Skip to main content

Notable Alumni

Careers & Alumni

A pathway to exciting careers

A degree in computer science, computer information systems, information technology or cyber security provides ample opportunities for a wide range of meaningful and high-paying vocational pathways in technology.

Check out what some of our graduates of our programs are doing:

Carlos Amaral, Class of ‘84
BBA in management information systems

Carlos Amaral, Class of ‘84

Carlos has a diverse career in IT. Prior to joining Ceres Technology, Carlos worked in in a variety of leadership positions at companies including Deloitte Consulting, Alsbridge, ISG/TPI and Oracle Corporation. Carlos is the former president and CEO of Sequoia Network Services. He is a past member of the Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents, Texas Manufactured Housing Association Board and the Citizens Development Center in Dallas. He is also a past board member of the North Texas History Center and a graduate of the FBI Citizens and Plano Police Citizens academies.

Lance Hirsch, Class of ‘86
BS in computer science

Lance Hirsch, Class of ‘86

Lance Hirsch is co-founder and former president of Focus POS Systems, a Texas-based company that delivers innovative software technology to the hospitality industry. Since 1990, the company has installed thousands of uncomplicated solutions that best position clients for profitability and competitive advantage. Focus POS Systems pioneered cloud-based point-of-sale software that circumvents problems that arise in the event of a network connection failure.

John Barrar, Class of '96
BS in computer science

John Barrar

John has a love of technology that started in the fifth grade, writing video games in BASIC on a TI-99/4A computer. John received a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stephen F. Austin State University and currently serves on the Advisory Council for the department. Before joining the Executive Committee at Sandpiper Hospitality, John helped Capital One grow from an unknown company to become the sixth largest bank in the United States. In between, he shifted his focus to managed technology services for small to medium-sized businesses. With each step, John aims to get closer to the individual users of technology. As a technology evangelist, John gets satisfaction from helping others use and enjoy technology, trying to fulfill the promise of the Information Age. As a board member of rvatech, the Richmond Virginia Technology Council, John actively promotes technology in the community and never misses an opportunity to share his passion.

Michael Hawkins, Class of '97
BS in computer science

Michael Hawkins, Class of '97

Michael developed a passion for software development and entrepreneurship at a very young age. Combining these passions with a talent for problem-solving has led to over 24 years of delivering innovative healthcare software solutions, positively impacting millions of lives, and establishing an admirable record of leading organizations from start-up to successful exits. As the Chief Technology Officer and one of the original investors at Vivify Health, Michael played a crucial role in the company's rapid growth, which led to its acquisition by Optum (a division of UnitedHealth Group) in 2019. Vivify Health provides a digital health platform of multiple business lines within Optum and UnitedHealthcare, alongside serving its foundational hospital and health system customers in the US and Canada.  Prior to his tenure at Vivify Health, Michael served as the Vice President of Software Development at MEDHOST, transforming it into a leading emergency department solution used by over 500 hospitals and benefiting 10 million patients annually. MEDHOST introduced the industry-first touchscreen EMR. His significant contributions culminated in the company's acquisition by Healthcare Management Systems (HMS) in 2012, which subsequently adopted the MEDHOST brand in recognition of its strong market presence. Beyond his impactful work at MEDHOST and Vivify Health, Michael has held the CTO position at two healthcare startups: Patient Discovery, which focuses on the oncology sector, and Axuall, specializing in workforce intelligence and clinician credentialing.

Sam Jentsch, Class of ’17
BS in computer science and mathematics

Sam Jentsch, Class of ’17

Imagine having a job waiting for you upon graduation with one of the most innovative companies in the world. Sam Jentsch was a double-major in mathematics and computer science, and he joined Google’s ranks upon graduation. Sam worked hard during his time at SFA – participating in three internships, including one with NASA and another with GE Oil and Gas, where his innovation project won a first-place award. Sam worked as a tutor and a teacher’s assistant while a student at SFA. In addition, he was self-employed as a freelance developer. Sam was also active in several clubs and organizations: He served as president of the SFA chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (computer science honors society) and was a member of the SFA Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics honors society).

Trevor Vardeman, Class of '22
BS in computer information systems, general business minor

Travis Vardeman

Trevor Vardeman is a highly skilled software engineer at Optomi Professional Services, a renowned IT solutions provider that caters to clients from diverse industries. Trevor collaborates with a team of developers to design and develop ServiceNow functionality that aligns with clients' specific needs, delivering user-centric solutions that enhance their overall value proposition. Trevor's tenure at Optomi Professional Services began in June 2022 after his graduation from SFA. He continues to be an instrumental contributor to client projects, developing ServiceNow products that have significantly improved service operations, employee efficiencies and asset management. He also serves as a consultant to clients, guiding them on the best practices to maintain optimal business processes within their system. Apart from his professional engagements, Trevor is an active member of the Nacogdoches community and renders his time and resources to the Hope Food Pantry and the annual Texas Blueberry Festival.

Are you alumni of our program?

We would love to reconnect with you and hear about your success since attending SFA. Please feel free to connect with us at



Department of Computer Science

Physical Address:
Cole STEM Building
Suite 312

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13063, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962