New Faculty Member, 2022–23
Lecturer, Graphic information technology
Jessica Barnett planned to study mathematics in college, but a course about the Java computer language changed everything. She found herself setting aside her math work so she could focus on code because it was more fun.
“Then I learned other languages and became even more interested. Plus, as a student who tutored my peers in those languages, I was able to see ‘lightbulb’ moments when they finally understood a concept that had caused them to struggle,” she says. “I just loved being able to help them get to that point.”
As a lecturer for The Polytechnic School, one of the seven schools in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, Barnett says she has students who just blow her away with their skill and dedication to learning these languages. She also says the hope of reaching more students and seeing them succeed keeps her devoted to teaching in this field.
“We write code in class pretty much every day. We don’t just talk about how the code should work or could work; we actually see it work,” she says. “That practice makes a huge difference because those activities become the basis of the projects they build.”
Barnett also teaches project management, and she says she begins those courses with a discussion about goal-setting because it’s important for students to understand what they can accomplish when faced with constraints.
“I tell them it’s really important to apply what they have learned in order to demonstrate how they manage time and how they could improve processes,” she says. “That’s important in class projects, and it’s also important to their future careers.”
Outside of work, Barnett enjoys many different hobbies. She loves to bake, scrapbook, sew, quilt, embroider, make jewelry and more. She also serves as secretary for the Foundation Board of the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa, Arizona.
Written by Gary Werner