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Student Spotlight: Lauren Walker

Lauren Walker (’19)

Information Technology

Lauren Walker is an information technology major from Round Rock, Texas. After calling ACU home for nearly four years now, Lauren will be graduating in May of 2019.

Lauren’s favorite course that she took while at ACU was Web Technologies (IT 225). The class covers a variety of coding languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL and shows how they all work together to make a website. Every week includes a new project that builds on previous material learned. “When you got to the end you felt like you had come so far from where you began,” said Lauren. In addition to the interesting subject matter, Lauren greatly enjoyed the challenge the course presented. The persistent attitude and resilient problem solving that was required to pass the course will stay with her for the rest of her career.

In the summer of 2018, Lauren interned at a small company called Trinsic Technologies in Austin that delivers managed IT services and technical support. Throughout her internship, she worked with a ticketing system, consulting sales, firewall configuration, and data destruction. While her official title was IT Technician and Support, Lauren was also able to see all of the different sides of the company.

 

While at ACU, Lauren is a teacher’s assistant for Dr. Byrd and also tutored for Web Technologies last semester. In her free time, Lauren does freelance video editing and makes promotional videos for law firms, authors and YouTubers. Currently, she is studying to take the Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) certification by (ISC)2 , which she will be taking in March. Lauren also played for ACU’s volleyball team. Off the court, she attended their weekly and monthly chapels, which she said played a big part in growing her faith. Lauren expressed that, in college, there are so many new opportunities that shape and grow you, but the environment at ACU offers unique encounters that nurture your faith. One of her favorite faith-based experiences she had while at ACU was being baptized by one of her favorite professors.

Lauren wants prospective students to know that ACU is unlike any other college you can find. “Not only do you grow your knowledge, but you also grow your faith; it’s a holistic experience,” she shared. “The people here at ACU are amazing, it is more than a college, it’s a community, you will never find another place like it.”

 

Student Spotlight: Jared Arthurs

Jared Arthurs (’19)

Computer Science

Jared Arthurs is a senior Computer Science major from Sugar Land, Texas. He chose ACU because of the Christ-centered environment that it offers and because he values the smaller, more personal class sizes. Since beginning at ACU, Jared has come to appreciate that every class has included a spiritual element.

Two of Jared’s favorite SITC courses have been Graphics and Software Engineering, with Graphics being an especially interesting topic to him. He said, “It was really fun to take math concepts, turn it into code, and visualize it on a computer screen.” However, his hands-on team experience from the Software Engineering course proved to be the most useful in his internships.

Arthurs has shown great initiative and has already completed two internships. The first was with Abilene Regional Medical Center where he worked on data collection and statistical analysis to track outcomes and improve patient experiences. Though he feels his contribution was small, Jared enjoyed the sense of accomplishment from helping people and making a difference. He said, “It taught me about working independently towards a larger goal.” Arthurs also interned at USAA, using the skills that he learned in the classroom to work with other interns on writing scripts and performing unit tests to update the in-house software, making it more efficient. Their contribution was implemented and is now used by half a million people a day. “It was very satisfying to know something you worked on was going to affect and improve someone else’s way of doing something.”

Jared has been very involved with the department outside of his classes. As a sophomore, he tutored for the Programming 1 course. Now he works for Wildcat Software, a student-run company on campus. There he helps write websites, make apps, and teaches others how to do the same. The most interesting project he worked on was making COBA’s calendar system easier for the administrators. Arthurs is also part of SIGCHI, a student chapter of the premier international society for professionals, academics and students who are interested in human-technology and human-computer interaction (HCI). He’s currently working on a research paper pertaining to social media. It focuses on why people post what they do and how those posts become popular. He hopes to submit it to the CHI Conference in 2020. While all of these things have impacted and molded Jared’s education and experience, he says that what changed his life the most was a small group chapel called Litany of Humility saying, “It showed me what it looks like to embody a humble mentality.”

One thing Arthurs wants prospective students to know is that ACU is able to prepare you for your future employment as well as any large state school, with an added bonus stating, “Unlike many other schools, character building is part of the curriculum at ACU.” There are so many ways to get involved inside and outside of the classroom that help shape and refine students. Faculty and staff want students to know that they are helping to form people of character, not just robots that know how to do their job really well.” Jared has taken full of advantage of the opportunities to be engaged with the university and sums it by saying, “ACU taught me there shouldn’t be modes, you shouldn’t just enter spiritual mode on Sunday morning and exit spiritual mode on Monday. It’s a way of life.”