Matthew Schmidt, President

Matthew is originally from Elmhurst, IL. He attended Roosevelt University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2016. Matthew then began working as a Contracting Officer for the federal government, where he led teams in the procurement and management of an array of building services contracts. Matthew enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard as an infantryman in 2017, later transferring to Military Intelligence. Matthew served on active duty as a team leader on the state of Illinois’ COVID-19 Task Force, where he led teams through multiple missions including a medical liaison mission and a logistics mission. At Tepper, Matthew is pursuing concentrations in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and strategy. This summer, he will be interning at Google as a Procurement Finance Intern. Outside of school, Matthew enjoys running, hiking, and traveling.

Cole Howey, Executive Vice President & VP Alumni Relations

Cole grew up in a small industrial town in Ohio, and after graduating high school he enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Structural Maintenance and Repairman. During his five-year active duty career, he repaired schoolhouses in the Philippines, maintained War Readiness Materiel across the Korean Peninsula, and worked as a construction project manager while stationed at Eielson AFB, AK. After separating from active duty, he studied civil engineering at the University of Central Florida and continued serving in the Florida Air National Guard. He graduated in May of 2021 and started his MBA immediately after. At Tepper, he is concentrating on operations research and finance. This summer Cole will be working at Taiho Oncology in commercial analytics and supply chain opperations.

Chris Szymanski, VP of Part-Time Operations

Chris was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and has lived in Oakland, ME; Houston, TX; Charleston, SC; Kaneohe, HI; and now resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and 2 dogs. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and commissioned as a Submarine Officer in the US Navy. He served on the USS Louisville (SSN 724), a fast attack submarine, stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI where he conducted 3 deployments. Some of his jobs while serving on the submarine include: Quality Assurance Officer, Operational Safety Officer, Operations Officer, and Communications Officer. He continues to serve on active duty. At Tepper, Chris is concentrating on Operations Management and Project Management roles in Technology or Energy. Chris enjoys traveling, hiking, brewing beer, and playing with his 2 dogs. Feel free to contact him at

Samer Fawal, VP of Professional Development

Samer is from the small town of Holmdel, NJ. After earning his undergraduate degree in History at Rutgers University, Samer was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the Army. Stationed at Fort Drum, NY, and later at Fort Benning, GA, Samer served for six years before deciding to make his transition. He is currently pursuing his MBA at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

Jeffery DeMareo, VP of Admissions

Originally from NJ, Jeff enlisted in the NJ Guard and went to Rowan University. He commissioned as an active-duty Army officer post-undergrad and served in the European theater for five years. He will be working in investment banking over the summer. I enjoy travel, sports, diving, and working out.

Jingjing Kranek, VP of Finance & Social

An immigrant from China, Jingjing is now serving in the Air Force Reserve with a Transportation-speciality. She is stationed in Pittsburgh ARS, PA. Earning her bachelor's in Journalism in China, she has worked in both public and private sectors in China and the US. At Tepper, Jingjing is concentrating in strategy and management consulting.