Featured Alumni

The CS Department has produced outstanding students since 1966, graduates of the CS Department have gone on to become thought leaders in industry around the world. We would like to highlight a few of our exceptional alumni and what they have accomplished, please see just a few of our many distinguished alumni below:

Cheryl Begandy

Cheryl Begandy Cheryl Begandy is the Director of External Relations and Outreach at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), which is a joint operation of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. PSC provides high-end computational resources to the nation’s scientists and researchers. It is funded mainly by federal agencies (NSF, NIH, DOE), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and private foundations and companies. Ms. Begandy oversees outreach programs for PSC including educational programs, with a particular emphasis on K-12 STEM education. This includes a program to introduce a multidisciplinary bioinformatics curriculum at the high school level, and a program to introduce coding to middle and high school girls. She oversees the PSC Corporate Affiliates Program through which private sector companies can utilize PSC resources and expertise. She is also responsible for PSC external communications through print, website and social media.

Prior to coming to PSC, Ms. Begandy worked for Alcoa in a variety of information technology management positions. For over ten years she was a division manager at the Alcoa Technical Center where she was responsible for directing scientists and engineers working in computational modeling, visualization, applied statistics, artificial intelligence, and computing and networking services.

She currently serves as Board President for Pittsburgh Musical Theater, a professional theater company and conservatory for young performing artists. PMT provides a venue for children of all skill levels, ages and backgrounds to express their desire to sing, dance and perform on stage. She advocates strongly for both STEM and Arts education. She also served on the Board, and was Board President for five years, for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, a sexual assault crisis center.

Ms. Begandy has a BS in Math and Computer Science and a MS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She believes that she was one of the first people to earn a BS in Computer Science at Pitt, graduating in the semester that the BS was established.

Chris Valasek

Chris Valasek Chris Valasek is a Security Lead at Uber’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh. Valasek is regarded for his work in the automotive security arena. Most recently, Valasek was lauded for the remote compromise of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, whereby he and his research partner obtained physical control of the vehicle. Valasek specializes in reverse engineering and exploitation research. Chris has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh and is the chairman of SummerCon, America’s longest running hacker conference.


Robert Seiner

Robert Seiner Robert (Bob) S. Seiner – Katz 1993, Pitt Comp Sci 1985 – is the President and Principal of KIK Consulting & Educational Services (KIKConsulting.com) and the Publisher of The Data Administration Newsletter (TDAN.com). In 2017, TDAN.com will celebrate its 20th anniversary and KIK Consulting will celebrate its 15th year of focusing on knowledge transfer and consultative mentoring in the fields of Data Governance, Privacy and Information Quality.

Bob was recently awarded the DAMA Professional Award for significant and demonstrable contributions to the data management industry. Bob specializes in Non-Invasive Data Governance™ and has authored a book of the same name. Bob has assisted many notable organizations and speaks regularly at national and international industry events and through a webinars series.

Bob is married with two daughters and has lived in Pittsburgh’s South Hills for more than twenty-five years.

Gerard Pompa

Gerard Pompa Gerard (Jerry) Pompa is Senior Vice President and Division Manager of the Communications Systems Division (CSD), and Director of Compunetix, Inc. Compunetix is the international leader in the design and development of voice and multimedia unified collaboration solutions. Mr. Pompa acquired his B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh where he also received his M.S. in Computer Science. Earlier in his career, Mr. Pompa was involved in the software engineering of teleconferencing systems for Compunetix and robotic software design and development for Westinghouse Electric Corp. In both domain areas Mr. Pompa has authored several technical publications and holds several patents. Mr. Pompa has been very involved in the unified collaboration industry for over 20 years, he is knowledgeable of the trends and future of the unified collaboration marketplace as well as software engineering, and he is a frequent speaker at industry events. Mr. Pompa received the industry’s Telespan PACE Award honoring unified collaboration professionals who have made a positive impact on shaping the industry. Memberships include Association of Computing Machinery (inducted Senior Member), International Multimedia Conferencing and Collaboration Association (board member), and a founding member and past chair of the University of Pittsburgh Computer Science Department Industry Board.

Lisa Schreiber

Lisa Schreiber Lisa Schreiber is currently the VP of North American Support Sales for Oracle, where she leads a large team focused on customer success, renewals, and addition services that ensure the success of on-premises customers. Her team covers Oracle’s top customers in North America, and is responsible for delivering a substantial portion of Oracle’s revenue, funding product development, R&D and support.

Named one of the Top 100 Women in Computing by McGraw-Hill, Lisa has applied her CS degree in many ways. Lisa’s career has taken her from leading engineering and support teams at start-ups like GoldenGate Software, to supervising technology deployment at established firms like Bank of America, Charles Schwab and Apple. She has been involved in many projects where technology was applied to a problem for the first time, including automated tellers and online brokerage services.

Lisa is thankful for her CS degree from Pitt, where the many School of Arts and Sciences degree options provided her opportunities to discover her own path to success. She is also grateful for the guidance and support of several key people during her college years. In particular, her freshman guidance counselor encouraged Lisa to take a CS class in her fall semester, providing the first steps of what would become a fulfilling professional journey

Lisa is a very active Pitt CS Department alumnus, speaking annually to students about her experiences in the computer industry, and encouraging young women to choose a major in the department. She has also served on the CS Department Industry Board, sharing her expertise to enhance the university.

Lisa currently lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she takes every opportunity to speak to schools, parent groups and children about the importance of STEM curriculum. She takes particular interest in encouraging girls to pursue higher education in STEM courses, and enter fields in science, technology, engineering or mathematics