OMSCS Through The Years

Tuesday, April 30, 1:00-2:00 pm
Room 236
Modality: Panel Discussion


Continuing the celebration of OMSCS's 10th anniversary, this panel discussion brings together alumni who were enrolled in OMSCS at different phases of its existence to chat broadly about what led them to OMSCS, their experiences in the program, and their lives since graduating.

Panelist: Bobbie Lynn Eicher

Bobbie Eicher

Bobbie was among the students to join OMSCS in its first year, and was also among the original set of four OMS students hired to be teaching assistants. She was also the co-founder and then co-leader of the Nerdy Bones student organization for women in technology up until she graduated and joined Georgia Tech's PhD program in 2016 to study artificial intelligence as a tool for learning, including interactive agents like Jill Watson. She has continued to work on program data collection and improvement since then, with an emphasis on expanding student opportunities to participate in research. To further expand on that goal, she became a member of Georgia Tech's research faculty in early 2024.

Panelist: Peter Graening

Peter Graening

Peter Graening serves as Academic Program Director with Georgia Tech Professional Education, developing non-credit programs in computing, analytics, and cybersecurity, and additionally provides support as an Instructional Associate in the OMSCS program. A proud OMSCS graduate, he previously earned a bachelor’s in theatre arts and master’s degrees in information systems management and business administration, along with multiple cybersecurity certifications. Peter’s experience spans several industries, including transportation, accounting, healthcare, and cybersecurity. When not busy reminding new students to carefully review his course’s syllabus, you can find Peter running transports for a corgi rescue, finding an excuse to ride Amtrak, or scouring the Internet for unique Yellow Jacket or Legend of Zelda collectibles to add to his collection.

Panelist: Dustin Hooks

Dustin Hooks

Dustin Hooks started the OMSCS program in the Spring of 2015 and finished in the Fall of 2017. He leveraged the online format to become a digital nomad, touring across Europe, Australia, and southern Africa while working as a software engineer, completing his classwork, and TA-ing for CS 7637: Knowledge-Based Artificial Intelligence. After graduating, Dustin worked several years for Pegasystems, but in Fall 2023 he re-started his journey to fulfill his life goal of earning a PhD. Dustin started the Computer Science PhD program at the University of Colorado Boulder, with a research focus towards online graduate education, and he is also working with CU MS-CS Online as the Lead Course Facilitator to improve course and program quality by applying best practices he learned via OMSCS.

Panelist: Kim Nguyen

Kim Nguyen

Kim Nguyen is a backend software engineer based in NYC and currently works for GoDaddy Payments. She holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Economics from Williams College and began her career in strategy/management consulting for OC&C. Before OMSCS, she worked as a product manager for an IoT startup, and she discovered her post-grad interest in computing in 2020. Kim started OMSCS in Spring 2021 and graduated in Fall 2023, and is currently a TA for CS 6515: Intro to Graduate Algorithms. In her free time, she enjoys cross-country skiing, cooking & dining, organizing OMSCS in-person meetups in NYC, and fiber arts such as knitting and crocheting.

Moderator: Nikita Burks-Hale

Nikita Burks-Hale

Nikita Burks-Hale is the Program Support Coordinator for OMSCS. She received her BFA/BA in Dance and her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina. Nikita is a native of Georgia and has worked in higher education for over 10 years in various areas ranging from Housing, to Study Abroad, to HR. When she is not working to make OMSCS more awesome you can find her editing podcasts and creating adult coloring books.


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