Kean Computer Science Undergraduates Receive National Scholarships


Kean University Computer Science undergraduates, seniors Yerika Jimenez (Perth Amboy, NJ) and Nathaly Lozono (Elizabeth, NJ) received scholarships to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Computing, in Minneapolis, MN, October 2-5.  Over 900 applicants applied for the scholarships nationally.  These awards are the latest in a series of academic accomplishments both women have enjoyed at Kean University.

Yerika Jimenz, a graduate of Perth Amboy High School, has been recognized for her academic achievement throughout her years at Kean. Most recently, in 2011-2012, she was a member of an undergraduate research team working on a comparative research study of visual programming language environments.  Her scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper conference is a result of her work during the summer of 2012 with Dr. Patricia Morreale of Kean’s Department of Computer Science.  Yerika conducted research into smartphone design and use, resulting in her development of a predictive model for smartphone selection.  The results from this work were presented at a conference in July and have been published by Springer in Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Human Computer Interaction (HCI).   Yerika’s research was recognized by the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi (Kean University Chapter) with a first place research award for 2013.  Yerika spent the summer of 2013 at Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina conducting research on how young children learn as part of a Computing Research Association (CRA) DREU award.

Nathaly Lozano participated in a research project during 2012-2013.  With a team of Kean student collaborators, under the direction of Dr. Patricia Morreale, she developed a mobile application, now available in both the Apple and Android stores, in support of a local historical site, First Elizabeth Presbyterian Church. The mobile app, free for downloading as fpc, supports mobile historical research and genealogy.  In addition to the software engineering research on mobile application design which the project offered, the NJ historians and genealogy researchers have also admired the mobile app designed by the Kean University team.   Prior to her work on this topic, Nathaly designed and tested an educational computer game with middle school students at Roselle Park Middle School under the direction of Professor Carolee Stewart-Gardiner, with support from Kean University’s  Students Partnering with Faculty (SpF, 2012) program.  

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Computing (, offered by the Anita Borg Institute and the Association of Computing Machinery, is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. It is the largest technical conference for women in computing and results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for junior women and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing. Conference presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industry, academia and government. Top researchers present their work while special sessions focus on the role of women in today’s technology fields.

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