“The addition of women, who have a unique perspective, will help stem the tide of the impending labor void [in the computing sciences] and ensure that our country continues to be globally competitive.”
Here’s news that may surprise you—”Geeks come in all shapes and sizes, and they frequently interact with people outside their world,” says Corey Leigh Ladislaw, president of Florida State’s Women in Computing Society. There is a shortage, however, of women in computer-related majors. Changing this trend has become Corey’s mission.
Through her active involvement with the Women in Computing Society and the STARS Alliance/Student Leadership Corps, Corey is creating a supportive community. She explains, “This country has a widening gulf between the technological workforce and the available trained personnel. The addition of women, who have a unique perspective, will help stem the tide of the impending labor void and ensure that our country continues to be globally competitive.”
The Student Leadership Corps fosters an extended student community among academia, industry, and the community through civic engagement, mentoring, professional development, and research experiences. Last fall, Corey mentored and helped develop projects for middle school students using Alice, an intuitive 3D interactive program that teaches beginning programming constructs, objects, and practices. She also helped organize “Computing Careers Night, which informed high school students, their parents, and guidance counselors about the opportunities in computing related careers at Florida State.”
The Women in Computing Society encourages women’s participation in computer-related studies, research and careers, and promotes their marketability to the industry. Corey began as the outreach committee chair, where she was “instrumental in creating and managing multiple technology-based community service projects.” As treasurer, she composed budgets, secured university funding, and handled all financial transactions. Last fall, she was elected president, a position in which she has increased participation and created a peer mentoring program that pairs upper class women and graduate students with under class women.
Corey completed her BA cum laude in Computer Science at FSU, an experience that encouraged her “to excel and investigate interesting new areas of the computing sciences.” Now as a TA, she shares her excitement with her students, “I thoroughly enjoy teaching. My career goal is to become a research professor in the field.”
“I have always been interested in technology and the environment and how humans relate to it,” Corey says. “To allow for a synergy between these subjects, I will begin my PhD studies in the fall at FSU’s School of Computational Science with a focus on the Geological Sciences.”