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What is the software development and operations team within Educational Equity

"DevOps" is an information technology term that refers to people who handle both the development and on-going operation (and maintenance) of software applications.

Educational Equity's DevOps team designs, builds, and maintains multiple software applications to enhance the staff's ability to serve the students of Penn State and beyond.

Our core application, Piko, is a modular, web-based application for tracking interactions between staff and students. With it's modular design, Piko can be customized for a variety of subtly different uses within the various units of Educational Equity. Piko is a Hawaiian word meaning "heart" or "the source" which reflects how Piko is at the "heart" of all the custom applications within Educational Equity.

Key features

  • Tracks student/counselor interactions via counselor entered case notes
  • Provides a database of students that can be searched or filtered on a variety of criteria
  • Allows staff to individual or en-mass email students
  • In-app notifications let staff know when other staff make notes about one of their students


Implementations of Piko


The first implementation of Piko was for the Multicultural Resource Center and defined the core features of the product; tracking student/counselor interactions and making it easy to communicate individually and as a group with students.


Built for Student Disability Resources, Elba built on the features of Themis and added several custom features for tracking academic accommodations granted to students with disabilities.


Piko's first venture into supporting non-Penn State students, Artemis is used by the Educational Opportunity Center grant to track program participants. Artemis integrates with our public web site to allow prospective participants to fill out an online application that is fed into Artemis, reviewed, and decided upon. Once in the grant program, participant interactions with staff are tracked along with the goals and progress towards meeting those goals.


Kadence supports the Office of Veterans Programs by tracking their student/counselor interactions.


Our team

Photo Name Contact info Duties / responsibilities
Paul Rentschler Rentschler, Paul
  • Lead Programmer / Analyst
328 Grange Building
(814) 867-4806