Police officer. Cybersecurity expert. Fashion designer. Construction project manager.
Let’s all agree: Alumni from the College of Applied Science and Technology go on to careers that just sound—for lack of a better word—cool. And those four are just scratching the surface.
The college’s 2015 Science and Technology Week ran from April 6–10. The weeklong series of events celebrated advancements in the field of science and technology, as well as the hardworking, dedicated students and professionals who make those advancements possible.
To mark the occasion, the STATEside crew thought this was the perfect time to introduce you to several #ISUSciTech alums who have a cooler job than you. (No offense.)
Ryan Nuccio ’09
Research and development scientist, Gatorade Sports Science Institute
As a researcher for the biggest name in sports hydration, Nuccio is putting his Illinois State education to use as a co-investigator with clinical research, assisting with the construction of research papers, and improving the way GSSI collects, stores, and shares its discoveries.
“There’s always something happening, and it’s all things I enjoy,” Nuccio said.
Nuccio studied food, nutrition, and dietetics in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.
J. Aggabao, M.S. ’13
Assistant strength coach, St. Louis Rams
This Navy veteran’s elite job is exactly as cool as it sounds, and way more data-driven than you can imagine. He recently finished his second season with the Rams, after successfully turning a yearlong internship into a full-time job—one of only 80 in the league.
His time at Illinois State, including as a Redbird coach, was instrumental.
“Being involved with so many different sports (at ISU) made me a better coach,” said Aggabao, who studied exercise physiology in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation.
Dori Byard ’96
Global responsible sourcing manager, Wrigley
At Wrigley, a Fortune 100 company widely recognized for its confections (including gum, mints, and various candies), Byard is responsible for making sure that suppliers are complying with the company’s standards for sourcing.
Traveling globally for Wrigley has opened Byard’s eyes to the issues that people in other countries face, such as unsafe working conditions and human rights violations.
“My current role gives me the opportunity to make a difference for others with the support and resources of a major multinational global company,” said Byard, a graduate of the Department of Agriculture.
Nick May ’13
Assistant project superintendent, Walsh Construction
May’s office is unique: the Ohio River. In his role with Walsh Construction, May is currently working on one of the largest bridge projects in United States. Valued at $990 million, the Ohio River Bridges project is a cable-stayed bridge with three towers.
“We work long hours, sometimes in adverse weather conditions. You’re expected to get dirty, and work under tight deadlines. But if you can get past that, I truly believe that this is the best field in the entire world,” said May.
May studied construction management in the Department of Technology.
Lacey Walsh ’13
Assistant environmental health consultant, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Walsh travels by small airplane, boat, or snow machine to remote parts of Alaska that few others ever have the privilege of seeing. Walsh visits Alaska’s 229 federally recognized tribes to conduct environmental health surveys and provide air-quality services.
Walsh studied environmental health in the Department of Health Sciences.
“I never would I have guessed that I would be living in Alaska and working in remote villages,” said Walsh. “All it took was a split second of courage—and an eight-hour plane ride—for me to have the most exciting and rewarding job I could possibly imagine.”
Bill Grant ’86
Special agent, Drug Enforcement Administration
In his current assignment as acting deputy assistant administrator for the DEA’s Office of Investigative Technology, Grant stays on top of the changing ways that technology interacts with enforcing federal drug laws.
Grant’s 140-person team supports DEA offices worldwide with technical expertise and assistance.
“It is extremely rewarding to assist an office and see the final results of the case due to the outstanding work that the people in my office do,” said Grant.
Grant credits his career success to his time as a student in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences.
Stacy Seaworth ’94
3rd Military Intelligence Battalion commander, U.S. Army
For the last 19 months, Seaworth has been responsible for providing intelligence support to the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and Eight Army (8A) commanders. She routinely flies an RC-12 Guardrail plane along the most heavily fortified border in the Pacific Region, and helps to provide an early warning to the U.S. and Republic of Korea forces of hostile actions by North Koreans.
As a graduate of Illinois State’s ROTC program, Seaworth wants students to know that serving in the Army requires commitment and sacrifice unlike any other job in the world.
“The good news is that the reward for the dedication and loyalty to your country far exceeds the price,” said Seaworth, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. “The soldiers you serve with will be some of the most gifted, selfless people in the world.”
Seaworth shared that her current job is the toughest that she has ever endured in the Army, including several deployments in the Middle East. There are no days off from the battalion, and her mission requires both day and night flights, regardless of holidays or weekends.
“The soldiers in the 3rd M.I. remain dedicated to the mission and each other,” said Seaworth.
Pete Lamonica ’07
Software development engineer, Amazon
Lamonica is a software development engineer for Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save,” a program that allows customers to create recurring deliveries of items they buy regularly. His job allows him to work with Amazon’s unique computing systems, designed to work efficiently on a very large scale.
Lamonica shares that sometimes people are tempted to go into the field because of the rumors of foosball tables at the office and hefty stock grants.
“If that’s why you are doing it, you should probably do something else,” he said.
In reality, software development is a great field for people who are always looking for ways to solve problems creatively and efficiently.
“If you enjoyed your programming classes, you’ll love being a software engineer,” he said.
“I get paid to do something I love to do. That’s pretty awesome,” said Lamonica, an alum of the School of Information Technology.
Ryan Denham can be reached at rmdenha@IllinoisState.edu. Kara Pool can be reached at kepool@IllinoisState.edu.