Atanasoff Today 2022-23: Women in Computer Science

Hear why our current female students in computer science are getting involved across campus, why they’ve chosen computer science, and what they plan to do with their degree.

Hi, my name is Kathryn Rohlfing and I’m a senior in computer science with a Spanish minor from Dunlap, Illinois. Doing research and taking project-based courses have been my favorite things about studying computer science here, since I really like the hands-on opportunities. This past summer, I completed a virtual software engineering internship with Capital One, and will be working in their rotational program after graduation. It was a great experience working with other interns and full-time employees to learn about software development in a larger company, and I appreciated the chance to apply what I learned in classes into a real company project. I’ve loved my time studying computer science at Iowa State, and I hope you do too!

Hello, my name is Sylvia Nguyen and I am currently a junior from Des Moines, Iowa. I chose to study computer science because of the logic and problem-solving aspects of it and I have an interest in technology. My favorite things about computer science at ISU are the classes, the challenge the program brings and the amazing people in this field. My favorite club is digital women, which is a club that promotes and provides support with women in tech. My dream career is software engineer/data engineer. My advice for incoming freshmen is to embrace the change, to get out of your comfort zone, and to believe in yourself.

Hi, My name is Megan Severson, and I’m a junior in computer science from West Des Moines, Iowa. I chose to study computer science because I’ve always had a passion for technology, and I want to show people that this is a field that females can thrive in. In computer science at Iowa State, I’ve had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant, peer mentor, and participate in undergraduate research. Outside of the classroom, I’m a member of volleyball club, tennis club, and Kairos student ministry. My advice for incoming students is to get involved, whether it be activities related to your major or other hobbies you’re interested in!

Hi, my name is Neha Maddali, and I'm a sophomore studying computer science. I'm from Carpentersville, IL and I chose computer science as it was something I was very involved in during high school. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of the subject and ISU has helped me expand my interests in the field through the variety of courses they have to offer. Outside the classroom, I'm a Computer Science Peer Mentor, a member of the Computer Science Student Advisory Board, and work as a Residential Advisor in the dorms. I have an internship lined up with Service Management Group as a Data Engineer. My best advice: don't be afraid to try new things, and don't worry if you don't know what's going on in class. As long as you have an open mind to learn, you'll pull through!

One of the many ways our department invests in women in science is by sending them to the Grace Hopper Conference each year. The conference gives our students the chance to network with leading women in technology and see the potential their computer science degree can have. If you are interested in supporting this effort, contact