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40 under 40: Aliana Steinbugl, director of physical security, Penn State University

40 under 40: Aliana Steinbugl, director of physical security, Penn State University

40 under 40: Aliana Steinbugl, director of physical security, Penn State University

YARMOUTH, Maine—Aliana Steinbugl, 39, is the director of physical security at Penn State University, a major, public, research university serving Pennsylvania and the global community, based out of State College, Pa. Find out what inspired her to pursue a career in the security industry, what being a "40 under 40" winner means to her, what appeals to her about the security industry, and more. 

SSN: Describe your roles, duties, and tenure at your current job. 

40 under 40STEINBUGL: To direct and manage physical security and life safety services to The Pennsylvania State University community consistent with the University's mission, culture, and resources in order to facilitate a "safer and more secure university.” Units charge includes providing in-house subject matter expertise and oversight for overall physical security.  Implementation includes, but is not limited to, mechanical/electronic access controls, perimeter protection, surveillance, electronic security, and other life safety measures.

SSN: What inspired you to pursue a career in the security industry?

STEINBUGL: I take the safety and security of the students at our university very seriously. It is a huge responsibility, and the students are counting on our team and me to be successful for them. This responsibility inspires me every day in our pursuit of success.

SSN: What does being named a winner of SSN's 40 under 40 mean to you?

STEINBUGL: This is a true honor and privilege to be named a winner of SSN 40 under 40. Humbly, this award is a testament to the amazing team of physical security professionals I work with daily to accomplish our mission. This team has moved mountains in the last three years by improving our access control software, video management software, and recording hardware, while also taking on the world's largest installation of electronic locks. I am so grateful to support these professionals and receive my leaderships support of our program at Penn State.

SSN: As a young leader, what appeals to you about the security industry?

STEINBUGL: The security industry is a fast-moving industry and always changing. While this is a challenge, it is also very appealing to continually be motivated by looking for the best fit for my institution.

SSN: With the hiring, recruitment and retention challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, how can the security industry engage young talent?

STEINBUGL: Thankfully at my institution, we have not been faced with this challenge. That said, I feel it takes leaders who are willing to mentor individuals who may be in IT, law enforcement, or facility management to embrace security attributes as part of their work. Mentoring has been a huge success for me, and I will be forever grateful for the mentors I've had over my tenure at Penn State.


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