The Digital Foundry at New Kensington is more than a state-of-the-art facility. It is a regional hub for innovation, creative thinking, problem solving and collaboration for industry, educators, students and the community to learn and build future-ready skill sets that will positively grow Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Rust Belt’s workforce, entrepreneurial spirit, competitive edge and continued transformation.



Our Vision and Mission

The Digital Foundry at New Kensington vision is improving lives and strengthening businesses through access to digital technologies.

We will achieve this vision through our mission of driving the growth of ideas, learning and problem solving through application of digital technologies.

  • Delivering education & workforce training
  • Accelerating innovation through technology demonstration
  • Networking of business, academia and community for economic growth

Our Core Values

Innovation &
Continuous Learning

Collaboration & Partnering

Equitable Access


Sherri McCleary

Executive Director

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Sherri McCleary joined the Penn State New Kensington team in late 2020 as the inaugural Executive Director of the Digital Foundry at New Kensington. Sherri came to this role as an experienced executive leader with a strong passion for connecting people and technology to deliver real value. Her career spans more than 30 years of technology and business development experience, driving strategy, technology transfer, and the launch of new business opportunities and includes positions at Kennametal, Arconic and Alcoa. Sherri has successfully launched new technologies, products and partnerships across industries, including automotive, commercial transportation, aerospace, defense, energy/oil & gas, architectural products, and consumer electronics. Prior to her current role, Sherri served as Director of the Additive Manufacturing Business at Kennametal. In this role, she was responsible for launching a new “startup” for the company based on 3D printing technologies for high-performance, hard metallic materials in demanding industrial and energy applications. She defined the business plan; secured executive sponsorship; defined key customers and value propositions; and built a team, an investment plan and a digitally-based strategy to launch this new business unit. Prior to joining Kennametal, Sherri spent over 30 years with Alcoa, then Arconic, where she worked in all levels of technology development and leadership and became recognized across the industry for her materials and processing expertise. She retired from Arconic in early 2018 as Director of Research & Development, leading a large R&D organization, responsible for development and deployment of advanced materials, computational materials and process modeling, smart digital manufacturing, advanced data analytics, automation, and additive manufacturing. Prior to her role as Director of R&D, she served as Vice President of Technologies & Operations for Alcoa Defense Inc. As VP for Alcoa Defense she was responsible for the capture and execution of defense contracts in the Land, Air, and Sea segments and worked directly with decision makers from the Pentagon to Capitol Hill to secure funding commitments. Earlier in her career, she led aerospace materials and process development projects in Alcoa’s Polymer Matrix Composites Division, the development and implementation of new material and manufacturing technologies with major automotive and commercial transportation OEMs, and managed an advanced manufacturing development group, building and testing full-scale prototypes for ground transportation, defense, energy, and consumer products markets. Sherri’s accomplishments have been recognized through the award of several U.S. and foreign patents, publications, corporate achievement awards, and an R&D Magazine Top 100 Technologies Award. Sherri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Gannon University and a Master of Science degree in material and surface science from Carnegie Mellon University, along with certification and accreditations in MBA Essentials, Intellectual Property and Contract Law, and Executive Leadership. Sherri lives near New Kensington where she and her husband of 32 years have raised their daughter. She is active in the local community, serving, on boards for The Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, Amplify Church, and the Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center; as an Executive Sponsor for United Way campaigns; and as a volunteer for The Blessing Board, Meals On Wheels, and Light of Life Rescue Mission. In her personal time, Sherri loves to travel and enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, biking, kayaking and being outdoors.

Vincent Petrelli

Senior Manager of Projects & Technology

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Vince Petrelli joined the Penn State New Kensington team in June of 2021 as Senior Manager of Projects and Technology for the Digital Foundry at New Kensington. Vince came to this role as an experienced senior manager with a strong passion for delivering SMART manufacturing solutions and leading distributed cross functional teams. His career spans more than 40 years of technology development and deployment experience, driving technical program management for a portfolio of company strategic initiatives in automation and information technology across the entire business enterprise and supply chain at Alcoa, Arconic and Cook MyoSite. Vince has successfully launched new technologies, program management and digital automation systems across the automotive, aerospace, metals, biotechnology and additive manufacturing process disciplines. Prior to his current role, Vince served as the Manager of the Project Management Office at Cook MyoSite. In this role, he was accountable for providing overall project management leadership, supervision and direction to a team of project and program managers in the organization's PMO. He was accountable for developing best practices, owning governance and performance objectives and leading the project and portfolio management framework for the organization. Vince previously spent over 38 years with Alcoa, then Arconic, where he worked in various levels of technology development and deployment at both research and development and production facilities. As a Senior Program Manager at the Arconic Technology Center, he was the program manager for the additive manufacturing startup pilot scale facility, where he was accountable for the leadership and execution of large multi-disciplinary programs in automation and information technology. His team created the intellectual property for a digital factory information system implementation of a digital twin and digital thread across the full end-to-end manufacturing product flow path for the complete additive manufacturing process. Prior that position, he served as Automation Systems Manager where he was a member of the Arconic Central Automation Team that was accountable for providing oversight for digital automation and IT system strategy deployment for SMART manufacturing in a liaison role across business unit-based automation COEs. Earlier in his career, he as a senior project leader and led large technology transfer projects that involved complex industrial control technology, diverse project teams across several Alcoa international plants and business units. His teams facilitated multimillion-dollar business contracts globally for automotive and aerospace markets by developing a standardized control system architecture and sustainable strategy to commission process control systems for the company’s ingot casting operations. Vince’s accomplishments have been recognized through the award of a U.S. patent and corporate achievement awards for sustainable automation, productivity and safety. Vince holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, certification from the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Project Management Institute - Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), as well as certificates in SMART Manufacturing Leadership and Blockchain Technologies. Vince lives in Edgewood, PA with his wife Susan of 26 years and their Labrador retriever, Oliver, and two Tonkinese cats, Max and Min. He has been active as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. In his personal time, Vince loves to restore old homes and enjoys gardening, woodworking, stamp collecting, fishing, hiking, hobbyist maker activities and his Ford Mustang.

Stephen Leonard

Operations & Program Manager

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Steve has been a practicing industrial designer and innovator for over 30 years and has worked in a variety of industries including industrial/commercial products, materials, aerospace, defense, children’s toys, medical/surgical equipment, consumer electronics and fast-moving consumer products. He has demonstrated leadership in design, development and management of projects that have delivered over $2 billion in value toorganizations he has worked for. He currently is the Founder and Managing Director for GrayMatterz™, a business, design, and innovation consulting firm. He provides business model innovation and strategy consultation to start-ups and established industry organizations such as the Aluminum Association, Factory Unlocked and others. He is currently the Operations and Program Manager for Penn State New Kensington's Digital Foundry at New Kensington and their Nextovation™ initiative. He is responsible for helping create workforce programming to provide upskill/reskilling of all levels of workforce and advanced manufacturing employees throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, as well as helping to oversee and create student internship programs for Penn State New Kensington and other institutions in partnership with the Digital Foundry and Nextovation™. Previously, Steve worked for Arconic at the Arconic Technology Center (ATC) as the Senior Innovation Leader in Arconic’s Growth & Insights group, where he was responsible for orchestrating front-end innovation programs and facilitating new growth programs for the aerospace, automotive, commercial transportation and building and construction markets identifying and initiating over $250 million in growth opportunities and resulting in over 6 utility patents filed. He has also led productivity improvement projects that have yielded cost savings in excess of $10 million. His background in innovation covers innovation processes, facilitation, design thinking, human-centered design, ideation and brainstorming, idea visualization, invention and IP strategy, technology & innovation road mapping, customer/end-user insights and cultural impacts of innovation. Prior to working at Arconic, Steve worked for SC Johnson & Son, Inc. designing and developing a variety of new products for various brands such as Glade, OFF, Raid, Edge, Skintimate, Scrubbing Bubbles, Ziploc and others. He has won several Technical and Officer awards for his design and technical innovation work and has published work in areas of surgical equipment and design practices. Steve also holds over 56 US patents. In addition to his duties at Arconic, Steve is currently an adjunct professor for Carnegie Mellon University's Integrated Innovation Institute Master of Integrated Innovation in Products and Services program. Steve holds a bachelor's degree in industrial design from Syracuse University and a Master of Science degree innew product development from Northwestern University.

Joseph Cuiffi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator, Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology at Penn State New Kensington

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Dr. Joe Cuiffi is an experienced project manager and has a broad engineering background with a focus in nanofabrication for semiconductor and medical devices. He has industrial production experience (VP of Production, NanoHorizons Inc), industrial research and development experience (Draper Laboratory) and academic positions at Florida Golf Coast University and Penn State University. His recent research has concentrated on educational training and outreach (EPA CLEAN WATER program, Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Training) with a current focus on Smart Manufacturing (CESMII Factory 4.0 Toolkit). Currently, he is the program coordinator and assistant professor of the electro-mechanical engineering technology program at Penn State New Kensington. Dr. Cuiffi holds a Ph.D. in engineering science and mechanics and a Bachelor of Science in engineering science from Penn State University.

Patricia Hollinger

Director of Continuing Education

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Patricia (Pat) Hollinger has been with Penn State New Kensington (PSNK) for 24 years and was named Director of Continuing Education in 2016. Prior to that, she was the Co-Director of Continuing Education and Outreach Coordinator for the campus. Over the years, she has built numerous relationships and connections for the campus within the community and corporate worlds and focuses on workforce development, youth programs, community engagement and specific credit programming. Pat is involved in numerous organizations including: the Board of Directors for Alle-Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce; the PSNK Advisory Board Workforce Development and Outreach Committee; the UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Ed. Assoc.); PA CareerLink Alle-Kiski; Tri-County Workforce Investment Board;  and the PSNK Industrial Advisory Committee. In addition, she serves as a mentor to students at PSNK. Prior to coming to Penn State, she worked in contract sales for Medrad (now Bayer Corp.). Pat holds a master’s degree from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Alyssa Pistininzi

Business Operations & Nextovation Membership Services Manager

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She was named the 2019 YWCA of Westmoreland County’s Rising  Star award winner for Westmoreland County. In 2016, she was named the Penn State New Kensington Service to Students Award Winner and in 2012, she was named as the 2012 Larry Bock Pennsylvania Advisor of the Year by the State YMCA of PA Youth and Government Program. In addition, she is  a  past participant of the Keystone Multimedia Workshop and a member of the Westmoreland County  Comprehensive Plan (Reimagining Westmoreland County) Advisory Committee. She is immediate past President and current board member of the Burrell-New Kensington Rotary Club; an instructor for the Rotary Leadership Institute; a member of the United Way's Women's Leadership Council and Bridges Society; a member of the American Society of Public Administration; board member for the Tri-City Historical Society; and ongoing supporter and volunteer ofvarious community groups and nonprofits.

Corinne Coulson

Director of Strategic Communications & Marketing

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A Pittsburgh native, Corinne has been passionate about leadership, community, storytelling, media, and communications throughout her life. Her undergraduate education led her into broadcast journalism while attending and earning her B.S. in Communications Media with a concentration in Journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After working in the field, her commitment to servant leadership grew and led her to the nonprofit field for eight years and then into higher education with Penn State University where she would also earn her Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree and a graduate certificate in Public Sector Human Resources Management. Currently, she is Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing at Penn State New Kensington, overseeing the communications, multimedia, public relations and marketing efforts for the campus and also the Digital Foundry at New Kensington, both located in Westmoreland County. Most recently, she was also nominated and chosen to serve on the University's inaugural Lead Communicator Council advisory group. She is a proud, founding member of the Nextovation™ initiative, a unique collaborative initiative spearheaded by the campus, focused on the inclusive change and revitalization of a Rust Belt region through sustainable economic opportunities for individuals and businesses in the digital economy. Prior to her current role, she was Assistant Director of Enrollment Management at the campus, assisting with admissions and student aid-related responsibilities including, but not limited to working with traditional-aged, transfer and non-traditional applicants; building relationships with service area school districts; overseeing the campus’ digital email campaigns and CRM software system; advising the campus Lion Ambassadors student organization; representing the University for out-of-state travel (AZ, MD, MN); and presenting at a variety of campus and University-related events for prospective and accepted students. Before her time at Penn State, she was the Director of an accredited and sponsored Big Brothers Big Sisters agency for nearly eight years. The role relied heavily on working with board members, fundraising, donor relations, communications, event planning and overseeing staff members. Upon earning her bachelor’s degree, she worked in the television broadcasting field, first at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh as an assignment desk editor, then later as a consumer segment and morning producer. In 2020, she executive produced and led the Digital Foundry at New Kensington's virtual groundbreaking event, which garnered the 2021 Gold CUPPIE Award for best Electronic Media-Virtual Event Video from College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals (CUPRAP). She was named the 2019 YWCA of Westmoreland County’s Rising Star award winner for Westmoreland County. In 2016, she was named the Penn State New Kensington Service to Students Award Winner and in 2012, she was named as the 2012 Larry Bock Pennsylvania Advisor of the Year by the State YMCA of PA Youth and Government Program. In addition, she is a past participant of the Keystone Multimedia Workshop and a member of the Westmoreland County Comprehensive Plan (Reimagining Westmoreland County) Advisory Committee. She is immediate past President and current board member of the Burrell-New Kensington Rotary Club; an instructor for the Rotary Leadership Institute; a member of the United Way's Women's Leadership Council and Bridges Society; a member of the American Society of Public Administration; board member for the Tri-City Historical Society; and ongoing supporter and volunteer of various community groups and nonprofits.


Tech Partners


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