Computer science student helped inspire the future of the program
“Roughly 10 percent of computer science students at K-State are female, which was a bit intimidating when I transferred to K-State last fall. Despite this, I wanted to gain leadership experience and make a difference in the computer science department. I joined K-State's chapter of Association for Computing Machinery. Soon, I was given the opportunity to serve as the secretary. This position allowed me to help with our main events: programming contests, weekly help-sessions, hosting speakers for the Association for Computing Machinery Industry Series, and volunteering around the Manhattan community. Becoming the secretary quickly led to other opportunities such as helping to organize Hack K-State, researching with the K-State Knowledge Discovery in Databases lab, and joining the Engineering Leadership and Innovation Program.
“As a child, I did not have many opportunities to explore the field of computer science. When I heard the department was hosting a group of Girl Scouts to learn about computer science last semester, I encouraged my fellow Association for Computing Machinery officers to run an activity during the event. We decided to teach the girls how computers use binary numbers to communicate with each other by having the girls make binary bracelets. This activity was the perfect balance – engaging and educational. This event showed many different applications of computer science and was a great way for young Girl Scouts to become interested in this field.
“By introducing the basics of computer science to young females and dispelling any negative stigmas around women in this field, we can begin to fill that overwhelming gap between the number of men and women represented in the industry.
“A significant part of my college plan is to graduate debt-free and I could not achieve that without the aid of scholarships. My first two years of higher education were paid for through a scholarship at a community college. This ultimately allowed me to attend K-State and stay aligned with my goal of graduating debt-free. Being a full-time student at K-State can become quite expensive. Fortunately, I have received multiple scholarships, including the Engineering Leadership and Innovation Scholarship. This scholarship is part of the Engineering Leadership and Innovation Program, a two-year developmental program intended to prepare engineering students for future leadership roles.”
Haley Canfield is a junior pursuing a major in Computer Science from Rose Hill, KS.