By Emily Rohrbough, 2014-2015 Foundant CS Scholarship Recipient – MSU
Choosing to attend Montana State University (MSU) after high school has been one of the best decisions I could have made. I chose to declare my major as Computer Science (CS) and have had no regrets since. Besides nonacademic activities – like skiing, hiking, camping, and floating – MSU has given me several opportunities to expand and better myself. I was fortunate in my freshman year to be hired as a work study student in the CS Department and I have found the faculty of the CS Department to be great. They have always been encouraging, supportive, and genuinely interested in my success, as well as other students’ success. I have also enjoyed other social clubs including Engineering Ambassadors, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society and especially my sorority Pi Beta Phi. I have really enjoyed being active in these different organizations; it has allowed me to create great friendships, get to know faculty of the College of Engineering, and gain confidence with myself.
This past summer, through MSU’s CS Department, I was one of ten individuals selected to participate in a ten week Summer REU (Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates) sponsored by the National Science Foundation. During this ten weeks, I worked on updating an R package called LabDSV with another REU participant, Clem Izurieta (professor in the CS Department), and Dave Roberts (Department Head of the Ecology Department). It was a fun and interesting experience to research big data in the R environment and incorporate the BigMemory package to LabDSV.
Here at MSU, I have been exposed to new material in my classes and have been given countless opportunities for individual and leadership growth that have and will guide me to success. Being a second year recipient of the Foundant Technologies scholarship has allowed me to focus on getting a decent education and partake in the activities that will strengthen my skills and qualifications, which I am extremely grateful for. Attending college causes a huge financial burden that hinders one’s ability to apply their full potential to studies and I have been able to avoid much of that burden with this scholarship, I’m able to give one hundred percent of my attention to school.
I have been utilizing my time here at MSU to discover a passion in my field. I plan on graduating MSU in the spring of 2016 with a major in Computer Science, a minor in International Business, an Honors College Degree, and an International Engineering Certificate. I plan on becoming a successful woman in the world of technology, with a good sense of business and the ability to communicate and compete in an international market. I enjoy other cultures and traveling, and to gain a better international outlook, I plan on furthering these interests by studying abroad in Australia in the spring of 2015. When I graduate, I want to enter an industry that furthers technology and assists individuals. The goals I’m set on accomplishing all require knowledge and skills, many that can only be obtained through experiences and further education at a college institution.