Computer Science major Jules Turner ’20 doesn’t know where she’d be without the female mentors she’s had at Arcadia University: Dr. Kathy Macropol, professor of Computer Science, who has helped her find her calling, and Caleigh Diefenthaler ’19, a Computer Science alumna who has encouraged Turner to exceed her own expectations.
“If you’re a woman in technology, you should take it upon yourself to teach other women that it’s possible to grow in the industry,” said Turner. “There’s always a networking opportunity, and it’s important to fight for other people. I think that you can learn a lot from others. Mentoring is the number-one thing, so we can learn from women who have made it.”
As a senior in high school, Turner was unsure of what field to pursue. She’d always been interested in history, but she also liked computer science. It wasn’t until she arrived on campus that she found her path. Last year, Turner worked at the interdisciplinary Psychology lab on campus, developing a physical mechanism to open and close doors for the rats so that there was less human interaction during the experiment. As a 2019 AnitaB’s Grace Hopper Scholarship recipient, Turner attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing last year, the world’s largest conference for women technologists.
But Turner credits her first internship through The College of Global Studies’ Internship Program in London, England as the launch of her love of website development. Each day of her internship, Turner worked with the two co-founders of Hello Love Studio, a nonprofit that promotes personal sustainability through nontoxic practice, art, and unified purpose, to develop their website identity and functionality.
“I think it was the most helpful thing to start out with—it was somewhere where they really cared about me and provided the first steps in my career,” said Turner. “They really taught me a lot about how to really care for individuals, and the amount of work that goes into a company, especially a small one where you don’t have as much money or resources.”
In addition to building her professional experiences in Computer Science, Turner is also the secretary for the Computer Science Club, serves as a mentor and coordinator in the University’s Study Abroad Mentorship Program, and works as an Orientation Leader.
“I think that learning from someone else is always the best opportunity,” said Turner. “You learn from their mistakes and how to get around the issues that they had. I don’t think anyone understands the importance of mentorship until you’ve had a really good mentor, and there are some great ones on campus.”