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Thomas Henning

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'66 Political Science | Former Director, Training and Development, IBM and Lockheed Martin | Haymarket, VA
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Thomas Henning

Liberal Arts Major: Political Science

Minor: Russian Area Studies

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Current Location: Haymarket, VA

What enrichment activities did you participate in as a student?

Member of Dean of Students staff as a resident counselor, area coordinator North Halls, Internship in International Student Affairs Office, graduated with a MEd from Penn State, studied at Cambridge University, England, provided a technical presentation in Russian language in Moscow, 1989, traveled to Indonesia and provided research on distance learning to Indonesian government

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

My first job was at IBM in East Fishkill, New York working in the components division. Later, I transferred to IBM Federal Systems in Manassas, Virginia. I rose through IBM to become an integrated logistics senior engineer. I taught sonar to U.S. Navy Submarine Service for Trident submarine and Los Angeles class. I retired from IBM in 1996; then I later retired from Lockheed Martin.

What were your favorite classes and faculty members?

Political Science classes taught by Dr. Ruth Silva, Dr. Brewster, and others; Russian classes taught by Dr. Vernon Aspaturian, Dr. Jan Pryblya, and others. The lessons I learned enabled me to succeed later in life as an IBM Lobbyist and executive working on international business contracts. 

How did your liberal arts education and skills prepare you for life after graduation?

Political Science was a valuable major; knowledge about the workings of the federal government prepared me to be a lobbyist for IBM Corporate HQ near the end of my career. Russian Area Studies prepared me to provide a presentation in Russian language in Moscow in 1989. In general, I became a lifelong learner, traveled widely throughout Europe, Russia, and Asia. I authored and published 5 books.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

As a veteran of the U.S Air Force, I later joined the American Legion and currently support The Wounded Warrior Retreat at Bull Run in Haymarket, Virginia. Networking with former veterans and others has assisted me throughout my career. I would recommend social networking to widen ones horizon and enable one to obtain opportunities for advancement and contributions to society.

What role have mentors played in your career progression?

Mentors at IBM were advantageous in advancing my career. I am retired now.

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