Gabrielle Salib, inspired to boost STEM access, focuses on human-centered computing

Gabrielle Salib
B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies (Human-Centered Computing)
Hometown: Millersville, Maryland
Plans: Ph.D., Drexel University

Throughout my four years at UMBC, I constantly met new people who inspired me to learn more and challenge myself to be a stronger student and a more empathetic citizen of our larger communities.The beauty of UMBC is that each personal community is celebrated within the larger entity and we’re a stronger university in simply being ourselves.

As president of the Computer Science Education Club, Gabrielle Salib led UMBC’s first Hour of Code event to celebrate National Computer Science Education Week. With support from Marie desJardins, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology, and professor of computer science and electrical engineering, the Hour of Code brought middle school girls from Baltimore City to UMBC for hands-on activities involving circuits and coding.

Gabrielle Salib led the Computer Science Education Club’s first Hour of Code event. Middle school girls from Baltimore City created a piano made out of celery with help from Caroline Kery ‘18, computer science (left), and Stacy Branham, lecturer in information systems (second from the left).

Salib enjoyed seeing UMBC faculty, staff, students, and community members come together through the event, to explore, learn, and share new experiences, and it inspired her to develop new collaborations and programing focused on diversity in tech. With the Center for Women in Technology, for example, Salib organized a screening and discussion of “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap in Computer Science.”

Salib’s interest in the intersections of computing, education, and diversity let her to develop her own interdisciplinary studies (INDS) major in human-centered computing. She conducted research with Amy Hurst, associate professor of information systems, in the Prototyping and Design Lab, culminating in a capstone project on Female Engagement in Technically-Oriented Spaces, funded by NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

The INDS department has awarded Salib the Zainab Damji Memorial Award for demonstrating leadership, service, and courage on the path to pursuing a career in education. In the fall, she will begin a Ph.D. program in human-centered computing at Drexel University with a focus on child-computer interaction, designing technology that holistically supports child development.

Photos by Marlayna Demond ‘11 for UMBC.