Student Spotlight: Abby Gardner
What makes JMU CS special?

I think so many solutions that benefit humanity are available solely because of advances in technology and computation. What excites me is being a part of that and being a part of the future.

Tell us about the research projects you are working on.

I’m currently working with Dr. Stewart developing an iOS app called CoListen which allows people listen to music together, even if they aren’t physically together. I think doing research is a great way to get a different perspective on learning and become exposed to something that you might not learn from the normal curriculum.

How are you involved in the CS Department?

I’m a TA in CS. Being a TA is really rewarding and I love being able to help students understand the concepts they’re learning. CS can be so challenging, and I really enjoy helping students understand and feel like they can do it.

What internship experiences have you had?

My most recent internship was doing software development for Buchanan & Edwards in northern Virginia. This opportunity gave me a much more hands-on understanding of the things I was learning in my classes. I really enjoyed being able to see the bigger picture of how the components of what I was learning at JMU come together.

What is your plan after you graduate?

After I graduate in December, I plan to go straight to work. I have a job working as a software engineer for a government contractor in northern Virginia.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

My biggest recommendation would be to find friends and build relationships with the people around you! I especially learned to do this as a transfer student. Computer science is challenging and having a support system, especially with the people you see every day is very important. You will have so many more opportunities and experiences open up if you branch out.

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