Archive | September 2015

Sylleste Davis

We welcomed Sylleste Davis as our first speaker of the year!

  • She is now retired, but had worked at Santee Cooper previously
  • Alum of C of C from 1983
  • Her interest in Computer Science
    • Liked analytical things
    • Grace Hopper was one of her Heros as one of the first women in computing
    • Majored in Math, took some computer science classes – in COBOL
  • She liked computer science, but not the classes
    • In class she felt like the things they were doing didn’t really matter
    • Her senior year, Santee Cooper came on campus and she started working there
    • Was worried that she wouldn’t like her job because she didn’t like the classes
    • Liked it though and was happy because she felt like what she was doing mattered
  • Later, she went back to school and earned her masters
  • Was in IT from the 1980s through 2000
  • Wanted to know about what was happening in the future
    • History is important to see how the things in the past lead to what we will have in the future
    • Was able to see the first business email systems, some of the first security issues, the integration of voice and data
  • Liked computer science because it was like a big puzzle
  • Lessons learned
    • IT is interesting
    • Constantly Changing
    • Always better/different way
    • Meaningful
    • Lucrative
  • Her thoughts on how to increase the number of women in tech
    • Start exposure to computer science in middle schools
    • Do a better job integrating CS into high school curriculum
    • Make AP Computer Science more widely available
    • Make available more scholarships and internships
    • Stop “dumbing down” and perpetuating the stereotypes – this is just not necessary
    • Don’t let someone else define who you are – go with your gifts, your intuition, and be courageous
    • Don’t let tedium get in the way of doing something meaningful
    • Don’t pay attention to what those around you are doing or how they look – stay your course and remain confident in your abilities
    • The future of IT is exciting!  Be in the middle of it!

First Meeting of the Year

Yesterday we had our first meeting of the year which went very well!  We wanted to welcome in all of our new members so we did some introductions and ice breakers.

Afterwards, we wanted to put a focus on all of the different ways students can become involved in the department and advance their careers as undergraduates.  We spoke about internships, research, becoming a student ambassador or TA, and more.  Additionally, our returning members shared what they each did over the summer!

We brainstormed some potential events for the semester such as a bowling meet and greet and a few fundraising activities.  We hope to also continue to participate in outreach projects in the area.

Overall, it was a great first meeting!