Each week we spotlight an OMSCS TA, so you can get to know who's behind the screen. Here are four questions for Elizabeth Shivers, who TAs Intro to Health Informatics.
What do you do professionally?
While I am focusing on the OMSCS and TAing full time for the moment, I have primarily worked in Healthcare IT support. My experiences made me conscious of the technology failures in healthcare systems, which partly drove my desire to enter the OMSCS program and learn the skills I needed to make a difference in the field for patients and providers alike.
Why do you TA for OMSCS?
I found that I quickly fell in love with the OMSCS program — in particular what it means for accessibility for many individuals and groups who are underrepresented in STEM — and was excited at being able to contribute to it. Applying to TA for Health Informatics was then an easy decision, as it offered me a unique opportunity to continue to develop the knowledge I need to leave the OMSCS program and be able to hopefully make a meaningful contribution to the healthcare industry.
What's your advice for future students in OMSCS?
Take your time when selecting your courses. Read through the OMSCS website carefully, and talk to students who have taken the courses you are interested in taking. For instance, if you aren't comfortable with graduate level writing, don't assume you won't be doing any writing in some courses simply because this is a CS program. Find out if the course you want to take relies on papers, not just coding. Experienced students may also be able to give you recommendations on what to take in which order to give you the greatest chance of success in difficult classes.
And it may seem obvious, but don't procrastinate on your assignments! The instruction teams in the OMSCS are dedicated to helping students succeed, but there isn't much we can do if you post a request for help hours before a deadline while everyone is asleep. Get ahead of your work and be prepared for the occasional setback.
What hobby or activity are you looking forward to getting back to once you're done with OMSCS?
Cooking! Cooking has been a passion in my life since I was a child, and I've always enjoyed taking time out several times a week to build complex dishes or just have fun experimenting. Unfortunately, for the time being I'm lucky if I have the time and/or energy to toss a stir-fry together! I definitely look forward to being able to get back to making the most of my kitchen.