Senior Jenna Schachner chose to major in Computer Science at Appalachian because of the encouraging faculty members and positive reputation of the program and because she craved the intellectual opportunities that the field presented to her. She said she sees computer scientists as individuals with potential to change the world.
“So many things in the world today are run by computers and computer programs. The more we innovate, the more efficient the world can become,” she said. “I believe the steps being taken toward artificial intelligence will begin to truly benefit the world.”
Schachner, who plans to work in artificial intelligence after graduation, has seized many of the extra-curricular opportunities that the Department of Computer Science and Appalachian have to offer.
“I feel like with the experiences that they have presented me, I will be able to take everything I have learned and apply it to the workforce,” she said.
“Not only have they prepared me for that, but I have learned a lot about personal growth and I hope to keep growing after graduation.”
She is a part of the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program in which she is encouraged to come up with new ideas and methods for addressing problems with computer programs. She is also a member of the Le Femmes Tehcnologie, Women in Computer Science, club. The group has allowed her to attend “hackathons” and also network with other female students in the computer science field.
In addition to her computer science coursework, Schachner also has studied abroad in Germany with the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. This educational experience helped her realize that she would like to live there in the near future. This spring, she plans to apply for computer science internships in Germany.
Schachner attributes much of her success to her professors in the program. She says that all of them, especially Dr. Rahman Tashakkori, have driven her to do her best and get involved.