Computer science major enjoys campus camaraderie


When she was in elementary school, Hannah Bearup '15 of Albany, N.Y., taught herself how to code simple websites. Her love for computers and programming "skyrocketed" from there.

"It's amazing how a bunch of words that make absolutely no sense together in English can make a program, and how something as simple as a semicolon can spell the difference between a mess of text and a functioning application," Bearup said.

"Software development is incredibly frustrating 99 percent of the time, but nothing satisfies me more than the feeling I get when all my hard work comes together to do what I want it to do."

A computer science major whose minor is business administration, Bearup also is concentrating on software development. She says other students who want to go into computer science should consider MCLA.

"I've never had a class with more than 20 people, so my professors have gotten to know us all by name. I've developed strong academic relationships with my professors over the last two years, so they understand me as an individual and what my goals, strengths, and weaknesses are.

"The professors have worked in the field and provide great insight as to what I can expect when I graduate and enter the work force," she continued. In addition, "The business department is also composed of professors with significant professional experience, both inside and outside the United States."

Once she graduates next spring, Bearup will look for a job as a programmer. She aims to create software that will change the world for the better.

And, "I really want to prove to the world that women can be successful programmers!"

Beyond her studies, Bearup is the vice president of Students Taking Action for Gender Equality (STAGE), a club dedicated to discussing gender identities, gender roles, sex positivity, body image and how these topics affect our society.

She's also the secretary for the Queer Student Union (formerly BGLAD), a group that works closely with STAGE to make a difference on campus.

"These two groups are safe spaces filled with open-minded, positive-thinking people who are very understanding and willing to go to great lengths to make this campus inclusive for everyone, regardless of whatever makes them differ from 'the norm.'"

A member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, Bearup has worked as a residence area security monitor, and is an admissions ambassador.

"I'm so smitten with this College; what would be better than having a position where I do nothing but tell people how great MCLA is? I'm always happy to give tours and help prospective students understand what life here is like," Bearup said.

Her activities give her something to focus her energy on besides schoolwork, and she looks forward to interacting with the different student groups every week.  

"Clubs and organizations let you get away from the stress of school for a little while, and get acquainted with a group of people you may not have known from the outside," Bearup said.

What's best part of being an MCLA student? Bearup said it's the sense of camaraderie she feels with her peers.

"We all come from different backgrounds, but we accept each other for our differences and embrace each other's strengths. It's beautiful."