Upcoming Memorial Services for Jean Coppola at Pace University

Sent on behalf of Dr. Jonathan Hill, the Dean of the Seidenberg School at Pace University.

Dear friends, colleagues, and members of the Pace community,

The loss of Jean Coppola on October 29th was a huge hit to our community. We received many messages of support, as well as memories of times with Jean ranging from recently to several decades ago. It has been truly special to experience the sharing of warmth and memories over the past few weeks.

Jean was an integral part of our community – and will remain so for many years to come.  Her influence on students, colleagues, and the work she was most passionate about continues to blossom, and it is evident that she had a meaningful impact on many people.

To commemorate and celebrate the life of one of our most esteemed faculty members, we will be holding memorial events on both our New York and Pleasantville campuses. We welcome students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all of our friends in the Pace community who wish to attend and celebrate the many extraordinary achievements of Jean Coppola.

We would also like to share photos of Jean during the services and ask that if you have any you would like to share to please send them to Allie Gallagher at agallagher@pace.edu

Please see below for further information and forward it widely to those who will want to participate.

Pleasantville

Thursday, December 7

Butcher Suite

Kessel Student Center

3:25pm-4:25pm
New York City

Tuesday, December 12

Seidenberg Lounge

163 William Street, 2nd Floor

3:25pm-4:25pm

Sincerely,

Jonathan

Celebrating the life and passions of Dr. Jean Coppola

We are deeply saddened to share that our much loved Pace community member, professor of information technology, and friend, Jean Coppola, passed away on Sunday October 29th, 2017.

As an integral part of our community, Jean leaves an incredible legacy behind: the creation and management of the WestchesterSMART Mobile App Development Bowl, which ran for three consecutive years with increasing attendance and success; her outstanding work in her life’s passion of gerontechnology, as a founding member of the Pace University Gerontechnology Program, through the mobile app contest, and through the classes she taught; the passion she instilled in her students; her incredible baking skills; her prowess on the softball field; her choir leadership; as a board member for her alma mater St Francis Prep, and so much more.

One year ago, Jean was recognized by the Westchester County Association for the second time as she received a Women in Tech Award. A month after that, she was honored at Pace for an astounding 30 years of service to the University, our students, and our greater community.

Jean has been a powerhouse in the field of technology, appearing in Westchester Magazine just this summer to discuss the critical issue of cybersecurity, an issue that is “not going to go away.”

Jean in her element wearing her famous red suit.

She has been known around Pace for being one of the sharpest dressed faculty members on campus. As recognizable for her suits as for her intelligence and creativity, Jean always made an impression whether in front of a class of students or interviewing for any one of the international publications that featured her.

And, thanks to Jean’s passion and determination to share her love of technology in the classroom, her teaching, leadership, and memory will live on in the thousands of students and colleagues she met over the years.

Here are some of the unique ways Jean instilled user experience design and empathy in her students:

Jean, you will be greatly missed by all of us at Seidenberg.

 

Seidenberg Tech Collective presents the Fall 17 Seidenberg Community Forum in PLV on November 1

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, our student-run club Seidenberg Tech Collective is hosting the Fall 17 Seidenberg Community Forum.

The forum is an excellent opportunity for students to have their voices heard. Staff and faculty will be there to answer your questions, listen to your comments and feedback, and assist with any concerns you may have. It’s also an opportunity for us to keep you in the loop with what’s shakin’ at Seidenberg! There’s a lot of stuff coming up in our School’s future and we want to keep our students and community informed.

Plus, as always, pizza.

Mmmm

If you’ve never been to a Seidenberg Tech Collective (STC) meeting before, now is a great chance to stop by and meet fellow students and the benefits of joining a student club at Seidenberg.

See you next Wednesday!

Seidenberg hits up Grace Hopper Celebration again!

by Kaitlyn Bestenheider

This month, a group of 14 Seidenberg students and staff travelled over 1,000 miles to join 18,000 other attendees at the 2017 Grace Hopper Women in Computing Celebration (GHC) in Orlando, Florida.

With daily opportunities to attend an extensive career fair, interview with top companies, and attend panels on just about any subject you could ask for, the conference was a unique experience for each attendee.

Ava Posner, Olga Bogomolova, Niamh Fitzsimon, Kim Brazaitis, and Svetlana Kotlyarenko travelling in style.

 

A few of the students were able to join the Anita B. Worker Bees and volunteer for GHC. Seidenberg students and leaders of the women in tech club WIT@Pace Kaitlyn Bestenheider (MS in Information Systems), and Elizabeth Molloy (BS in Information Systems) were a part of the team that kept the official historical records of the event for the GHC.

“It was a great experience to know that our perspective would be a lens for future generations of Women in Technology to experience the 2017 conference,” says Kaitlyn. “I was so grateful to GHC for also linking to my blog on all of their social media profiles.”

The keynote speech that really sparked a fire was Melinda Gates. “I really enjoyed Melinda Gate’s Keynote,” said student Linda Zeng, “She stated that it’s time to recognize everybody discovers their interest in tech at different times in their lives, and listening to that has made me so proud to be at Seidenberg, where non-traditional students can thrive and strive for a tech career with all the resources provided to us at the school.”

Her call to action was to ask every person in the room to inspire or encourage just ten women to join or stay in the technology field. If just 2/3 of all attendees made this their goal, over 120,000 girls and women would be affected. That’s more than all of the computer science graduates expected for this coming May.

A truly humbling and enlightening experience, the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration left its mark on all who attended. Rohana Sosa (BS in Computer Science) summed up the experience perfectly:

“I am forever grateful for Seidenberg providing me with the opportunity to be a Grace Hopper Scholar. The entire experience was amazing,” says Rohana. “It was really fun going to the Icebar to make friends with other GHC ladies from different universities and exchange business cards with executives from companies such as Facebook. I will always remember the laughs, dancing, and fun times I spent with my Seidenberg friends at the career fair, Disney World, and the GHC Friday celebration.”

We already can’t wait for GHC next year. Thanks to Seidenberg student Kaitlyn for this excellent post!

Seidenberg student Shaki Kar earns FAIT 2017 Fellowship

We are delighted to announce that Seidenberg student Shaki Kar (MS in Information Systems ‘19) has earned a position in the 2017 Foreign Affairs IT (FAIT) Fellowship program. Shaki is one of only two graduate students throughout the U.S. who were awarded the Fellowship.

The program is operated by The Washington Center for Academic Internships and is funded by the U.S. Department of State.

“I’m highly excited about receiving the fellowship because I look forward to serving my country by enhancing computer and communications systems security, and ensuring transparent, interconnected diplomacy, while incorporating new technologies for the advancement of U.S. foreign policy,” said Shaki.

In a letter to Pace University President Marvin Krislov, The Washington Center’s President Christopher Norton said “the Fellowship is designed to attract outstanding individuals from all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in IT with the U.S. Department of State.”

The application process was tough. “After a very competitive application, interview and clearance process,” Mr. Norton said, “we are very pleased that Shaki Kar has been selected into the inaugural class of the FAIT 2017 Fellowship program.”

As a result of achieving the Fellowship, Shaki will spend summer 2018 interning in Washington DC and will go abroad the following year. Once he has completed these internships (and his degree at Pace University!) he will enter an appointment as a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist (IMS) for five years.

“Information Management Specialists serve their country by maintaining secure, reliable IT tools and resources to ensure that Foreign Service Officers, federal agencies and non-government partners can promote diplomacy while serving overseas,” Shaki explained. “Information Management Specialists gain experiences that few other IT professions offer, including the reward of living in a foreign country while experiencing different cultures and helping to protect U.S. interests abroad.”

“This is a very exciting opportunity for Shaki,” wrote Mr. Norton, “and we know your university must be very proud.”

Yes, yes we are!

Shaki chose to complete his master’s degree at Pace University’s Seidenberg School because “I wanted to find a flexible technology program where I would be able to combine my policy experience with hands-on technical learning, technical application, and technical knowledge. I felt that the Seidenberg School offers all the above.”

He added: “I also look forward to meeting Pace President Krislov in the future.”

“The experiences and opportunities that entail from a Fellowship like this are potentially career and life-altering,” said Seidenberg School Dean Jonathan Hill. “We are thrilled for Shaki and very much look forward to supporting him in his studies and seeing where this exciting journey takes him.”

The Washington Center will soon be taking applications for next year’s cohort of FAIT Fellows. If you are interested in applying, check back on the Fellowship website for updates.

A huge congratulations to Shaki! We can’t wait to hear all about your wonderful experiences on this Fellowship!

Seidenberg Student Attends ABI.NYC Professional Women’s Series Panel

by Kaitlyn Bestenheider

On Thursday, September 15th, Seidenberg graduate student, Kaitlyn Bestenheider (M.S. Information Systems), attended the latest Professional Women’s Series Panel on “Defining Success: A Conversation on Career” hosted by Bloomberg Women in Technology (BWIT) and Anita Borg Institute (ABI.NYC).

The discussion started with Esther Kundin, Software Architect & Infrastructure Engineer in Big Data at Bloomberg, discussing how, “In school, you work hard, do good, and get A’s. Then you move on… When you start your career, things don’t always work that way. You have to learn to tell people what you are doing. You have to be seen as both technical and professional.”

Later during the Q&A, she continued, “In school, when you are given a homework assignment or problem, it’s a closed assignment. The solution has already been found. You are also finding it. In the real world, the solution has not been found. There’s no right or wrong way. It becomes a question of, ‘Can you get it done efficiently and effectively?’ …and it’s all very collaborative. A group project in school is not the same. In school, it’s a small project. In the real world, it’s an open-ended project with a lot of people and personalities working on projects that are sometimes neighing on impossible, but you make it happen.”

Other fantastic advice was given by Danielle Lahmani, Global Head of Engineering Training & Documentation at Bloomberg. “If you are able to get a mentor very early on, that’s going to be incredibly helpful in navigating the network that you are in.” She went on to discuss how “Cinderella Syndrome, where you just put your head down and just work” simply doesn’t work in this industry. You have to “build technical depth and presentation.”

Pinky Dewani, Head of Engineering for Bloomberg Indices added her take on how to be successful early in your career, “Translate technical ideas and design and implementation ideas depending on the audience you’re working with,” meaning to be able to explain things to everyone from your very technical team to the investor or even end-user who might not understand technology at all. The ability to understand it well enough to break it down for anyone will make you a valuable asset to any team.

On the topic of navigating the gaps for getting women in to midlevel management, Kundin suggests working on smaller projects for the first few years, but becoming the go-to person for a specific type of projects. Then, “you want to ask for larger projects.” She continues, “Sometimes you have to take that risk and do something that’s very scary and that may be hard for you, but that is ok.”

Dewani followed up with “Don’t be afraid of change, but actively seek it” describing how there is no growth without change.

Lahmani lead the conversation on things she would like to see more of to help women find success in tech careers. “I’d like to see more internships being offed to women. It’s the first step in terms of proving your worth. The more we see people like us in a technology community, the more normal it is.” She went on to describe the importance of having models in mid- and senior- level management positions because having a role model gives us something to strive for. They can also act as mentors and sponsors.

Jenny Gu, Team Lead of Listed Derivatives Volatility at Bloomberg, discussed how frequently teams have 7 or 8 men in the room and you are the only woman in the room. She suggests trying to help women out. “Ask them their thoughts. Give them a chance to talk… Women underestimate themselves. Maybe all they need is some support and a little push.” She later said, “I know women who are where they are now because someone gave them a little encouragement. They are very grateful to the people who gave them support on the way. Everyone can show their support to other people. Those little things can make a big difference.”

Later in the discussion, Dewani made one of my favorite points of this panel. “We worry too much about asking for permission to do things. Just fix it. Try out new tools. The more we do it, the more we increase our own skills and our own reputation as a leader and a doer.” She said if your team needs a driver, step up and do it. Don’t wait for someone else to come along who might not even be on their way. “Never, not even once, have I been asked, ‘Why are you doing this?’”

Lahmani seconded her statement with, “If we can overcome this, I think we can achieve a lot.”

Lastly, I’d like to thank Yunfei Xu, Global Head of Engineering for Portfolio Risk Analytics & index Products, for her comment stating that, “You have to give back.”

And this author is inclined to agree!

In the WIT community, I have never heard a mentor ask for anything except that you pay it forward. Help someone else in the field. You will never be able to repay the people who helped you in any other way than to make their investment in you worthwhile and by helping the next generation of women in tech.

I genuinely hope my work in WIT@Pace and my personal blog contributes to the community in some way as I work to pay it forward and become a valuable resource for other trying to learn to navigate this field for the first time. My experiences at many WIT conferences have been utterly amazing and I as reflect on my very first conference, WiCyS 2017 which you can read about here, and my first trip to the Grace Hopper Celebration, I am humbled, grateful, and thrilled to be plugged in to such a powerful network of women which started right here at Pace!

Thanks to our student Kait for another fantastic blog post!