How I found out about the CRA-DMP?

I had received email from two or three different professors in my CS Dept regarding the program. I said that I would apply if they would write me the letters of recommendation.

I have heard that it is extremely competitve to be funded for this program, so I would like to thank Dr. Donna Reese, Dr. Susan Bridges, and Dr. Lois Boggess for their letters of recommendation. Also, I've been told that because of the research I had been involved in already back at State, I had a great chance of being selected. So I want to thank Dr. Bridges again for hiring me.

I found out that I was selected for the program while on Spring Break in Arizona. I have to say that Arizona is probably one of the most wonderful places in the world, especially from the top of a mountain. Go back to index

What is the CRA-DMP?

"The objective of the CRA Distributed Mentor Project is to increase the number of women entering graduate school in Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CS&E). To achieve this, the project matches outstanding female undergraduates with female mentors for a summer of research at the mentor's institution. This research experience provides students with a window on research and graduate life and gives them a close mentoring relationship with a faculty researcher."

Mary Jean Harrold is the official contact person for the program. If you are interested in this program, i would definitely talk to her and ask for an application. I've only talked to her once on the phone, but she was really helpful. (and especially when she read to me Kathryn's research area, i was totally clueless. But before I could express my discontentment, she said that it was okay if i were totally clueless. So i felt a whole lot better.)

For more information about the CRA-DMP, check out their website at

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How did I get selected for Umass?

Initially, I was selected to go to Duke University, but I have no clue what research I would have been doing there. However, on my application I requested, "NOT IN THE SOUTH...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE...I just want one summer w/o the excessive heat and high humidity." So everyone on the committee laughed, so I was told, and granted me my least I thought i was going to get my wish for cooler temperatures.

Then the contact person for the CRA-DMP, Mary Jean Harrold, calls me and asks me whether I would like to go to University of Massachusetts to do work in Compilers. Although I was not interested in compilers (at that time, Kathryn...GC has had a positive influence on me), I said, "sure, why not?" Go back to index

How long did it take to drive up here?

I left the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast, Friday, May 21, at 5:30am. I reached Oak Ridge, Tenn at 5 o'clock in the afternoon during the midst of traffic. See Driving through Oak Ridge for the story. I stayed with co-workers of my mom and had a great time learning the history of oka ridge and how they build the bomb that ended World War II.

I woke up at 5 am the next day; however my body complained that it was 4 am Central Time. I drove through the rain the entire way through Virginia, but from what i could see, it was really green. I finally made it to some Prezel Factory in Reading, Penn. In Reading, I stayed with my boyfriend's parents.

Being physically exhausted and having the sight of mountains take my breath away, I spent the next day there in Reading. Monday morning, 5 am, I left Reading and reached Umass at 12:30pm. After much pain and needless suffering, I checked into the dorm. I experienced the horror of the LGRC, that is, the Tower. Probably took me 2 hours to find the CS dept. See First Day Experiences at Umass for the unabridge telling of the horrors.


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Why on earth did I chose Garbage Collection?

Because it was my destinty...See The History of the Trashwoman.

Honestly, it was the only thing on Kathryn's website that I could pronounce besides her name.

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Was it hot up there?

Okay Starkville, you have us beat temperature wise, but I DID NOT HAVE A/C IN THE DORM!! Most days it was in the high 90s, so i still have suffered. I emailed the head of the CRA-DMP about me not getting my wish for the cooler summer, and she laughed.