Andy Donato

Technology Director

Year: Senior
Hometown: Reading, PA
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Mathematics

Previous THON Involvement

THON 2018 - R&R CM
THON 2019 - TECH Captain - Dash Developer
THON 2020 - TECH Captain - Dash Project Manager

Why did you want to be a Director?

Prior to THON 2021, I served as a TECH captain for two years on the Dash team. I spent those years picking up technical skills and observing how the committee fit into THON's mission. I thrived in an environment where I felt my skill set could make a positive impact on this incredible organization. By the end of THON 2020, I decided I wanted to be a Director to fulfill my vision for the Technology committee. I wanted to devote my last year at Penn State to this organization, guiding a committee of my own to further the mission in TECH's unique fashion.

What responsibilities do you have as the Technology Director for THON 2021?

As Technology Director, my job is to oversee six development teams - Dash, THINK, Special Projects, User Experience,, and Systems. Together, TECH's teams develop and maintain THON's online platforms used by thousands of supporters and volunteers every year. While I lead a few larger initiatives myself, TECH captains handle the vast majority of the technical work. My responsibilities are mostly non-technical; my primary role is to provide guidance and support to each captain to keep the teams on track for success.

What is your favorite THON memory?

So many of my favorite memories from college are THON memories, but if I had to pick one, it would be the first time I walked onto the floor during THON 2018 as a CM. I thought I knew what to expect from videos and what others had told me, but it was the first time I got a true glimpse of what we worked for all year. In one electric moment, the noise of the crowd, the bustle of the floor, and the energy in the air beautifully summarized the yearlong effort of so many dedicated volunteers and supporters. From that point on, I knew I had found my home in THON, and I wanted to work to create more of those moments for the kids® and for the families.

Favorite Quote

"No amount of money ever bought a second of time." - Howard Stark

What are you involved in outside of THON?

Student Supervisor, Student Technology Services; Research Assistant, OPEN Design Lab

What are your plans for after you graduate from Penn State?

I will be looking for a job in either engineering or software/programming.