Outstanding Graduate, Fall 2018
Janice Wallace has long been a fan of video games. That gaming background helped her realize software engineering was what she was meant to do.
After graduating from Lisbon High School in Maine, Wallace moved across the country to Orange County, California, where she spent several years working in the commercial real estate industry.
“I realized that while sales and customer service have an important place in our economy, I did not find the job to be personally fulfilling,” Wallace says. “I wanted to make a big career change where I could be challenged every day.”
Wallace first went back to school at Irvine Valley College in Irvine, California, where she earned an associate degree in computer languages. She then transferred to ASU where she focused primarily on web and mobile applications with a secondary concentration on graphic information technology.
Wallace, who now resides in Florida, enrolled at ASU as an online student thanks in part to the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.
“When I chose to attend ASU, it was one of only a handful of reputable universities that offered an online program in software engineering,” she says. “I really wanted to graduate from a school with a name that future employers would recognize and identify with. I didn’t want to invest my time and money into a degree with a “fly-by-night” career college.”
Software engineering was an obvious choice for Wallace because she has enjoyed writing code since she was a child.
“When I start working on a software project, I love breaking it down into smaller tasks and being able to measure my progress as I complete each part of the puzzle,” Wallace says. “That feeling of accomplishment at the end of a large project is the type of fulfillment that I want to experience in my career.”
The most rewarding part of her ASU experience was completing her capstone project where she worked with the QuadsAR mobile application. Her own personal gaming background made the project, where she could design and implement games, a dream come true.
“I worked on a programming team to create augmented reality mobile games,” she says. “These games were the brainchild of a knee surgeon for the purpose of enhancing patients’ physical therapy programs. At the end of the project, I felt like we had created something that would enhance people’s lives. In addition, because it was a game, working on the project was both fun and gratifying.”
Wallace has a little advice for those looking to return to school.
“It is never too late to go back to school to follow your dreams.”