TA Spotlight: Emily Harmon

Every other week we spotlight an OMSCS TA, so you can get to know who's behind the screen. Here are four questions for Emily Harmon who TAs CS 6750: Human-Computer Interaction.

Emily Harmon

What do you do professionally?
I’m an analytical chemist turned pharmaceutical researcher turned data scientist. My most recent position was with Lenovo as a data scientist with their supply chain division, focusing on business analytics.

Why do you TA for OMSCS?
I think that it is incredibly important to have a diverse teaching staff, so that students feel comfortable approaching instructors with questions and concerns and so that students can see someone like themselves succeeding in the computer science space. I TA so that I can be a voice to represent the diverse student body of the OMSCS program and help students from diverse backgrounds succeed.

What's your advice for future students in OMSCS?
Take things at your own pace. Many students are pursuing this degree while working, raising families, and dealing with other challenges. It is easy to keep taking on more and more tasks to the detriment of your own mental health until you bite off more than you can chew; I know because I’ve done it myself. It is completely reasonable to take one course your first semester or to take a semester off if you are feeling overwhelmed. Always remember to take care of yourself. The OMSCS program will still be here when you’re ready.

What hobby or activity are you looking forward to getting back to once you're done with OMSCS?
I’m looking forward to organizing and traveling for more Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) conventions. I’m an avid DnD adventure writer and would love to travel to more conventions across the US where my adventures are premiering. I also organize DnD charity events yearly where we raise money for Duke Children’s Hospital and am looking forward to having more free time so we can run these events on a more frequent basis.