Students Present at National STARS Conference

Launched at FSU in 2006, the mission of the STARS (Students & Technology in Academia, Research & Service) Alliance is based in servant leadership. The FSU student organization is part of a national network of over 50 colleges and universities with a mission to develop college students and faculty as leaders who broaden participation for women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities in IT/computing. STARS student members take an active role in developing their technical skills by leading service learning projects in K-12 and on campus.

As with anything 2020, the STARS national conference was virtual with presentations from industry leaders and faculty, and was hosted on November 6th by Temple University and North Carolina State University. Members of FSU STARS attended these virtual sessions and gave presentations on their involvement with the student organization. 

Six FSU students presented posters:

  • Running Robotics Camps –  Presented by Melissa Davis (PhD student, Engineering), Team: Kimberly Sapp
  • Leadership in Technology: Sharing Transferable Skills – Presented by Julia McLane (IT Senior), Team: Cameron Chisolm, Kathryn Manning, Devon Newton, Isabella Escobar
  • Summer Camps: A Three Year Journey – Presented by Alyssa Goosby (MIS/IT Junior), Team: Kathryn Manning, Julia McLane, Luke Weaver, Kimberly Sapp, Katterin Soto
  • Student Engagement and Strategic Planning – Presented by Isabella Escobar (ICT Senior), Team: Kelly Newbrough, Alex Bustamante, Christina Fail, Leah Abounader, Hollyn Saliga
  • Women Wednesdays and WISE: Partnering to Create Change – Presented by Cameron Chisolm (IT Senior), Team: Emily Logan, Cameron Chisolm, Leah Abounader, Hollyn Saliga
  • Build Sustainable STARS Chapter: The Role of Alumni – Presented by Kelly Newbrough (ICT Senior)

Student Presenters (from L-R): Kelly Newbrough, Julia McLane, and Isabella Escobar

“The conference gives us the ability to showcase our work to other schools and to share ideas,” said FSU STARS President Kelly Newbrough. “FSU STARS has been consistent in our efforts to have our students present every year since 2007.”

That effort earned FSU STARS recognition at this year’s event. At the conference’s awards ceremony, FSU STARS was recognized for  “Outstanding Communication and Professional Development.”

“Being able to attend and present at the national STARS conference was an insightful experience,” said Isabella Escobar, a senior information, communication, technology major. “I was able to connect with STARS across the country, enhance my presentation skills, and attend different sessions where I learned more about the STARS community.”

Julia Mclane will graduate from FSU in a month from now with her bachelor’s in information technology. “Speaking at this year’s STARS conference was one of my proudest moments as an FSU student,” she said. “I got to share how our STARS group remained active in our outreach, even if it was all virtual!”

Student Presenters (from L-R): Melissa Davis, Cameron Chisolm, and Alyssa Goosby

The other students who presented also found value in their participation in the national STARS conference.

“This year’s STARS conference was an amazing opportunity to be a part of.” Cameron Chisolm, the president of WISE, presented Women Wednesdays and WISE: Partnering to Create Change. She said, “It is amazing to see the huge impact STARS Computing Corps makes within the community while networking with other individuals.”

Alyssa Goosby shared her experience while presenting Summer Camps: A Three Year Journey. She also enjoyed attending the national conference this year. “The STARS presentations were super exciting and inspiring,” she said. “I really enjoyed being able to listen to the other talented members of the STARS community.”

“The STARS poster session was a great opportunity to organize and share my outreach,” said STARS member Melissa Davis. She reflected on her presentation Running Robotics Camps: My hope is that my presentation aided in any outreach the listeners may plan.”