VP of IT at Thermo Fisher Scientific pursues cybersecurity certificate from La Salle

July 20, 2023

Family ties and professional endeavors lead back to La Salle for Sandy Immerman, M.A. ’17, CERT ’24.

The ties Sandy Immerman, M.A. ’17, CERT ’24, has to La Salle University run deep.

Not only is she a graduate of the University, but her father is an alumnus and the former pep band director. Her daughter, half-sisters, and brother-in-law are also alumni.

“The institution means an incredible amount,” Immerman said. “My family really cares about La Salle.”

Immerman is currently the group vice president of information technology for Pharma Services Group at Thermo Fisher Scientific. In her role, she delivers technology and business capabilities to enable a fast-paced, changing business to be successful.

She has years of experience working in the business and information technology industries.

Her desire to attend La Salle in the late 2010’s was to pursue a master’s degree in history, a passion interest for Immerman. However, she quickly found that understanding the past helped her analyze the future in her daily work.

“Working in information technology, just from a history perspective, you can see human beings continue to make the same mistakes over and over,” she said.

Today, Immerman is pursuing a certificate in La Salle’s cybersecurity program to help bolster her understanding of the evolving risks to information technology.

“Cybersecurity is a very big part of my job,” she said. “I have 26 manufacturing plants around the globe that I’m responsible for from a technology perspective. And I’ve watched how technology has become just so much more sophisticated and how the bad guys are going after and attacking these technologies. I felt like I needed to have more foundational knowledge in this space.”

She’d also like to utilize the certificate in her next phase of her career by bring this expanded cybersecurity knowledge when serving  on corporate boards and consulting.

Immerman is already utilizing the lessons she’s learned in the classroom for her role at Thermo Fisher Scientific. She said the biggest takeaway so far is learning how to share a cybersecurity message with an entire company in a way everyone can understand.

“Take all the cyber-attack surfaces and how many there are out there and how that really leaves you at such a risk and people just don’t know what that means,” she said. “So, it’s really helped me  distill and present the  messaging a lot better.”

Coaching and mentoring her team is something Immerman loves about her job at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Being able to solve problems daily, especially with technology that continues to evolve, is what keeps Immerman engaged.

Immerman is also passionate about diversifying the cybersecurity and information technology field, something she said she sees mirrored in La Salle’s values and academic programs.

She said talking with the faculty and other students about the career field offers just as much of a learning experience as the coursework.

“I feel like I have learned just as much from the other classmates as I did from the professor,” she added.

—Meg Ryan