Meet WST Graduate Partner Mary Eve Spirou
What is your connection to WST? How has it impacted your experience at Georgia Tech?
During fall semester 2017, I began working as a graduate research assistant for Mary Frank Fox in the School of Public Policy. In addition to aiding Dr. Fox with research, I am also assisting with the preparations and organization for the 2018 WST Distinguished Lecture. Although my involvement with the Center for the Study of Women, Science, and Technology (WST) is relatively new, I have become exposed and more aware of the supportive environment Georgia Tech provides for women students and faculty within STEM fields. Therefore, I look forward to the coming academic year as well as participating and learning more from those involved with WST.
What social and academic advice would you give to students at Georgia Tech?
As a graduate student, I would advise students to heavily focus on their academic interests while balancing these responsibilities with participation in social areas. Merging these types of activities can provide great benefits as it is often possible to combine research and social pursuits through student collaboration efforts. This form of teamwork not only allows you to become involved with your fellow peers, but also helps to explore areas of academic and professional interest. Ultimately, participating in both social and academic activities as well as identifying a balance between these elements is important for a successful and fulfilling college experience.
What is your favorite thing about Georgia Tech?
An element of Georgia Tech which I have found to be extremely beneficial is in the wide variety of available resources to students. Such resources include not only tangible elements such as lab equipment and software, but also in terms of faculty and departmental support. The guidance I have received from faculty members has been invaluable as numerous professors within the School of Public Policy have counseled me in my research endeavors. Furthermore, the close interaction between students and faculty has also afforded me with the opportunity to improve upon research skills as I have been involved in funded projects during my time at Georgia Tech. Additionally, in terms of teaching experience, I have been able to gain a better insight into this area of higher education as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course. Therefore, the amount of resources available and opportunities for involvement have helped to cultivate and improve upon my research and teaching skills.
What are you involved with on campus, and why?
During my time at Georgia Tech, I have been involved in research during the spring 2017 and summer 2017 semesters. This project focused on the participation of women in computer science at the graduate level. During the 2016-2017 academic year, I wrote numerous papers which were supported by the School of Public Policy and Graduate Student Government Association to be presented at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and the Southern Political Science Association. I am also scheduled to present at the upcoming Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy. Therefore, research is an area I am strongly involved and interested in within the Georgia Tech community. In terms of campus organizations, this semester I have become involved in the student organization, Open Secure Internet Advocates which discusses timely issues surrounding internet privacy and freedom. I have chosen to involve myself in these activities in order to become more exposed to the process of academic research as well as in areas of policy that are of interest.