the workflow.

Most of our customers are big tv stations, like NBC, CBS, Supersport (in South Africa), Caracol (in Columbia), and M6 (in Paris) to name a few. The coolest thing I've gotten to do so far was work tech support for NBC Sports during the Sochi Olympics – my name was even in the credits. I work on issues for customers all over the world, so I talk to people in France, Germany, South Africa, Ukraine and Columbia (to name a few) on a fairly regular basis, which is also pretty awesome. Plus I work with a great group of colleagues, which I’ve found is extremely important.

My education at St. Mike's definitely provided a foundation to thrive in this industry. My double major enabled me to have a strong background in mathematics as well as computer science. Obviously, the CS background has helped when debugging code, but the logic I learned in my math classes has been key – you'd be surprised how many times errors are caused by improper use of parentheses. In addition, the Liberal Studies aspect of my education at St. Mike's has been extremely valuable. In today’s world, there is a shortage of technical people with the ability to express themselves to non-technical people. Between Liberal Studies requirements and peer tutoring, I left St. Mike's with all the necessary skills to work efficiently with both customers and engineers.

Claudette Foisy Fowler '09

I currently work at MathWorks, a developer of technical computing software located in Natick, MA. MathWorks develops two main products, MATLAB and Simulink. I work as a technical writer for the MATLAB product, specifically with the graphics team. As a technical writer, I write user-focused content and develop examples to show how to use the software. Before working at MathWorks, I completed a Master's in Mathematics at Clarkson University where I worked as a research assistant and a teaching assistant.

My education at St. Mike's provided me with the strong mathematical background necessary for pursuing graduate school. The professors provided a great balance of pushing students to work hard while always being available for extra help outside the classroom. The extra push to work hard as an undergraduate has helped ease the transition to the heavy workload of graduate classes. My classes at St. Mike's also introduced me to the concept of using software to solve mathematical equations, which eventually led to the job I have now! One thing I will never forget about my experience at St. Mike's is the approachability, encouragement, and support I received from all the professors in the mathematics department.

Aaron Desrochers '04

aaron desrochers

Ever since I was introduced to algebra in sixth grade I started truly enjoying math. With mathematics you need to have a solid foundation in the fundamentals before you can begin to solve and really understand more complex problems. This same approach applies to all learning, but is never represented cleaner and more straightforward than with mathematical principles.

After I graduated in 2004 I didn't have a set plan in place for my career. Instead my wife Carolyn and I choose to save some money living with our parents for a few months and go on a tour of the country. Two months and 12,000 miles later we realized how much we both loved Vermont and we eventually made our way back up to Burlington to stay.

After searching for two weeks I got a job as a lab technician at Penro Specialty Compounding Pharmacy in Colchester Village. For the next three years one of my most important responsibilities was performing calculations to verify that each prescription's concentration was correct. Each formula was written first by the pharmacist and then checked for accuracy by the technicians. I was a "shoe- in" for the position because of my mathematics degree.

Eventually I left the lab to work for Data Systems Inc, a Burlington based Software Company that specializes in customized order fulfillment, accounting, and E-commerce solutions. The logical principals I acquired in my mathematics education have helped greatly in the transition to programming logic in PROIV, a fourth generation rapid application development language. My current job title is Software Developer / Administrator, but I have also taken over as bookkeeper and am learning the ropes of sales.

I truly believe that my mathematics degree from Saint Michael's has helped me stand out from the crowd at every job interview and has opened many doors for me already. My thanks go out the fantastically dedicated teachers at Saint Mike's who helped make this all possible!

Kimberly Corbeil Martens '85

My position is in Manager Software Development and Commercial Market IT Strategic Services for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.

Saint Michael's was great! The mathematics curriculum provided me with solid analytical thinking and problem solving skills that are very much required in the success of software development.

Learn What Matters