Double time: Fraternal twins enroll in two separate degree programs at IST

Sarah Rothfleisch
October 08, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When Harrison and Jarrod Keating, fraternal twin brothers from Verona, New Jersey, were searching for colleges during their senior year of high school, they spent a long time trying to make the best decision. Both interested in information sciences, the brothers visited schools like Syracuse, Indiana and Rutgers, but didn’t quite find the programs they were looking for.

Keating twins

Jarrod (left) and Harrison Keating are fraternal twins and also first-year students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

IMAGE: Provided

Jarrod knew he wanted to major in data sciences, but Harrison thought initially about going into business. After exploring the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, the decision was easy — Jarrod came to the University to study applied data sciences, and Harrison came for the security and risk analysis program.

“We both always liked math and science,” said Harrison. “Penn State’s College of IST was the perfect place for us to expand on that.”

In addition to an affinity for math and science, the twins share a lot of other similar interests. Both played hockey and lacrosse in high school in Verona, New Jersey, are avid football fans and hope to try out the student hockey league together.

Now that they go to the same university, not much has changed — they still share a lot of the same interests, which has led to them sharing similar friend groups. And, they’re focusing on their future careers, together.

“I’ve always wanted to work in government,” said Harrison. “When I visited [Penn State] and found out how much opportunity there is for security and risk analysis graduates in the government, that was it.”

As for Jarrod, he always wanted to do more with math and science since he had a natural talent for it, and data sciences seemed like the perfect major. Even better, he also liked the fact that there was so much opportunity for employment after graduation.

“I found out when I visited about how much of a demand there is for IST students,” he said. “And even more for students from Penn State’s IST programs.”

As it turns out, there are a lot of perks associated with having your twin at your school.

“I know I can go to him when I need help with schoolwork, or I want to study some stuff with him,” said Harrison.

”The nice thing about having your twin in the same college at the same university as you is that you always have someone to remind you of events going on at the college, and go with you to check them out,” agreed Jarrod.

Although Harrison and Jarrod had no plans to attend the same school, let alone enroll in the same college, it seems to have worked out for the best, they said. Now each of them can explore their individual goals while relying on the same support network with which they grew up.

Last Updated January 22, 2020