Information Systems Alumni Updates
From Utah to Atlanta to Hong Kong, Brigham Young University information systems graduates are contributing far and wide—and working with more than just computers. Here’s an update on a few notable alumni, as featured in the Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 issues of Marriott Alumni Magazine.
If you thought Marriott School information systems grads were all about data, Shanna Preece Webb defies the stereotype. Her business acumen comes with a talent for music. She received her bachelor’s degree in business management with an emphasis in information systems in 1995. Now she’s an independent piano instructor. She also volunteers as an accompanist for local choral and instrumental groups and sings with the Reston Chorale. Previously Webb worked for DHI Computing Services as a programmer analyst. She and her husband, Aaron, live in Reston, Virginia, and have four children. Her hobbies include cooking, visiting historical sites, and volunteering at a local elementary school.
Earning tenure and an early promotion to full professor is a welcome gift at any time of the year, but in Paul Benjamin Lowry’s case, it was Christmas in July. Lowry, who received these honors last summer, is a professor of information systems in the College of Business at City University of Hong Kong and associate director of the college’s MBA program. He has more than 140 publications and was recently ranked the ninth most productive information systems scholar. Lowry received his BS in information management in 1991 and MBA in 1997, both from BYU, and his PhD from the University of Arizona in 2002. He is married to fellow Marriott School alum Michelle, who earned a BS in finance in 1998 and a MAcc in 2004. She is currently completing her PhD in accountancy at the University of Hong Kong.
Of his alma mater, Chris Gnanapragasam has nothing but good things to say. As an international student, he felt right at home despite being thousands of miles away from friends and family in Sri Lanka. After beginning his studies at Ricks College, Gnanapragasam transferred to BYU and received his BS in information systems management from the Marriott School in 1998. He is now a pastoral minister for St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church near Atlanta. He handles database management, ministers to the sick and elderly, and supervises daily and Sunday masses. The parish serves nearly two thousand families in the Sandy Springs, Georgia, community. Prior to his minister position, Gnanapragasam worked for Learn.net as a computer programmer and data analyst. His hobbies include playing tennis and cricket. While he enjoys Atlanta’s sunnier climate, he fondly remembers the first time he experienced Idaho’s snow, even though it involved a slip and a fall.
Christopher Bailey is all about innovation, and his job title proves it. As an innovation catalyst at ExxonMobil, he works with IT to provide tools and techniques that develop and drive a culture of new ideas within the company. Bailey has been with ExxonMobil since 2006; prior to his current position, he worked as a project manager and Unix systems administrator for the company. He also teaches information systems courses as an adjunct at the University of Houston–Downtown. Bailey graduated from the Marriott School in 2006 with master’s and bachelor’s degrees in information systems. He completed an associate’s degree in computer science at BYU–Idaho in 2002. He and his wife, Erin, live in Humble, Texas, with their three boys. Bailey enjoys collecting Legos, beta testing video games, and gardening.
Turning rough lumber into fine items provides Roger Bartholomew a welcome escape from the computer desk. In addition to woodworking, the information systems alum enjoys completing a variety of DIY home projects, writing, and spending time with his wife, Brittany, and their three children. Professionally, he’s a business intelligence developer at Overstock.com, the country’s second largest online-only retailer. He’s been with the company since June 2013. Before that he worked as a business associate at Huron Consulting Group. Bartholomew received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in information systems from the Marriott School in 2009. He and his family live in Salt Lake City.