Amy Antonucci, senior instructor College of Information Technology and co-faculty advisor of the Women in Technology (WinTech) student club, was Kelle’s course instructor for four courses C950, Data Structures, Algorithms II; Software Quality Assurance; Operating Systems for Programmers; and Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.
Kelle, why was it important to you to have the same instructor for four courses?
It can be very intimidating starting a course that you don’t know much about. Having the same instructor for four of my courses was a blessing, because I had a familiar face that could help me conquer this unknown. And of course, when you’re working with the same person on multiple projects you get to know their personality better and working with them gets much easier.
Amy, why is it beneficial to have students for more than one course?
It’s important for students to have instructors in multiple courses because it creates a continuity, so they hopefully feel more comfortable reaching out again for a different course. You know a bit more what to expect from that professor/instructor.
Amy, how does WGU support female College of IT students?
We have a Women in Technology (WinTech) student club, which hosts female IT professionals for speaking events who talk about their experiences and how to advance.
Representation is important for female students to see others in their current or aspirational career positions. In general, people feel more comfortable with those who are like them and with whom they feel more of a connection. It’s important that it becomes more common and considered “normal” for men to have female colleagues. That way, women aren’t singled out. In any industry, it’s good if we can lose that “male-dominated” or “female-dominated” adjective!
Kelle, what was your experience like with WinTech?
It was wonderful to be around other women from different backgrounds all at different stages in their experiences and careers. It was encouraging for me because back in elementary/middle school I didn’t do very well. I always felt I wasn’t smart enough for grade school, less for college. So being a part of that support group and hearing or reading everyone’s stories and what they have overcome helped me realize that I could push myself enough to complete all my courses and earn my degree.
Kelle, what do you find rewarding about computer programing?
Computer programming is rewarding for me because the possibilities of what you can create are endless. All you need is your imagination. It can be challenging of course but that’s where the fun is. You’re given a seemingly impossible task but after numerous brainstorming sessions, snack breaks, and sleepless nights you finish it and submit a working program you created from start to finish. The feeling of accomplishment is refreshing.
Kelle, what’s the best thing about your WGU experience?
The best thing about my WGU experience was the pace at which I was allowed to progress. I never intended to stay 4 or 5 years in college because there is so much more I would like to do with my life. I was able to complete my degree in a year and seven months. I could never have achieved this at a traditional college. My experience at WGU was nothing short of amazing! I loved every minute of it.