Jessa Schwarting — Distinguished Service Award
B.S. in Computer Science
Graduated from Barry Goldwater High School in Glendale, Arizona
It has been while helping others that Jessica Schwarting discovered her own talents.
Even though she had been doing well in her computer science classes, she was uncertain it was the best career path for her.
“It wasn’t until I started tutoring other students that I realized I had a real knack for computer science and coding,” she says. “I realized it was the perfect choice for me. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
She counts among her most rewarding experiences as an undergraduate her work as a Fulton Ambassador to help promote ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to prospective students.
She gave campus tours and helped put on recruiting events. But her biggest impact was as a webmaster for the organization. One of her tasks in that role evolved into her senior-year engineering capstone design project.
She used her skills in computer science to create a self-guided campus tour app for visiting students, and she now teaches new Ambassador webmasters how to maintain the app.
Through those and other volunteer efforts, Schwarting says she discovered how fulfilling it was to use her technical know-how to help others.
“I’ve had people remember me from the presentations I gave as a Fulton Ambassador and some tell me I helped them make their decision to come to ASU,” she says.
Schwarting says her other big accomplishment was juggling her outreach and community service activities with the demands of earning a degree as a student in ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College.
Among highlights of her undergraduate years was seeing Bill Nye, “the Science Guy” — whom she considers an “engineering icon” — give a keynote speech about space exploration.
Another was learning from “astounding” teachers — particularly computer science Senior Lecturer Mutsumi Nakamura.
“Her dedication to making sure her students are successful is inspiring,” she says.
After graduation, Schwarting will start a full-time job with Honeywell. She hopes to return to school for a graduate degree in the future, and possibly someday realize a long-time dream to be a Disney Imagineer.
A class she recently took in human and computer interaction “showed me that creations we usually associate only with science fiction might not be so far off from becoming reality,” and she would like to help make such progress by contributing to advances in “augmented reality” technologies.
Outside of professional pursuits, Schwarting enjoys singing — she was in the Barrett Choir for four years at ASU — and seeing live theater, particularly musicals.
She is also a “huge” superhero fan, she says. “I currently have more than five posters of Captain America hanging up in my room.”