Exploring Computer Science E18
In celebration of CS Ed Week, hosts Kelly Greene and Claire Conway engage in a conversation with guests from a variety of computer science industry organizations including Microsoft, American Express, State Farm, TCS and GenTech Support.
Reginald Jackson from State Farm is a Infrastructure and Dev Ops Analyst with a passion for electric vehicles. Serene Gallegos Suero from Tata Consultancy Services is an Engagement Manager and celebrates her educator background by encouraging failure as an option.
American Express team members Amanda Pulawski and Shilpa Dhopate share about how they environment their work environment focused on the Agile model! Jenna Esek an education specialist from Microsoft shares her less than traditional career path to Computer Science and Michael Wilson from GenTech Support reveals how he found his passion in supporting the community with tech services!
In this episode of STEM Unplugged, our guests get right into our discussion about the importance of Computer Science here in our growing tech industry in Arizona. Each guest identifies a misconception and how they are working to myth bust the stereotypes of computer science professionals. They address ways to learn more about their company, careers and ways to address those misconceptions as individuals.
State Farm is a mutual company that makes its primary focus its policyholders. Our more than 55,000 employees and more than 19,000 independent contractor agents service 83 million policies and accounts throughout the U.S. Approaching its 100th anniversary in June 2022, it remains as the top insurance company and ranked 39 on the Forbes 500 list for 2021.
Passionate technologist with a love of all things STEM, Reginald Jackson’s current endeavors include launching a Tesla/EV based instagram called TheTeslaBruh along with the BasicBlackPodcast. He has not let a pandemic slow him down, it merely opened other opportunities in different areas.
His career spans over 25 years in the IT industry, working in various sectors from education, healthcare and now the insurance industry. Now more than ever with the working world transitioning to a work from home model, he has converted his office into a home studio where he creates content for podcasts and voiceover work.
He recently voiced a part for a COVID 19 play based in the Netherlands called “Off the Wall” by Tommy Hatim Sherif.
A current role he takes great pride in is “Nurse Support” for his Covid 19 fighting shero who is a travel nurse supporting Arizona, and California with their new boston terrier puppy Dutchess.
Tata Consultancy Services is a purpose-led transformation partner to many of the world’s largest businesses. For more than 50 years, they have been collaborating with clients and communities to build a greater future through innovation and collective knowledge.
TCS oﬀers an integrated portfolio of cognitive powered business, technology, and engineering services and solutions. The company’s over 500,000 consultants in 46 countries help empower individuals, enterprises, and societies to build on belief.
Recently, TCS announced plans to expand its operations in Arizona, investing more than $300 million by 2026 and hiring more than 220 employees by 2023, to meet the digital transformation needs of its customers.
TCS will also continue to expand the reach of its STEM and Computer Science education programs in Arizona by increasing teacher training and online content for students over the next two years.
Serene Gallegos Suero is an Engagement Manager on the Global Corporate Social Responsibility team at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
In her role, she leads the Ignite My Future initiative, the company’s flagship STEM education program. Her goal is to bring free, high-quality teacher professional development that incorporates computational thinking into all core subject areas.
A proud former NYC public school teacher, she has devoted her career to improving educational experiences, opportunities, and outcomes for young people from underrepresented communities.
At American Express, we know that with the right backing, people and businesses have the power to progress in incredible ways. Whether we’re supporting our customers’ financial confidence to move ahead, taking commerce to new heights, or encouraging people to explore the world, our colleagues are constantly redefining what’s possible – and we’re proud to back each other every step of the way.
When you join #TeamAmex, you become part of a diverse community of over 60,000 colleagues, all with a common goal to deliver an exceptional customer experience every day.
Amanda Pulawski is an Electrical Engineer by degree; Software Engineer and Engineering Leader by trade. She has start-up to large-scale enterprise experience in domains ranging from B2B security products to Healthcare to Financial Services and including commercial enterprise software and DoD.
Amanda is a lifelong learner with an analytic mind she says she can’t seem to shut off, a student of feedback and an engineering and optimization enthusiast.
Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.
Shilpa Dhopate has a unique combination of broad software architecture experience and hands-on engineering skills. She has built and led winning product engineering teams and delivered innovative products that solve real-world problems.
She is known for her collaborative, transformational and innovative leadership, challenging herself and her teams to innovate, and driving technical change.
Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
The Microsoft Store Direct Sales and Support team is available to help you find the right solutions for your institution. From providing purchasing guidance, through setup and training, we’re here with you every step of the way.
Microsoft Store Direct Sales and Support offers free education training and expert support tailored to your institution’s unique needs. Our Microsoft Innovative Educator teaching and learning tools provide professional development credits as well as answer quick questions. Free virtual workshops are available for staff, teachers, students, and families. Reach out to schedule a discovery call and learn more.
Driven by a passion to create genuine connections while helping people, Jenna Esek has enjoyed navigating a series of community-focused customer-centric roles. Her desire to constantly learn, push herself, and take part in new experiences has led her to take on numerous challenges throughout her career.
Jenna started her Microsoft career with Microsoft Store in 2016. This combined Jenna’s passions for customer service, education, and technology, while also challenging her to become a subject matter expert on solutions she previously knew little about. Throughout four years, Jenna managed community initiatives and kept a growth-mindset, constantly seeking out new ways to help customers achieve more with technology.
With the closure of physical Microsoft Stores, Jenna has transitioned into a remote support role as an Education Specialist. She now has the ability to provide elevated resources and support to schools, with a consistent goal of helping classrooms run efficiently in a changing landscape.
Connect with Jenna on LinkedIn.
GenTech is a community tech hub managed by brilliant techs with backgrounds in engineering, IT support, computer science and programming. All of the high school and college students that work at GenTech are stakeholders in the company and are intricately involved in running the business.
GenTechs consistently exchange ideas about new technologies and collaborate with industry professionals. Our signature service is personal tech support where you will experience kindness and individual attention to your tech questions. GenTech has a full service, computer repair counter onsite. Virtual and home services are available.
Michael Wilson is a recent graduate of GCU in Cybersecurity and Information Technology. He expertly manages the GenTech store overseeing hardware intakes, daily operations, repair processes, scheduling and customer support.
Michael is excited to kick start his career in a meaningful way by helping the community in tech services and teaching kids the tech skills they need to prepare them for their future.
About Our Sponsor
SciTech Institute™ was established as the Arizona Technology Council Foundation as the conduit for collaboration among STEM industry, academia, civic, and non-profit organizations in Arizona. Now, rebranded and named the SciTech Institute™ the goal centers around aligning assets and resources to motivate individuals to pursue STEM-related educational and career paths or find a passion while engaged in community events during the SciTech Festival.
The Chief Science Officer program highlights the 6th-12th graders that have been selected as leaders in their schools and communities to receive training to build a world-class community of diverse STEM-literate workers and knowledgeable, engaged citizens. Science For All allows for tax credit donations to provide engaging experiences for students while RAIN (Rural Activation Innovation Network) focuses on resources for the rural areas of Arizona.
As a STEM Learning Ecosystem, SciTech Institute™ focuses on collaboration and connecting individuals with opportunities! STEM Professionals are encouraged to engage with the future workforce by serving as a mentor, leadership coach, panelist, keynote and session trainer during a variety of conferences hosted or sponsored by SciTech Institute™ and The Arizona Technology Council.
Teachers and Administrators are invited to connect with the resources available while activating a large network of STEM champions for student projects, judges at events, volunteers, exhibitors and more. SciTech Festival Event Coordinators are supported during the planning and execution of community STEM events around the state by the SciTech STREET Team Members and the growing network of volunteers. The possibilities are endless! SciTech Institute™ looks forward to connecting with you today. Visit SciTechInstitute.org today for more information.
About Your STEM Unplugged Hosts
After grow up in rural New York and joining the United States Army, Kelly Greene learned quickly to adapt to her surroundings to be successful. She attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.
She also enlisted in the United States Army and after graduating from training, Kelly traveled the world with the military. While stationed in Misawa, Japan, she fell in love with learning about cultures around the world. Even as a deployed Soldier during Operation Iraqi Freedom for two tours, she found opportunities to connect with the local children to form the Victory Base Council Girl Scouts with her fellow servicemen.
In 2013, she was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and traveled the country by air. During this deployment, she had the opportunity to utilize the most advanced technologies available to the tactical HUMINT operations in theater. Upon return from combat, she retired with 21 years of service and began teaching. From 6th grade Math to 7th grade STEM, Kelly used her enthusiastic nature combined with her strong classroom management to design curriculum based on the Engineering Design Process!
Now, as the Chief Operating Officer at SciTech Institute, Kelly is excited to serve the communities in Arizona and beyond to share their interest in STEM!
Claire Conway is the STEM Ecosystem Programs Manager at SciTech Institute.
Connect with Claire on LinkedIn.