April Xie is the Graphic Design Student Assistant for eCampus. As a Graphic Design undergraduate, she brings to the team her creativity and art. She is expected to graduate this May and will bring her incredible skills to IBM China as their Graphic Design Intern for the summer. When I asked her about her plans for the future she stated, “I plan on going back to China for my internship this summer but after, I am going to come back to the states for Grad school”. It is inspiring to see someone who is so passionate about their craft continue to do great work on an international level. My co-workers and I are constantly awed by April’s creations every single week.
When April started, her kindness and passion for her discipline showed. It is one of those things that inspires you to be better and hone your own skills as she does. April has been a team member for eCampus for about 4 months now and has created incredible designs for the department. Whenever we have a new marketing campaign or event happening, April is in charge with creating the designs for the flyers and posters. Her work has been published on our eCampus home page and posted all throughout the university departments.
She hopes to be a UI Designer for a creative, inclusive and innovative company. April says, “My favorite part of working at eCampus are my co-workers because they were welcoming and inspiring. I also get incredible opportunities to create designs for my department and learn more about Graphic Design from my creative collaborators”. As if April is not talented enough, she can also play 8 musical instruments. The future is bright for April and I know the world will witness her incredible designs.
Rashmi Kumari is a Graduate student who’s majoring in Computer Engineering. She specializes in Data Science and is expected to graduate in Spring, 2020. When I first met Rashmi, I was taken aback by her kindness and willingness to learn. She has been an eCampus Student Assistant for a little over 4 months now and has been an incredible addition to the team. When she first started, eCampus was going through its turnover period. Many of our talented Student Assistants got full-time opportunities at companies they love. As she was being trained by previous Student Assistants, I noticed her attention to detail and passion for helping others.
She currently handles helping the 40,000+ SJSU students, faculty and staff with all things related to instructional tools, Adobe software, Canvas and so much more. Rashmi says, “I help the faculty and students with all kinds of queries they have about instructional software’s eCampus has to offer and also resolve issues related to all them”. Anybody that knows Rashmi knows she loves to help people and helping others overcome their issues brings her joy. Her favorite part about her job is that “you get to meet so many new people and you solve their issues and lower their frustration. The sigh of relief and that smile that comes up on the faces, I strive for that”.
When I asked her what she wanted to do after graduation she said, “I want to work for one of my dream companies as a Software Engineer and make my parents proud. I also want to travel to places and learn to cook the most famous dishes every city offers”. She states that her dream job should provide her a platform where she can work on projects that help deal with issues like poverty, hunger, education and so much more.
When she is not helping people and being awesome, she is found cooking for her friends and family and in her Zumba sessions. She believes dancing relieves the stress she gets from being a Graduate Student. I am lucky to be working with Rashmi and I know that she will continue to do great things for STEM and the world.
Neha Sharma is a first year Graduate student studying Software Engineering and is expected to graduate in May 2020. She, along with Meenakshi and Rashmi help students and faculty with instructional tools and other programs. She has been a member of eCampus for 3 months now and has quickly shown her skills to her peers.
Neha exudes confidence and we can all see that through her work. The way she helps faculty and students overcome their technical issues is inspiring and incredible to see. When she first started, she was a bit shy but always willing to learn I believe that mentality is what many of us in this office have. We work in a field that is constantly changing and updating and being able to adapt to it shows determination and drive. Both these qualities Neha possess in full.
With a specialization in Cloud Computing, she wants to incorporate her love for cloud software into her final project. After graduation she wants to travel the states and play tourist her in the Bay. Her dreams for the future are to open a company that provides health benefits to the poor section of the society through my technological inventions. Neha has a history of volunteering and helping her community. She says, “I was associated with a non-profit organization back in India that worked on providing better health education to underprivileged children. I also worked as a yoga instructor there and plan on contributing to my community here in San Jose”. Her love for helping others is incredibly infectious and we all can’t wait to see what Neha does in the future.
Meenakshi Anbukkarasu is a first-year Graduate student that is majoring in Computer Science. She, along with Rashmi, helps faculty, staff, and students with all things related to instructional tools, Canvas and Adobe programs. She is expected to graduate in May 2020 but for now, she is enjoying her classes and her work here at eCampus.
When I first met Meenakshi, I could instantly tell she was a kind and welcoming young lady. She is the co-worker everyone deserves. In the mornings my co-workers and I are greeted by her gentle smile and a warm, ‘Good Morning’. If she sees that we are stressed over our work or school, she will always try to help in any she can. I think that is important in any work environment. Sometimes, we are all at fault for not reaching out for help but Meenakshi always offers a helping hand showing her true leadership qualities.
When she first got here, she (like everyone) had to go through the training process. I was highly impressed by how fast of a learner she was. She would always be asking questions and asking us, “what if” questions. I believe this really helped her prepare herself to know what to do in a variety of situations. I related to that and maybe that’s why it was so easy for me to work with her. I am always asking questions so that I can grow and be the best possible employee. For 4 months now, I have seen Meenakshi help students and faculty with their technical issues in a professional manner.
When I asked her, what was her favorite part about the job she said, “The amazing thing about working in eCampus is that I get to meet and interact with a lot of people every day. You learn something new and you are constantly growing. The exploration you do to solve a case is fun and challenging. I also get to work with amazing co-workers and a very understanding director. I’ve never felt bored with my work since every day is different. I always have the excitement to go to work every morning. Overall, I’ve grown a lot a person in these past 4 months here at eCampus and I know I will continue to learn and grow while I am here”.
After graduating she plans to be a Software Developer for a top company like Google, Amazon or Facebook. Her aspirations don’t stop there as she one day hopes to be the CEO of her own company. It’s only natural that a person like Meenakshi who loves to learn also loves to teach. She says, “I love teaching! I’ve taught at a few summer camps back in India. I want to inspire girls to choose a career in STEM. I wanted to continue that work in California, so I joined as a volunteer at West Valley Branch Library in San Jose to teach middle school kids some basic programming languages”. Meenakshi’s love for inclusivity and empowerment for women in STEM fields has impacted students in India and here in San Jose. Wherever life takes her, you can find her inspiring others and working to make the tech world more inclusive.
As March comes to an end, we reflect on the importance of Women’s Day and Women’s month. When the month first started I knew that I would be tasked with illustrating some incredible women for #Women’sDay2019. For this task, I wanted to make sure I was being inclusive and diverse with my pickings. It was incredibly important to me that the women I put up reflected the campus demographic. I decided to illustrate Dr. Maya Angelou, Dr. Roxane Gay, Dolores Huerta, and Amy Tan.
I spoke with the women in my life about Women’s Month and what it means to them. I noticed some common themes that showed up across the many discussions I had. Many believe the month symbolizes awareness to the inequality women face and others see it as hope and encouragement for a better tomorrow. It is imperative we look at the history of inequality in this country and learn from it so change can come about. Many of the women illustrated in the poster fought for that change and many continue to do so.
I am incredibly blessed to be working with and know such innovative and inspiring women. They continue to motivate and uplift me and I hope I do the same for them. I am also blessed to be in a position where I can change the narrative of ‘leaders’ portrayed and illustrate a more inclusive group that represents the campus demographic. I hope you enjoyed seeing the piece and I urge you to create a change within yourself, others and your community.