I was working in Tallahassee as a member of the Management Information Systems staff at the Board of Regents for the State University System. My position required that I interact regularly with university staff, which is how I met the man who was to become my husband. He was the Associate Director of UNF’s Computing Services Department, so I came to UNF when we married.
How do you involve students in your own projects?
I have not been actively engaged in my own projects much recently, because I spent the last 13 years as Director of the School of Computing, the administrative duties of which did not leave much time for my own work. My job entailed trying to provide the necessary encouragement of and support for the work of others. However, I have regularly taught courses that have engaged both undergraduate and graduate students in projects requiring the analysis, design, and implementation of information systems. Recent projects have involved systems to support a martial arts studio, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad, and Mission House.
What do you think is the most important trait of a successful student?
When all else fails, read the instructions! If students would only pay attention to the requirements for their courses and the instructions for their assignments and exams, they would see an increase in their performance.
Having been through Graduate School, what advice can you give a budding academic?
I always tell students who are considering going to graduate school, particularly to Ph.D. programs, that their reason for going should not be to improve their job prospects or their earning potential. To put up with some of the experiences they will have in a graduate program and to push through and prevail, the degree needs to be something they really want to have for no other reason than it is important to them.
What is your favorite class or topic to teach?
We have a graduate-level course on Project Management that focuses on managing information technology projects. The course touches on project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resource, communications, risk, and procurement management. My favorite section is the section on human resources, because I enjoy the psychology of team building and managing the project team.
How would you sum up your program in one sentence to a potential graduate student?
If you are interested in enhanced professional opportunities in computer science, information systems, or software engineering or in furthering your academic career, our M.S. degree program in the School of Computing will provide you with the advanced study, laboratory work, and research that you will need.
What do you do when you need a break from students and research?
I like to read and I enjoy spectator sports of all kinds. I also like to get out and swim or bike.
If you had not become an academic, what would you have done?
I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I was not confident in my ability to make it through the required education and training. Looking back on it, I regret I did not at least make an attempt at a program in veterinary medicine.
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