May 12, 2014 - Before U.S. Navy Veteran Matthew Gonter (G’14) walks across the stage to receive his diploma this week, the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) at Georgetown will honor him with its Outstanding Technology Management Student Award.
Gonter will be among the hundreds of students who will be honored at Tropaia Award ceremonies during 2014 Commencement Week. He will also be awarded a master’s degree in technology management.
The Navy veteran attributes his success at Georgetown to his military service.
SEEING THE WORLD
“My career placed me everywhere from 20,000 leagues under the seas to the cradle of life [Fertile Crescent in Iraq] to the start of civilization [Rome],” says Gonter, who served for 10 years, attaining the rank of chief petty officer. “I was able to see some of the most advanced technologies used by our government.”
Gonter has worked in signal intelligence at the Office of Naval Intelligence here in Washington; Direct Support Submarines in Pearl Harbor; Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Combat in San Antonio; and Special Projects at Fort Meade.
He has served in the Navy Reserve since 2013 and used the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program to fund his graduate education at Georgetown. He’ll be among the more than 80 student veterans graduating this week, according to Georgetown’s Veterans Office.
Today he works as a senior information security analyst at the information technology security firm Symantec Corporation, where he hopes to “move into policy writing and shaping a future in which we protect customer data, derive compliancy standards and protect our national assets.”
Beverly Magda, associate dean of the technology management program, says Gonter not only excels academically, but also exemplifies the university’s Jesuit tradition of being “women and men for others.”
“[He is a] fitting recipient for the Outstanding Technology Management Student Award due to his academic achievements, display of leadership, service and mentorship to his fellow students and to the SCS community,” she says.
Earlier this spring, the technology management student delivered a presentation at the new SCS downtown campus to high school students from the Middle East and East Africa who recently immigrated to Northern Virginia.
Gonter, who spent some of his Naval career in both regions, talked to the students from Migration and Refugee Services at Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington about his own journey into the information technology field.
“He has embodied Georgetown’s mission of giving back to the community,” Magda says.
Gonter also took an active role in school by serving as treasurer of the Technology Management Student Association.
SHARING A PASSION
“We are working with the Georgetown SCS staff to establish consistent funding vehicles for events to help support a wide range of networking opportunities around campus,” he says about his work with the group.
Gonter says learning to navigate the technology landscape can be difficult, but he credits Georgetown faculty members with helping in leveling the playing field.
“I have had the privilege of learning from some of the most forward-thinking minds in the area,” he says. “Not only do they bring their knowledge and experience, they also connect us with their colleagues and friends who share a passion for technology.”