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Meet the Hoyas Who Will Be Hacking the Vatican
Georgetown University, with participation from the Maker Hub, The Global Human Development Program at the School of Foreign Service, Computer Science Department, The Massive Data Institute at the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, The Center for Social Justice, The Global Social Enterprise Initiative, The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, and the Communication, Culture & Technology Masters Program is sending a team of five students to participate in VHacks, a hackathon at the Vatican. The three -day event will bring students together from around the world to “use technological innovation to overcome social barriers and embrace common values.”
Meet Georgetown’s team of makers who will be joining VHacks this March!
Jake Glass, STIA'20
Team Role: Programmer
I grew up in California's Silicon Valley, so I've been taking apart electronics and computers and programming since I was a kid. I also attended Bellarmine College Prep, a Jesuit high school, where I learned a passion for social justice that I still have today. Some of my friends ask me why I don't just go into investment banking or get a job at Google to strike it rich as a high-paid software engineer – I tell them that I won't feel like I've accomplished something with my life and future unless I strive to improve lives for the disenfranchised and socioeconomically disadvantaged of the world. I admire VHacks's focus on social justice as a place where I can meet others interested in social justice and work towards my goal of bettering the world with a meaningful project.
Roisin McLoughlin, C’19
Team Role: Programmer
I am interested in attending VHacks because of its intersection between my interests in computer science and social justice issues. As a government and computer science double major, my goal in my career is to work on software projects with social impact to which I can apply my knowledge of political science and societal issues. I believe that technology should be at the center of many solutions to the biggest issues in society today, and I would like to work with other students with the same passion to create innovative solutions to these problems. VHacks will provide an incredible opportunity to work other students with diverse perspectives toward these solutions.
Lucy Obus, C’11, MA’19
Team Role: Designer
While I'd never been to a Makerspace before Georgetown built one, I do have a background in making through theater and arts. As an undergraduate at Georgetown University, I trained in scenic design and construction at the Davis Center, and also have a background in visual design, sewing, and pottery. I LOVE the Maker Hub! I was thrilled to find out Georgetown had built such a multifaceted creation space. I've used the Maker Hub to augment course projects, activate creative curiosities, gain new skills, and meet cool people. The Maker Hub is a phenomenal resource for everyone in the Georgetown community looking to expand their learning off the screen and into the multidimensional world. If you haven’t made use of the Hub, you’re missing out. As the team's designer, I look forward to applying multidisciplinary aesthetic and organizational skills to present our team's exciting ideas. I'm so excited that the Vatican, a presumably "old" institution, is recognizing the value and necessity of emerging technologies in solving global challenges. Cura Personalis is entering the twenty-first century! I look forward to representing Georgetown University with this team and meeting peers from around the globe who embrace technology to further human development.
Rushika Shekhar, MGHD’19
Team Role: General
Working in developing countries for 5+ years, I've seen how seemingly unsolvable challenges can often be addressed by the simplest solutions that come from the most unexpected places. I'm enthralled by the idea of VHacks bringing together students from different faith backgrounds to address complex issues like social inclusion and the refugee crisis. I'm interested in attending VHacks to firstly learn from the diverse backgrounds of other participants and to get a chance to leverage my background and experiences to develop realistic, adaptable, and effective solutions to some of the world's most complex issues.
Yanchen Wang, MS’19
Team Role: Programmer
I finished my undergraduate degree at University of California San Diego. During that time, I started to interact with refugees through International Rescue Center (IRC). In 2015 and 2016, I was a volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at IRC. I heard many stories from refugees about their personal lives and families. At that time, I realized that there are a lot of things we could do to help them. After coming to Georgetown University, I became a Master’s student in the Analytics program. One goal I want to achieve is to become a data scientist to use data for the public good to help people all over the world. I want to bring my skills in data analytics and programming to our great team to develop solutions solving global issues. I am excited about the Vatican Hackathon because the Vatican is the home of the Pope. It will be extremely meaningful to work together to provide solutions aiming at solving global issues In Vatican. It will also be a fantastic experience to visit the Vatican with a goal to make the world a better place.