CS undergraduate student Katelyn Manzo Outstanding Senior in CLAS

CS undergraduate student Katelyn Manzo Outstanding Senior in CLAS

We are proud to announce that the Computer Science undergraduate Katelyn Manzo has been named the Outstanding Senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Science in Spring 2018.

Katie started her studies as Computer Science Major in Fall 2014, and has made the Dean’s List every year since then. Computer Science is a major in which women are only 10% of the students. In Fall 2016, a group of female students founded the Association for Computing Machinery Women’s Chapter (ACM-W) on campus and Katie became the Vice President of ACM-W. The ACM-W strives to increase exposure of computing to high schoolers and middle schoolers in Maine and to be a support group for women in computing. She organized activities such as participation in multiple outreach events to increase awareness of computing and the possibilities computing offers. These events included a multi-activity workshop during Expanding Your Horizons for middle school girls and a Women in Computing panel during the Maine Science Festival’s Tech Night. In Fall 2017 Katie became the President of ACM-W. With a few other female students, she attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing representing the University of Maine. This spring she has been involved in fund raising across campus for student and faculty participation at Grace Hopper in Fall 2018.

During her Junior year she was a Computer Learning Assistant (undergraduate Teacher’s Assistant) for Dr. Silvia Nittel for a new experimental computer science introductory course, COS120: Computing That Matters, targeting introducing programming to non-Computer Science majors. Her course section included preparing teaching material and teaching students the basics of Arduinos (a microcontroller) and Arduino projects. She also served as a Maine Learning Assistant (MLA) for Computer Science 250: Discrete Structures under Dr. Torsten Hahmann. As an MLA, Katie helped students better understand concepts and problems in class and worked with students when they had questions. Katie was chosen to be an Undergraduate member of the Computer Science Advisory Board. This meant that she attended Advisory Board meetings and contribute to discussions as a student representative.

Since Spring 2016, Katie has participated in a project with Dr. Nittel, her advisor and mentor, and Dr. Sharon Klein, an Economics professor for Sustainable Energy. She familiarized herself with a recently developed website that collects data about US Community Renewable Energy Projects (www.communityenergyus.net). Supported via a Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Scholarship Katie added a social media component to the original website. The social media component includes user profiles and user discussion forums with regard to user-specific questions around community renewable energy. She has presented her research and work at the Center for Undergraduate Research’s Student Research Symposium in April 2018.

Katie is one of two women left in her graduating class; this is why she feels strongly about supporting women in computing, and the exposure of computing to middle school and high school girls are very important to her. This is also something that she hopes to carry through to the workplace when she graduates.