SC19 will mark the second year of the Computing4Change (C4C) competition, which brings together students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to learn about data analytics and computational thinking, and work together to apply these skills to addressing a major social challenge. As we get closer to SC19, SIGHPC wanted to learn a little bit more about the students who will be participating in this year’s C4C competition. For the next few weeks, we will be sharing short bios of the students, so that we can all experience the incredible talent and diversity that this program attracts. Once the competition starts, they will be deeply absorbed in their projects, but you may see them on the Exhibit floor when they come up for air. We wish them all the best in the competition, and in their studies. Denver, here we come!
Catherine Stevens is studying for a degree in Computer Science at Linn-Benton Community College in Oregon. She takes a relaxed approach to her day, preferring yoga, bike riding, crafting, and baking fun desserts. Don’t mistake that Zen attitude for being a couch potato – she also plays “bike polo,” which is like horseback polo, but on bicycles. Catherine’s role model is her mother, who overcame a lot of adversity in her life and did a good job teaching her daughter how to be resilient. C4C may present some challenges, but we know that Catherine is well-equipped to handle them!
Angella Osinde is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design (and minoring in Computer Science) at Mississippi State University. She likes to challenge herself during the school year, learning new methods in graphic design, and discussing coursework with her classmates. Beyond attending classes and hanging out with friends, Angella also keeps herself busy with internships or a part-time job. It sounds like she never sits still – her hobbies are playing piano and figure skating. Angella takes her strength, confidence, and courage from her mother. We’re confident that she’ll do well at C4C.
Judith Garcia is studying Computer Science at the University of Texas at El Paso. She approaches every day with a positive attitude so she can meet her goals and end the day satisfied. She loves to go out for meals with friends – as she says she’s terrible in the kitchen! When she was growing up, Judith’s parents worked and studied, so she was there when they received their diplomas. She has promised herself that she’ll give them the chance to see her walk across that stage with a degree in Computer Science Engineering. C4C is excited to support her – one step closer to making that happen!
Javier Gonzalez is studying for a degree in Computer Science at the Universidad de Puerto Rico. His perfect day is one in which he can solve any problems that arise and learn from them. While he’s busy solving problems in the C4C competition, we might hear some music – his secret talent is beatboxing! Like so many of our participants, Javier’s mother is his role model. We know he will work hard in Denver, and make her proud!
David Wollensak is majoring in Physics and Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. When he’s not studying, he spends his free time with friends and family. There’s some physics involved in playing miniature golf, and chemistry in giant ice cream cones, right? Or maybe he just likes spheres. David’s role model growing up was Alan Turing, who was instrumental in breaking German codes in WWII, and designed early computers. Seems like a perfect fit for the C4C program!
Samuel Ofori is getting his degree in Mathematics at Fort Valley State University in Georgia. He likes to be the first person to arrive in class, and after a day of studies, can usually be found at the gym. He’s a poet at heart, and he appreciates good storytelling. Sam’s role model growing up was comedian Dave Chappelle, of whom Sam says, in addition to being a great comedian, shares a piece of his soul in his stories. We can’t wait to see how Sam uses his heart and soul (and maybe some poetry) at C4C.
Erin Burba is studying Computer Engineering/Computer Science at Northeastern University in Boston. She is a vegetarian and a plant-lover, who likes to spend her free time listening to Bluegrass music. Erin’s mother, a tech professor, made sure that her daughter knew that STEM subjects were for everyone. Mom is still Erin’s role model, working towards earning her PhD later this year. Good luck Erin – and good luck mom!
Patrick Santos is in the pre-engineering program at the University of Guam. He’s a relaxed, easygoing guy, who would rather spend his days at the beach with family and friends. He had several role models growing up, but he really looks up to his two older sisters. They chased their dreams and persevered through challenges, teaching Patrick that family is important because at the end of the day, family always gives you a place where you belong. We hope Patrick finds support and a fun ‘family’ in Denver with C4C!
Casandra Tanare studies Cellular and Molecular Biology at Chaminade University of Honolulu. She’s happy spending time on the beach, reading a book and drinking a sweet coffee-based frozen drink from everyone’s favorite coffee shop. She can say the alphabet backwards in less than 10 seconds – maybe all that coffee helps! Cassandra is pretty shy, so she looked up to her bubbly, outgoing older sister growing up. C4C will definitely give her the chance to come out of her shell and make a difference.
Autumn Wilomovsky is studying for a degree in Computer Science at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. Autumn’s role model is her grandmother, who taught her to persevere and be strong in tough situations. She took this lesson to heart, and doesn’t shy away from working hard to find success — even if she might prefer to be home playing the ukulele. She may have to work hard, but we know Autumn will be great at C4C!
Jamie George is majoring in Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado Boulder. She spends her free time hiking in the mountains near school, and cuddling her cat, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though it might not be scientifically needed for C4C, we wonder whether Jamie could end up demonstrating her incredible ability to balance things on her head! That talent may be related to Jamie’s cheerleading career, where her coach served as a caring and genuine role model, and inspired Jamie to support and encourage others. We are ready to give three cheers for Jamie in Denver!
Lillie Flynn is majoring in Business Administration and Environmental Science at Chaminade University of Honolulu. When she’s not studying (she’s also minoring in computer information and data science), she’s out surfing. This gives her a chance to practice one of her other talents – holding her breath for a long time. Lillie’s role model is singer/songwriter Jack Johnson, an environmental activist, who’s created many programs that teach children about sustainability. Lillie should have no trouble putting her studies to use at C4C – humming a Jack Johnson song along the way.
Melyssa Fratkin, SC19 Communications Deputy Chair & SC20 Communications Chair
Melyssa Fratkin is the Industry Programs Director at Texas Advanced Computing Center.