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Dec. 11, 2014
By Alexandra Mortallaro, media relations assistant
Grace Horvath began her journey at Northwest Missouri State University in 2011. Now, three and a half years later, she has graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and her dream career as a software engineer at IBM in Austin, Texas.
Horvath, from O’Fallon, Mo., also is leaving Northwest with numerous accolades and meaningful experiences under her name. She is the first Northwest student to graduate with the assistance of a National Science Foundation S-STEM grant. She was named outstanding freshman and outstanding senior by the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems. She received the award for Best Undergraduate Non-Technical Poster at the 2013 Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas Women in Computing Conference. She also served in the roles of secretary and president in the Association for Computing Machinery-Women.
“Grace has taken advantage of many opportunities along her college path and has excelled in most activities that she pursued,” said Dr. Carol Spradling, associate professor of computer science and information systems.
Beyond Northwest, Horvath interned at Gallup in Omaha, Neb., during the summer of 2013 as a java developer for the company’s online team. Last fall, Gallup also selected her to teach high school students in the Gallup Education Task Force High School Internship Program (GET HIP), and Horvath educated students about computer programming practices and fundamentals.
“I was exposed to a lot of corporate technologies that you don't learn in the classroom but are a necessity and helped me at my next internship,” Horvath said.
Last summer, Horvath completed a second internship, gaining experience at MasterCard International as a software developer. In addition to working with and befriending fellow interns from Lithuania, Canada and regions throughout the United States, she solidified her career aspirations.
“Northwest has helped me find my passion and it has also evolved me as a person,” Horvath said. “When I came here as freshman I was really timid and shy, and I never thought I would get as involved as I did.”
Horvath attributes her success to the support she received from the faculty, like Spradling, who mentored her at Northwest.
“The computer science department is so amazing, and the faculty are really involved with the industry,” Horvath said. “Carol Spradling is my mentor, and I don’t think I would have stayed in computer science or at Northwest if it wasn’t for her.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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