Meet the Advisory Board of the UW Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing

UW Extended Campus August 10, 2022
Headshots of UW Applied Computing Advisory Board members

The online Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing is supported by an advisory board consisting of 8 to 12 representatives from the industry who serve as advisors, ambassadors, and referral agents to the program.

The advisory board meets bi-annually and members provide constructive feedback regarding changes in the industry and how those changes affect program graduates. The meetings ensure the program and curriculum stays relevant to trends in applied computing. Board members are also asked to host students working on capstone projects, and create smooth school-to-work transitions, so that as students graduate from the program they will move to gainful employment.

The advisory board provides recognized leaders in the field with a unique opportunity to further shape the program and applied computing profession. Learn more about the Advisory Board Member Responsibilities and Advisory Board Guidelines.

If you’re interested in joining the advisory board, please complete the Advisory Board Member Questionnaire for consideration.  We’ll be in touch after submission regarding next steps.

Current UW Applied Computing Advisory Board Members

Vinny Carpenter is the Vice President of Cloud & DevOps Engineering at Northwestern Mutual, a financial services company based in Milwaukee, WI.  He has 30 years of experience and substantial success in directing enterprise-wide software development, engineering, and architecture efforts in education, manufacturing, financial services, and investment management.  In his career, Vinny has worked for large global multinationals to small entrepreneurial companies.

Vinny graduated from Marquette University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering.

Fulton “Derrick” Edwards; President of AGS Systems; Mr. Edwards has over 35 years’ experience in the commercial software development, consulting, and data analysis industry, and currently serves as the President and Chief Technical Officer of AGS Data Systems.  He received his Undergraduate Degree in Software Systems Design from the University of Alabama and his Master of Science Computer Science from UW River Falls.

Within the UW system he has been involved with several programs, including the UWRF Innovation Challenge, Innovator-in-Residence, and the Bridgeway Scholars. He is a PADI certified Master Scuba Diver and photography enthusiast with an interest in shipwreck photogrammetry.


Hamed El-Afandi; Senior Program Manager at GE Healthcare; Hamed El-Afandi graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a PhD in Computer Science.  He has been working for GE Heathcare as Senior Program Manager for over 19 years and teaching for over 11 years. Teaching topics include: Software Design & Architecture, Software Engineering, Software Verification and Testing, Capstone, Program Management, and  High-Performance Computing courses.


Joe Pfiffner; Director of IT at Sentry Insurance; Joe graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in MIS and has his MBA from UW-Whitewater.  He has worked for Sentry Insurance for 19 years in the IT industry, starting as a software developer, and has been Director of Software Development at Sentry for the last 8 years.  His IT focus has primarily been on application development in Java and .Net, but he is also responsible for imaging solutions, publishing systems, document management systems, shared service applications, print/mail/scanning operations, various vendor platforms, remittance processing, and support of legacy mainframe systems.
Jason Poquette; Vice President of Platform Engineering at Virgin Pulse.  Jason Poquette has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years.  In that time, he has had the opportunity to work at companies that range from small to Fortune 500 companies and lead small to large geographic dispersed teams.  The thing he has enjoyed the most about the IT field, is how fast it changes.  The creates constant new opportunities that hadn’t existed only a few years prior.

Lori Plate; Senior Director of IT at Johnsonville LLC; As Senior Director of IT at Johnsonville, Lori is responsible for providing strategy, leadership, management and development of the Enterprise Applications team implementing and supporting Johnsonville’s SAP, Applications, Business Intelligence, Development, Applications Security and EDI environments.  Lori joined Johnsonville in 2008 and has held various roles in the MIS organization including BI Business Analyst, Sales and Marketing Business Partner and Project Manager.  Before joining Johnsonville, Lori was a Principal Business Analyst for Sales, Marketing and Distribution at Miller Brewing Company and has also spent time working in the Financial Services, Manufacturing and Consulting Areas. Lori is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison with a Bachelors of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Todd Whitenack; CIO/VP of IT at Cellcom; In January 2008, Todd Whitenack joined the Nsight family of companies as the chief information officer and VP of information technology. Todd adds 24 years of experience to the information technology department. In this position, he is directly responsible for all of IT, including the development and maintenance of all computer systems, IT purchasing, billing, mobile applications and the customer websites. Todd graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science. He completed graduate work in computer science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Todd began his career as a software engineer and worked his way to his most recent position as vice president and chief technical officer at One Communications in Rochester, New York.

Carl Schweitzer, Senior Software Development Engineer at Microsoft; Carl graduated from UW – Green Bay with a degree in Computer Science. As an engineer, Carl works with some of Microsoft’s largest partners, advising and enabling them to ship new products and features to the cloud even faster. Carl has 2 decades of experience in manufacturing and over 10 years of experience in building IoT applications. In addition to his professional experience, Carl speaks at local and regional software engineering conferences, and assists with running the North East Wisconsin Developers User Group and the Milwaukee Code Camp. He also volunteers at his local High School teaching Computer Science.

Peter Ikusz; Senior Information Security Architect at Thompson Reuters


Programs: Applied Computing