Kathleen Baert is a University Innovation Fellow and Computer Science major at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When not in a computer lab, she organizes and instructs a large group of middle and high school students as part of a program called Girls Who Code, and spends all other free time trying out new yarn and knitting patterns.
Growing up, Kathleen never would’ve seen herself studying computer science in college, or anything computation or math related. In fact, she had never even written a line of code until the second semester of her freshman year of college! For this reason, she is very passionate about exposing students to computer science at young ages. One way of accomplishing this goal that Kathleen is particularly proud of is her work with Girls Who Code, which is a program that aims to decrease the gender gap in the computing fields. GWC at Marquette has 80 dedicated middle and high school students, with over 30 college students volunteering their time. Marquette is the second largest host site for GWC. These 80 students are currently divided into 3 classes - 2 Level 1 classes, and 1 Level 2 class. Kathleen has taught the Level 1 class for two years now, and plans to continue with this work next year as well. GWC at Marquette is anticipating growing even larger next year!