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

Ryota Ishisaka '14

I currently work as a member of Technical Operation team at Ve Japan, an affiliate of Ve Interactive for the territory towards Japan/Australia/NewZealand/Korea, which provides solutions for various websites to prevent their customers from abandonments. The team of Technical Operation takes charge of all processes of integrating our services to our clients’ websites or web services. To name a few of my team’s processes, our team analyzes the structures of websites, issues JavaScript tags that will be set in the websites, designs drafts of advertisement creatives, and tests that the creatives work properly in the websites. In addition to our normal processes, our team also contacts clients a lot via e-mails, phones, and actually at their offices.

The position requires from me flexibility and patience when I explain our company’s services to clients (as you may know, not everyone in the world knows well about how Web works, JavaScript behaves, etc!), when I make the clients’ campaigns successful with colleagues of different positions such as sales, and when I have to investigate problems such as not showing creatives properly in the websites. To summarize, I need abilities to understand and digest technical knowledge and then to deliver those information and skills correctly to whomever is not very much familiar with technology (I’m like a “bridge” from technology to people.)

The undergraduate education that I received at Saint Michael’s College truly is the foundation for my success at Ve Interactive. Thinking analytically, logically, and critically which I learned in Mathematics supports me when I communicate with clients and colleagues and when I create technical documents for my company. How websites work, how JavaScript realizes specific operations on websites, and how background systems and frontend systems interact when the campaigns are on live which I learned in Computer Science supports me to deliver daily tasks in my team. Double majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science very best matches to my current position.

My company was just founded in Japan and is growing rapidly day by day. There are numerous styles of working in Japan. Working in such a growing company is challenging but every day is very exciting. If you want to know more about working in Japan or want to spend your days in the exciting and fascinating environment with colleagues/clients from all over the world, please contact me at ryota.ishisaka at veinteractive dot com. (You can also visit our website (Japanese) or (English).)

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

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.

Michael Commo '11

Saint Michael’s College jump-started my career in software development. Not only was I better prepared for industry than I could have reasonably expected, but the workshops and tools that St. Mike’s offered to assist with resume building and to provide mock-interview experience were invaluable when it came time to job-search. These amenities, along with dedicated support from professors in the computer science and math departments, are some of the primary reasons why I had the opportunity to begin my career at IBM. 

I joined IBM when I graduated in 2011 as a Software Engineer. I developed ETL (extract, transform, load) software to continuously load their manufacturing information data warehouse. I also had the unique opportunity to help design and develop a prototype warehouse designed for aggregating financial and technical data to enable near-real-time reporting of business operations statistics. My mathematics minor was invaluable asset when it came to analyzing data, and the St. Mike’s statistics course has proven invaluable time and time again when it comes to gleaning insight from information.
I prefer (and thrive in) close, tight-knit environments; it’s one of the reasons why I chose to attended St. Mike’s. As such, I eventually left Big Blue in favor of a smaller firm.  I joined Galen Healthcare Solutions in 2013, a healthcare IT consulting company roughly 100 people strong that provides products and technical services to the healthcare industry. I started out providing technical consulting services to Galen’s clients: I’ve assisted clients with data conversions, implemented data warehouses, written reports, and developed middleware to allow disparate systems to work together and share information. I’d never expected to work so directly with clients while in industry, but the liberal education I received from St. Mike’s prepared me well for handling these social interactions professionally and gracefully. Presently, I am a Senior Software Engineer at Galen, where our relatively small development team is building a new product offering designed to support the consolidation and archival of electronic health records (EHR) systems. This offering is also designed to play the role of “the backup health records” should the primary system become temporarily unavailable. EHR systems tend to be large, complex, and sometimes unwieldly; despite that, they are also vital tools in providing quality patient care. As such, one of our goals is to ensure patient care is seamless and continual, even when the primary electronic health records systems are unavailable – and that’s the purpose of our VitalCenter product offering.

If you’re interested in a career in software development, or considering attending St. Mike’s, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me: 

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

In 2008 I started working as a software developer/bookkeeper for Data Systems Inc., a Burlington-based software company that specializes in customized order fulfillment, accounting, and E-commerce solutions. The logical principles I acquired in my mathematics education helped greatly in the transition to programming logic in PROIV, a fourth generation rapid application development language. Accounting principles were easy to pick up on, especially after getting through Calc III and Real Analysis!

Data Systems is structured as a worker cooperative; I’ll admit before I began working at DSI I had never heard of a worker coop before. For those in the same boat as me, worker cooperatives are business entities that are owned and controlled by their members, the people who work in them. So after a year of satisfactory employment I was offered the opportunity to purchase an ownership share in the Data Systems coop. I accepted and became one of Data Systems worker-owners. A few years later I became Data Systems’s president after a vote by the board of directors. I wear a lot of hats currently as is common at many worker coops and am involved in software development, customer support, business administration and sales.

Working at DSI has truly been a blessing, as a worker owner I have to opportunity to be my own boss and have a say in the direction of our company, as well as a share in the profits. We are currently supporting clients using legacy software applications, but hope to work on some new web-based applications for the wider ‘Coop Economy’. Currently I am an organizer for a burgeoning network of worker coops in Northern VT, known as the Green Mountain Cooperative Alliance.

Most importantly for me, my work/life balance is excellent and I have the freedom to spend lots of quality time with my wife, our 5 year old son, and 2 year old daughter. I truly believe that my mathematics degree from Saint Michael's has helped me stand out from the crowd at every job interview I have ever been on and has opened many doors for me so far. My thanks go out the fantastically dedicated teachers at Saint Mike's who helped make this all possible!

Tim Proctor '97

For the last 17 years, I've been working at Physician's Computer Company (PCC) based in the Champlain Mill of Winooski, VT.  PCC is a medical software company specializing in providing software and practice management solutions to about 200 independent pediatric practices nationwide. PCC has existed since the early 1980's and truly was a pioneer in the medical software industry providing billing, scheduling, and practice management software to pediatricians for over 30 years.  We have since added Electronic Health Record (EHR) clinical software and practice management consulting services. 

I started at PCC in 1999 working as an Installation, Training and Support Technician providing software and hardware support and training for our clients. I have since visited dozens of pediatric practices, installing and training administrative and clinical staff on PCC's software.  In 2005, I began working as a consultant to our clients, performing personalized financial assessments. Since then I have developed, maintained, and supported an online Dashboard application allowing pediatric practices to see key performance indicators compared to industry benchmarks. I have also become a subject matter expert in the realm of financial and clinical reporting and help our clients understand the ever-changing health care industry while also staying competitive.   

Soon after graduating from Saint Mike's I realized that I found great joy in teaching and helping adults understand technology.  While I enjoy the analytical part of my job (the data analysis and web development for example), I find that what I like most about my job at PCC is traveling to pediatric practices and helping them implement our software.  There is a great balance of customer service and data analysis in my job and I feel that the liberal arts education and experience at St. Mike's prepared me well for that.  In particular, the mathematics and computer science classes that I took have allowed me to excel at data analysis and programming, both of which are an integral part of my job. 

Many thanks to all the educators at St. Mike's who challenged me and taught me skills and knowledge useful in both the workplace and in life. I began telecommuting to PCC in 2010 when I moved to Cape Elizabeth, Maine where I now live happily with my wife and two kids.

Kimberly Corbeil Martens '85

I have just celebrated my 30th anniversary with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.  I have had various positions thru the years and most recently am managing a team of Security Analysts on Directory Services in the IT Hosting Security Operations department.  While Liberty Mutual is primarily an insurance company, IT is key to enabling the entire company to achieve its strategies and business objectives.  LM has a large technology team that combines technical know-how and business savvy to bring real-world results. Liberty Mutual IT provides the business with innovative applications, computing, security and communication services.  Liberty Mutual IT has evolved thru the years and I am continuously challenged and learning, adapting to changing environments, and applying my skills to make a difference.  I work with great people and Liberty Mutual offers in-depth technical training along with the soft skills training needed to work successfully.

I still have many fond memories of Saint Michael's!  From the basketball court to the classroom, each professor, coach and friend played a key role in developing who I am today. The mathematics curriculum provided me with solid analytical thinking and problem solving skills that are very much required for a successful IT career.  Professors challenged my thinking and staff members were much more than just coaches. They demonstrated love and compassion providing a sense of belonging to the SMC community. Several friends and teammates are still a part of my life today.  While I don’t get back to SMC as often as I would like, all those there, past and present, will always be family.  SMC is deeply rooted in our family as my husband and son are also SMC alums. When back on campus, it feels like we were students yesterday and not 30 years ago.

Chris Carroll '84

For my first 5 years in industry I was an application developer. I then moved to work on infrastructure teams that supported servers, storage, LAN’s, and WAN’s all while obtaining a masters degree at night. When I applied to graduate schools to get a masters degree in Computer Science I was accepted into more than one program. I do believe that my Mathematics degree played a role as most people have a real respect for students with a degree in Mathematics. As my career progressed in infrastructure I moved into management positions and managed teams of architects and engineers that developed global standards for LAN design, WAN design, secure networks, firewalls, telephony and voice infrastructure. This included managing a large enterprise network as a Director connecting business locations in the US, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. My last position, before becoming a professor was a Vice President at ACE; this position involved managing all of the Servers and Storage infrastructure for ACE’s US focused businesses.

I became an adjunct professor at Drexel University in 2010 and have been a full time teaching professor at Drexel University since 2012. I teach courses primarily in the BS in Information Technology and the BS in Computing Security and Technology programs (BSCST).

Mathematics majors solve complex problems over and over again while obtaining their degree. Guess what, IT is full of complex problems that need to be solved. When I attended St. Michael’s most all of my classes were very small. I had very close contact with my professors and it was an ideal learning environment. The analytical and problem solving skills that were embedded into me by St. Michael’s College many years ago have served me well throughout my entire career.

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