Alumnus finds great success, gives back to Penn State Brandywine

Shawn Manderson'03 IST is ten years out of the collegiate halls of Penn State Brandywine and is already making a name for himself in the field of IT auditing. Since earning his bachelor of science degree with a minor in business administration, Manderson has traveled nationally and internationally, for the likes of Ernst and Young, ARAMARK and his current employer, FMC Corporation -- one of the world's foremost diversified chemical companies, headquartered in Philadelphia.
In 1999, Manderson started college at the Hazleton campus with mechanical engineering as his intended major. But, that all changed two years later when he discovered the newly created IST major. Always the extravert, Manderson believed IST better suited his outgoing personality by combining his people skills with his love for computers and technology. With a well thought-out plan for success -- graduate in four years, live near a city for internship opportunities, networking and, ultimately, find a job where he could travel the world -- Manderson chose to finish his degree at the Brandywine campus due to its proximity to Philadelphia.

"I remember coming on campus and I just fell in love with the campus because the student body was diverse. The admissions staff that showed me around and the Lion Ambassadors were just amazing," enthused Manderson. "Walking through all the buildings on campus, I felt at home. I knew Delaware County [the name of the campus at the time] was where I wanted to be. It was one of the best decisions I ever made because it set me up for my career where I am at today."

While a student at Brandywine, Manderson was involved with a very active student government (SGA). They made diversity their mantra by creating the International Awareness club. He also wrote for the student newspaper The Lion's Eye, played intramural basketball and baseball, worked part-time and interned with several local companies, including the campus' ITS department. 

"Remember at this time (2001), IT was really starting to blossom," said Manderson. "This is when IT was beginning to get more sophisticated than just fixing computers and going online. That was good timing for me because it gave me the hands-on experience and confidence I needed to go out in the real world."

Retired employee Gordon Crompton, Manderson's boss and mentor in Brandywine's ITS department, had this to say about the driven undergraduate: "We loved him in IT. We were impressed with his work." Speaking of Manderson's involvement with SGA, Crompton continued, "Shawn practically rewrote the student constitution. He was a key member of one of the best student governments Brandywine has ever seen."

After graduating in 2003, Manderson began his career as a consultant in Ernst and Young's Risk Advisory Services practice in the Philadelphia office. After four years, he transitioned to ARAMARK's Corporate Audit and Controls Services division. He obtained his Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) designation in 2010 and then joined the internal audit department of FMC in 2012, where he continues to work today. As an IT auditor for each of these companies, Manderson has traveled beyond the city of Brotherly Love to more than 30 states, parts of South America, most of Europe and he'll be traveling "down under" this summer.

Manderson's intense travel schedule -- more than 50 percent of his time -- doesn't seem to hinder his ability to give back to his alma mater. He continues his connection with Penn State as an active member of the Alumni Council -- the governing body of the Penn State Alumni Association -- while concurrently serving his second term as president of the Penn State Brandywine Alumni Society, which helps keep alumni and students connected to the campus by hosting graduation dinners, networking events and fundraisers for the alumni and chartering an alumni-student mentoring group. The society is active, vocal and has a presence on the suburban campus. 

However, the biggest accomplishment of his tenure as president, according to Manderson, has been the establishment of the Penn State Brandywine Alumni Society Trustee Matching Endowed Scholarship in November 2011. Nearly $15,000 has been raised to date. "The best thing about this scholarship," Manderson said, "is once we reach our goal of $50,000, it turns into a $100,000 gift for the campus. That's a great feeling to have, knowing you are leaving that sort of legacy behind, but it's a humbling one as well."

Crompton added, "Shawn has done some incredible things for Penn State Brandywine. He is really dedicated to the students and the campus ? he is out there really doing a lot of things for the campus from an alumni perspective."

"Sometimes it's important to take care of home as an alum," Manderson said. And this is home."

To get involved with the Penn State Brandywine Alumni Society or for more information visit online.

-by Nancy McCann