Women In STEM Series – Meet Elena Sheffer
Meet Elena Sheffer! She is a Junior double majoring in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems (CIS).
Growing up, her favorite subject was both math and art. She was surrounded by STEM all her life growing up. Both her grandpa and brother are engineers. To be a Woman in STEM is an opportunity for her to live out her dream in creating different things.
Not necessarily making new things but express herself through her talents that she has been given.
She was inspired by her grandpa because he is such a creative individual going out of his way to solve problems and help others. She saw this as an opportunity to fulfill her talents since no one in her family has her specific talents, so she wanted to be different.
She picked her major because CIS is able to accomplish this since it is problem-solving that is included but also design is included through web design or database so that the business workflow can flow more smoothly. Her favorite class at CCU has been Professor Rex’s Management class. His entire class has been filled with business proverbs that has helped Elena use in the workforce and also manage her time as a student as well. She also really enjoyed her Database and class.
Some challenges that Elena has faced is how the first two years she was at CCU, she struggled to understand how Christianity could be used to support the progression of technology, especially when Christian speakers so often bombard us with the idea that technology and social media are “distracting and self-centered causing them to be in opposition to the Christian message”.
Elena’s professors taught her the importance of sharing Christ in the technology field since the Bible never addresses technology specifically, and since technology often comes across as outside the boundaries of religious thought, biblical application is not always as straightforward as one would hope At CCU, Elena has not only learned how to overcome the educational challenges that come with learning a new programming language but how to address the controversial topic of progression and how to look for answers to inexact situations through a biblical lens.
Her favorite thing about STEM is the problem-solving aspect because she loves puzzles.
She also loves the design part as well which allows her to be creative but also problem solve. Within her career, she is fascinated by how quickly technology is progressing because it is kind of hard to stay up to date with the many developments that happens within technology which is really cool to see the advancements people are making. From Artificial Intelligence (AI) to people using private servers to share the Bible to countries where having the Bible is illegal.
She mentioned how there is an importance of spreading the gospel in STEM especially through technology like never before in history. There is a huge need from missions’ group and churches who need people with technological gifts to be able to serve those who do not know the gospel. Also, within her field, she is surrounded by private details that she is learning the importance of personal privacy and learning how to respect people as creation of God.
Some advice Elena would give to others is to not be intimated by the men in the room.
All of her CIS classes, she is the only girl. However, she recommends getting to know the guys in the class. Also, enjoy being yourself and doing what you love since you will encounter challenges that you do not know how to solve so re encouraging yourself that “you are doing what you love, and you are making a difference” is so vital.
One thing she wants others to know about her is that when you do have self-doubts or finding your purpose, always find a reason to dance your way out of that enjoying the moment and then come back to your problems. She has struggled with insecurities, but she is not defined by them, and you are not too!