Foster is Focused on Creating a Sense of Belonging in Computing
Terry Foster is a fellow at the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing, a role he not only loves but considers crucial to changing the computer science education landscape. Foster works with Atlanta Public Schools to increase the availability of computer science education courses in underserved communities and the number of teachers qualified to teach the new classes.
Outside of teaching students and teachers necessary computing skills, Foster hopes to be a role model to his students — particularly young Black men.
I remember being where they are and wishing I had the resources and mentorship that we provide them. I think that my path would have looked a lot different had I had that, and I hope that we are letting them see that not only do these other opportunities exist, but that they can do them.
Passing the Torch: Roboticists Lead Future Generation of Women in the Field
De’Aira Bryant’s advice? “Just start. You have to start somewhere.”
Bryant, a robotics Ph.D. student, began her career in computer science with no previous experience as an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina. Today, she works with School of Interactive Computing Chair Ayanna Howard on robots that are impacting individuals with disabilities. Together, they are making technology work for everybody including those with motor, visual, or hearing impairments. Bryant and Howard are also investigating robot gendering and its impact on human trust, and work toward inclusivity with programs like AI4ALL.
Bryant also recently got a taste for stardom when she programmed a robot for the Melissa McCarthy movie, Superintelligence.
Payne is Proof of the Impact of Teachers and Hopes to Have Lasting Effect on APS Students
“I know what it’s like to be from somewhere where people are not succeeding and to have someone tell you that you can do this. Whether it’s in an APS classroom or on a Saturday morning with my coding clubs, I want students to know there’s a way forward for them that can give them a new life.”
Yolanda Payne puts this into action as a Constellations Fellow where she coaches students and teachers in Atlanta Public Schools on computer science concepts. Payne also runs a Girls Who Code and Code Club program on the weekends to excite middle school boys and girls about careers in math, technology, science, or engineering.
Sababu Barashango has the Drive to Empower Atlanta Public School Educators in Teaching Computing
“I call all of my students doctor because I want them to know that no matter what they choose to do in life, scholastic or medical or not, that they can reach that high level of potential. I want them to get used to hearing being called that title, because after a while you start to believe it and once you believe it, nothing can stop you.”
A fellow at Constellations, Sababu Barashango seeks to be a role model to his students and inspire underrepresented minorities to chase their dreams.