CS/M Scholars

View the full list of alumni testimonials.

  • A photo of Kelsey Jewell in front of a waterfall

     

    "The STEM community at Western is the perfect size to surround yourself with supportive peers, and build personal relationships with professors, without feeling lost in the crowd."

    – Kelsey Jewell
  • A photo of Brandon Tarquinio.

     

    "I viewed Western as a fresh start and dived head first into my majors."

    – Brandon Tarquinio
  • A photo of Chelsea Erway.

     

    "As a college community, I found Bellingham to be a very welcoming, friendly place, and one can’t beat the proximity to great hiking, biking, and other outdoor pursuits."

    – Chelsey Erway
  • A photo of Tim Mesikepp on the University of Washington quad.

     

    "Looking back, I appreciate how dedicated the faculty are to teaching and mentoring students."

    – Tim Mesikepp
  • Photo of Kyle Andelin

     

    "The professors in the Math and CS programs at Western were phenomenal! Very encouraging and it seemed like their doors were always open. They helped me foster the intellectual curiosity that helps me excel in my work every day."

    – Kyle Andelin
  • A photo of Tyler Land.

     

    “While earning my Bachelors, I had the opportunity to work on a lot of interesting projects. I interned at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory and built a Twitter-fueled disaster detector; my Masters project prepared me for my first job out of college as working on a bacterial-detection system used in a medical laboratory.” 

    – Tyler Land
  • Photo of Bethany Long.

     

    “The CS/M Scholars Program emerged as the deciding factor that led me to choose WWU. Being part of such a supportive, engaging community with opportunities to mentor (and be mentored) deeply enriched my time at Western.” 

    – Bethany Long
  • “It is important for students to have a mentor and connection in the industry they hope to pursue.” 

    – Hanna Landrus
  • Photo of Adam with a mountain peak behind him at sunset

     

    "Math teachers at WWU helped me develop a broader understanding of mathematics. Leaving Western, I knew I had developed skills that would allow me to apply mathematical concepts in a field I find interesting, namely biostatistics.”

     

    – Adam Elder
  • Photo of Courtney with a puppy

     

    "Because of the Scholars program, I got to take a lot of my math and computer science courses with other students who were a lot like me, and not only was that a lot of fun but it also gave me a sense of belonging."

    – Courtney Knox
  • Photo of Kelly

     

    “The CS/M Scholars program offered support on all levels. We were introduced to industry professionals to look up to, upperclassmen to help guide us, and supportive advisors to help us progress. [In the CS seminar] I remember thinking to myself, 'Wow, I'm surrounded by people who are smart, like to brainstorm and work through problems just like me.'”

    – Kelly Lyon
  • Photo of Lindsey in Copenhagen

     

    "The CS/M Scholars program brought in a diverse range of guest speakers. Each one left me with a feeling of empowerment and inspiration."

    – Lindsey Warr
  • Photo of Cari

     

    "The opportunities are honestly endless. With my degree in my back pocket, I feel I learned the right set of skills for my current job, but also am ready to take on a new direction if that's where life takes me."

    – Cari Jamieson
  • Photo of Sam

     

    “My research experiences at WWU allowed me to succeed. Most of my courses I wouldn't describe as lectures, but rather conversations I recall fondly.” 

    – Sam Pollard
  • Photo of Maureen on a balcony overlooking Venice

     

    "Attending the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics was an integral part of getting me to where I am today. It taught me how to go about looking for my first internship and job, and revealed career opportunities I hadn't thought of. It was amazing to be surrounded by ambitious, smart young women and to find a supportive community among my own peers through the experience."

    – Maureen Sturgeon
  • Photo of Thinh  on a boat with sea stacks behind her

     

    "The advising provided by my professors was vital in graduating on time. We had a map of what to expect in the next 4 years. Each quarter, we were able to touch base and check up on progress, and it kept me on track. The seminars were also helpful in that I was able to see how the math I was learning was being applied in the real world."

    – Thinh Oneprachanh
  • Photo of Catherine in a snowy field

     

     “The mathematics program and faculty at WWU opened my eyes to the different avenues to which mathematics extends."

    – Catherine Potts
  • Photo of Sarah

     

    "I felt supported by all of my professors at Western; there were multiple people I knew apart from my adviser that were always willing to talk to me whenever I knocked on their office door."

    – Sarah Erickson
  • smiling woman with short brown hair and dotted dark blue shirt against a wall

     

    "One of my favorite things about Western was the helpful teachers in the CS department."

    – Danielle Thurow
  • Photograph of Gracie

     

    "One of my favorite things about WWU is the opportunities to get to know your professors and have them get to know you, as well as the chance to get individualized help. I always felt like there were people around me who really cared about my well-being and success."

    – Gracie Ermi
  • Kayla Duskin standing in a filed of rocks in the mountains

     

    "Some of my favorite things about Western (and now miss the most) are the climbing gym, the team atmosphere in difficult classes, and the beautiful campus."

    – Kayla Duskin
  • Photograph of Dana

     

    "Beyond learning about job options in the STEM fields, we learned how to tackle being in a male-dominated field as well as being confident in the workforce. I strongly recommend any girl who enjoys math and a good challenge to take on a STEM major and be a part of the CS/M Scholars program."

    – Dana Sanders

What is the CS/M Scholars Program?

The CS/M Scholars Program at WWU has a mission of preparing students for careers in Computer Science and Math.  The program aims to support women, underrepresented minorities, and first generation students in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in CS or Math, and is funded by a $1 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The grant was written by Professor David Hartenstine in Mathematics and Professor Perry Fizzano in Computer Science.  

What are the benefits of the program?

  • A substantial scholarship, renewable up to four years. Scholarships funded by the NSF are restricted to those with financial need, but participation in all other aspects of the program are open to all CS/M Scholars. All interested students are encouraged to apply.
  • Support for travel to professional conferences.
  • Automatic registration in two first-year seminars, a 2-credit seminar in Mathematics and a 3-credit seminar in Computer Science. These classes will have at most 25 students, are engaging and fun, and require no previous experience.
  • Active advising with faculty starting in the first year including the formulation of a four year graduation plan.
  • Mentoring from students, early-career professionals and industry leaders to give each CS/M Scholar a well-rounded viewpoint. Early Career Professional Mentors (ECPMs) are recent WWU math and CS alumni, many of whom were CS/M Scholars, and are now working in the fields. View quotes from them on the left.
  • Monthly get-togethers. Many of these will focus on exploring career options and opportunities for internships or research experiences beyond campus, and include our partners from industry.

Why should I study Math or Computer Science?

There are amazing opportunities for people with degrees in these fields, with an abundance of creative, challenging, and rewarding jobs available globally and locally. 

Why should I apply to the CS/M Scholars Program?

Our program’s activities are designed to promote academic success, while developing the professional skills necessary to begin a successful career. Furthermore, the program has specific activities designed for the support and inclusion of women and minorities. Many studies show that women and minorities are discouraged from studying math or computer science as early as middle school. Thus, some students who would enjoy studying these subjects and would be successful never even give them a try in college, and never get to appreciate the beauty or depth of these fields. We welcome and encourage applications from all interested students.

How do I apply?

Applications will be accepted from incoming freshmen from December to March. New CS/M Scholars will be selected by mid-April. Please check back next year for the application.

Who can I contact for more information?

Professor of Computer Science: Perry Fizzano | Perry.Fizzano@wwu.edu

Professor of Mathematics: David Hartenstine | David.Hartenstine@wwu.edu

Program Coordinator: Katelynn Manz | Katelynn.Manz@wwu.edu

  • A photo of CS/M scholars gathered at Lakewood on Lake Whatcom, to meet with and inspire peers, and share experiences.
  • CS/M Scholars report on internships and research experiences, and encourage their peers to seek out similar opportunities.
  • When the sun shines, group advising at Western must include popsicles and fresh air.
  • WWU CS alumna and Program Manager at Microsoft, Amanda Font, gives talk on "Leading Without Authority."
  • Meeting with a panel of upperclassmen and grad students (women!) in computer science and mathematics for inspriation, advice and, Q&A.
  • CS/M Scholars join the WWU Chapter for the Association for Women in Computing (AWC) for a full day at Microsoft. This memorable trip included a charter bus to and from Microsoft, a tour, mock interviews, Q&A sessions, meals and more.