Trinity alumni conduct panel on women in technology


Photo by Eva Littman

As part of the ongoing Women in Technology lecture series, Trinity hosted three alumni, all women who have careers in technology fields, to answer students’ questions about their experiences as women in technology.

The Q&A panel was held last Monday evening. The series is sponsored by the Martha, David and Bagby Lennox foundation.

The panel featured Amara Keller, who graduated from Trinity in 2012, Patricia Wolf, ’11 and Aly Miller, ’12. Keller currently works for Intel, while both Wolf and Miller work for USAA. All three studied computer science while at Trinity.

Wolf had always planned to study computer science upon entering college.

“When I came to college, I knew I wanted to do something with computers,” Wolf said. “My brothers got me into it. Now we are all three in technology fields.”

Miller discovered computer science because she thought it was a better alternative than a traditional science lab.

“I had never planned to go into computer science,” Miller said. “I needed the science credit and computer science sounded better than bio lab. I kept taking classes, expecting to fail, but I kept going and kept loving it.”

Keller originally intended to major in biology, but her advisor pointed her in the direction of computer science.

“I declared bio and planned to be a trauma surgeon,” Keller said. “I went to my advisor and he said to take a computer science class. Not only did I like it, but I realized I wanted to do it as my second major.”

According to previous lecturers, it is common for women in technology fields to face discrimination at school or in the workplace because of their gender. However, each of the three alumni on the panel talked about positive experiences in school and enjoyable workplace environments.

“I feel like I’ve had good opportunities to lead where I want to and follow where I want to,” Miller said. “I absolutely feel like I’ve been given equal opportunities. From day one, I had an excellent support system.”

Keller agreed with Miller, saying that being a woman in the workplace has in no way restricted her.

“I am appreciated instead of undervalued as a woman,” Keller said. “I am considered a valuable asset.”

All three women agreed that their Trinity educations prepared them for success in their careers.

“I completely credit Trinity to where I am now,” Miller said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. The common curriculum pushed me. I had a one-on-one relationship with my professors, and they really helped guide me in the direction where I ended up.”

Wolf credits Trinity’s rigorous standards for preparing her for the challenges she encounters with her work now.

“I find we got a better all-around computer science education because of the academic rigor,” Wolf said. “We know the technology, the essential concepts and the skills and often outrank the big schools’ computer science programs. The collaboration that’s encouraged at Trinity taught us how to interact with others.”

The next lecture in the Lennox Seminar Series will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, in Chapman Auditorium and will feature Erin Pettigrew, who is the vice president of business development at Gawker Media.