Meet the Alumni Society Board: Josh Hoch, class of 2009

Jessica Hallman
August 30, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The IST Alumni Society exists for graduates of the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology to benefit from networking opportunities, mentor current students, and engage with the College of IST in the years after graduation. These initiatives and opportunities are made possible by the alumni who volunteer for the College of Information Sciences and Technology Alumni Society Board. Special thanks to Josh Hoch, class of 2009, a Harrisburg-based software engineer/systems administrator for the health care industry, who recently joined the board. “The College of IST does a tremendous job of laying a solid foundation for any of its alumni to have strong, fruitful careers,” he said. “What a better way to give back than by re-engaging with the college?”

What drew you to Penn State and the College of IST as a student?

I grew up in a Penn State family, so attending the University was a forgone conclusion for me. The ironic part about that is that I am the first one in my family to actually attend Penn State. I chose the College of IST because I was fascinated to learn more about computers and the information technology realm as a whole, specifically databases and software development.

Which class, teacher or lesson made the biggest impact on you, and how?

The late professor David Hall made the biggest impact on me because of his steadiness as a professor and overall willingness to help his students bring out their best effort, whether that meant spending extra time on a topic in class or scheduling office hours, he was willing to do whatever it took to help his students! Professor Hall was always smiling, saying hello to students and folks passing by throughout the day. He was just a great, genuine guy that you never would have thought was a professor and eventual dean of the College of IST.

Talk a bit about your career path since graduation. How did the College of IST prepare you for your current position?

My career path has been an interesting one, but I can confidently say that each journey I have been on has helped prepare me for the next. I started out as a database engineer for Lockheed Martin, made a jump into IT consulting for a little bit as a developer, then made a change to the supply chain industry aiding with system startups and reporting/analytics. That has all led me to where I am now in the health care industry as a software engineer/systems administrator. The College of IST taught me the numerous avenues there are in the IT industry, as well as helped me become a well-rounded IT individual. By way of the College of IST, I was able to polish my IT skills and knowledge to guide me into the career path best suited for me.

Why do you choose to volunteer for the Alumni Society Board?

I was a volunteer for the local Penn State alumni chapter in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area for a total of six years, serving as the vice president and president for a total of four years. I was looking for different ways to get back involved and give back to Penn State, specifically the College of IST. I figured my experience as a chapter leader, being an alumnus from the College of IST, and my real-world experiences in the IT industry would help the Alumni Society Board continue its upward trajectory for the betterment of the College of IST, its current and future students, as well as all alumni.

Why would you encourage other alumni to re-engage with the college in their alumni years?

As an alumnus from the college, re-engaging with the College of IST will help you "remember where you came from," and provide a sense of accomplishment for where you once started out, as an 18-year-old freshman, to wherever you are in your career. The College of IST does a tremendous job of laying a solid foundation for any of its alumni to have strong, fruitful careers. What a better way to give back than by re-engaging with the college?

What is your advice to current and future students in the college?

Do not be afraid to ask stupid questions. If you are not sure of something, ask a fellow student, teaching assistant or professor. At the end of the day, we are all at Penn State to help one another continue to grow our minds and interpersonal skills, whether that be as a student of IST or socially outside of the classroom.

Were you involved in any organizations or extracurricular activities in the college or at Penn State? How did they help to enhance your college experience?

I was involved with the Penn State club baseball team, Student Nittany Lion Club, and Paternoville. Most notably, being a part of the Penn State club baseball team helped me stay balanced between school, friends and playing the sport I love. This equated to me becoming a more disciplined individual in and out of the classroom.

What additional information would you like to share?

I was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Middletown, Pennsylvania. My wife and I currently live in Harrisburg with our dog and two cats. I enjoy running, hiking, camping, the beach, road trips, traveling and beer. My wife and I are Penn State football season ticket holders, so that takes up the majority of our time in the fall. When Penn State is on the road (and we are not there), we oftentimes have tailgate parties at our house with friends and family.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

For The Glory!

Click here to learn more about the IST Alumni Society and opportunities to re-engage in your alumni years.

Last Updated August 30, 2019