Headshot of Joann Ordille

assistant professor of computer science

Ph.D., computer science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

What I’m focused on:

“I want to broaden the focus of what people think computer science is and show students that it can be used to make the world a better place. Last year, as a visiting professor, I worked with students on a database project for the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Students were very excited about doing something in computing that made a positive impact on people’s lives.”

What I’m excited about:

“In October, I’ll be taking six students to the Grace Hopper Conference, the world’s largest gathering of women in technology. There will be presentations, hands-on workshops, and opportunities for seniors to interview with recruiters. But it’s not just about technology. It’s to help women address issues they might be having in computing and develop skills that will enable them to be more effective leaders.”

What I hope to provide:

“I love computing. I think that if students can make an emotional connection to their work, they can love computing, too. Even if they don’t pursue a computer science career, understanding computing will open a whole new world to them. Last year, one of my students learned how to program Pong, the first commercially successful video game. He was so happy to have created the game and to play it with a friend and enjoy it together. I’d like to help shape more experiences like that in computer science.”

What I’m holding:

“In 1993, the year I got my Ph.D., I saw this recruiting poster on campus. I thought, ‘Wow.’ It was really unusual to see something like this. There were so few women in computing, and here was Microsoft saying that you could be a girl or a boy and be interested in technology. After the recruitment event had passed, I got the poster. You can still see the tack marks at the top. I had it framed, and it’s been hanging in my house or office ever since. I think it’s a great thing to have on display in my Lafayette office because I want to encourage not just women, but anyone who feels underrepresented in computer science, to come here and to study and to feel like they have a home.”

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