Western student tapped for computer science mentorship program

CULLOWHEE – A Western Carolina University student is one of 40 women from across the nation selected for participation in a prestigious summer mentorship program designed to increase the number of women entering graduate school in computer science or computer engineering.

Valerie Gartland

Valerie Gartland

Valerie Gartland, a junior computer science major, will be working for 10 weeks this summer with Lori Clarke, co-director of the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Valerie to work alongside a world-class leader in the field of software testing and analysis,” said David Luginbuhl, associate professor of mathematics and computer science at Western.

The Computing Research Association’s Distributed Mentorship Program brings together undergraduate students and professors for a summer of research at the mentor’s research institution. Participating students are directly involved in research activities, meet and interact with graduate students and professors, and work with successful researchers.

In addition to the 10-week educational experience, Gartland also receives a $6,000 stipend for the summer program.

At Western, Gartland is a dean’s list student, evening tutor in the computer science laboratory and student assistant in introductory-level courses. She is a 2002 graduate of Raleigh Charter High School and is the daughter of J.P. and Laurie Gartland of Raleigh.

Gartland is the second woman from Western’s computer science program in the past three years selected for the CRA’s mentorship program.