Trent Sondag '13: Plugged into Technology
By Theresa Schmidt ‘09
One of society’s biggest struggles today is learning how to stay plugged in to technology without losing touch with nature, but Computer Information Systems major Trent Sondag ‘13 is living proof that you can still have the best of both worlds. “Since I work full-time I’m pretty much behind a desk from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., so when I get home I usually immediately go for a swim, run or bike ride. I find ways to do some work outside, whether that’s with a laptop sitting on the swing on the porch or just reading anywhere I can find shade. This seems to give me a good balance.”
"I’ve always been passionate about the environment ..."
A decorated Eagle Scout and vice-president of McKendree’s Green Team environmental group, Trent has learned a lot about balance from computer science professor and Green Team advisor - Jim Feher. He explains, “Jim brought me to one of the meetings because he knew about my love for recycling. I’ve always been passionate about the environment and have become more passionate by being around others who feel the same. The environment is such a fragile and delicate gift that so many people so often take for granted. It’s an honor to have fellow students and faculty members so active in making not only McKendree ‘greener’ but also the Lebanon community.” The beauty of campus certainly makes spending time outdoors easier.
"We built a brand new website from scratch for a non-profit organization of our choice."
True to McKendree’s spirit of community service, Trent has used his knowledge of technology for the betterment of society on a volunteer basis as well: “The things I’ve learned through my classes I’ve been blessed to be able to take and impact the community with. One semester in my systems design class, we built a brand new website from scratch for a non-profit organization of our choice. The non-profit that I worked with was the Lebanon Winter Wonderland. It was such a privilege and a neat experience to be able to meet with, develop a relationship with and help a non-profit organization get a fully functional website that met all of their wishes. At the end of the project, they were all incredibly grateful and thanked us profusely for something they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise without that technical background.”
"All of my computer science professors have taught me things that I’ve been able to translate into the working world ..."
‘Technical background’ is almost an understatement for Trent’s history. Trent already has extensive work experience, having worked as a technician for Norcom 2000 and America’s Center Corporation for five years and now serving as the Advanced Technology Center Intern at World Wide Technology. “All of my computer science professors have taught me things that I’ve been able to translate into the working world and that have made the transition to the internship relatively smooth,” Trent notes. “McKendree has allowed me to grow by guiding and teaching me how to become a more effective studier, have a stronger work ethic, ask more questions, prioritize and never give up.”
"Since I’ve always gone to smaller schools I wanted to maintain that individuality as a student and not become just a number."
In fact, it was McKendree’s intimate education style, combined with a glowing recommendation of the university from his brother and fellow alumnus Tyler Sondag ‘07, which originally drew Trent to campus. “McKendree since day one has been a perfect fit! Since I’ve always gone to smaller schools I wanted to maintain that individuality as a student and not become just a number,” Trent describes.