Panels

Exploring Careers Panel

The field of technology is expansive with many different career paths. It encompasses engineers, designers, researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, educators, and you! Come listen to our panelists and find out what cool things you can do too!

Panelists

Lyron Cobbins, American Century Investments

Lyron Cobbins is a University of Notre Dame alumni, with a double major in Computer Information Systems and Psychology. He is currently one of the IT Security Advisors for American Century Investments. He helps guide the firm’s IT security direction, by utililizing his experiences and knowledge that he has gained over the 17 years in IT.

Lyron knows that even though we have to get security right 100 times; that the malicious actor only has to get it right once. He has landed in various business fields: City, State & Federal Governments, Grocery Retail, Health Care, Banking, Department of Defense and Department of Energy. Over the course of time he has led numerous threat investigations both on a national and international levels. None of the previously mentioned accomplishments comes close to defining him…That’s because his greatest accomplishment has yet to be…:-)

Lacey Frank, Commerce Bank

Hannah May, Target

Hannah graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 2016, with a degree in Interactive Digital Media and an emphasis in Computer Science and New Media. She started her career as a Software Engineer within the Technology Leadership Program at Target Corporation. Being a TLP was an amazing opportunity to jump start her career. Through this
program, Hannah has been encouraged to learn and try new technologies. Her first team monitored the health of the registers in Target’s 1800 stores while her second team developed a new marketing segmentation tool. Hannah is now a Front-end Software Engineer developing an app for the Space and Presentation area of target. Hannah has truly enjoy learning and being in a career that embraces and promotes that ideology was the best fit for her. BE BOLD!


Imposter Syndrome Panel

This panel addresses confidence problems that women often have upon entering the computing field.  Many young women starting out in undergraduate computing majors believe that they are not as qualified as men.  The panelist will openly share stories about their confidence problems, especially their original belief that they were not as qualified as men.

Panelists

Katherine Schoenborn, Commerce Bank

Wendy Simondet, Target

Wendy Simondet is a Senior Engineer at Target in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania. She studied History, and completed a Minor in Computer Science. As part of the 2014 Technology Leadership Program at Target, she completed three rotations encompassing work on the Target Service Catalog improving and establishing an equipment checkout process. Her second rotation involved rolling out new software that improved textile planning as well as updating Target’s food nutritional label software, and thirdly she worked to develop the UI of an application to enable teams to deploy to the cloud. Her final placement following the program was with the IT Service Enablement team.

 


Beyond Diversity Panel

This year’s conference focus is the importance of diversity. Our panelists will talk about what diversity, equality, and inclusivity means to them. Hear their stories about times they persevered through situations of inequality and exclusion.

 

Juanita Simmons, Northwest Missouri State University

Jakita Thomas

Jakita O. Thomas is a Philpott Westpoint Stevens Associate Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. Dr. Thomas is also Director of the CUltuRally & SOcially Relevent (CURSOR) Computing Lab. Her research interests include exploring the development of computational algorithmic thinking, promoting access to healthcare information and services for under-served populations, improving reasoning using expert cases, scientific reasoning, complex cognitive skills learning, and computer-supported collaborative learning.


Is Graduate School Right for me? Panel

Have you been thinking about going to graduate school? Interested in expanding your knowledge, delving into the specifics of a topic, or contributing new research to the field of technology? Then do we have a panel for you! Come learn about how to get in to graduate school, what it’s like, and your career after graduating.

Jakita Thomas

Jakita O. Thomas is a Philpott Westpoint Stevens Associate Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. Dr. Thomas is also Director of the CUltuRally & SOcially Relevent (CURSOR) Computing Lab. Her research interests include exploring the development of computational algorithmic thinking, promoting access to healthcare information and services for under-served populations, improving reasoning using expert cases, scientific reasoning, complex cognitive skills learning, and computer-supported collaborative learning.