Two University of New Orleans students have been selected to receive a Women in Computer Science Scholarship, which was created by alumna Sabrina Farmer, a vice president at Google.
The award, which is administered by UNO’s Women’s Center, covers in-state tuition for the academic year and comes with mentorship from Farmer, who established the scholarship a year after she graduated from UNO in 1995 with a computer science degree.
This year’s recipients are Kailey Bergeron and Leonaoria Guerin, both juniors who expect to graduate in fall 2024.
Bergeron is the former president of UNO’s Association of Computing Machinery–Women chapter and recently interned at Entergy Corporation as part of a project management team.
“I am extremely honored and grateful to receive the Women in Computer Science Scholarship, and truly honored to learn from someone as inspiring, hardworking and knowledgeable as Ms. Sabrina Farmer,” Bergeron said. “I am determined to make the most of this opportunity and strive for excellence in all that I do. I hope to one day become as inspirational and successful as Ms. Farmer.”
Guerin is the incoming secretary for UNO's International Game Developer Association and a 2023 Tolmas Scholar working with computer science professor Ben Samuel on social simulation research that uses data visualization. Her concentration is in game development.
“I am excited to learn and grow even more from the mentorship Sabrina Farmer offers with the Women in Computer Science scholarship,” said Guerin. “I am passionate about user experience design and UX engineering. I hope to create equitable designs for a role in the games industry or sustainability-related projects.”
Farmer, who has returned to UNO’s campus frequently, has shared in interviews and speeches that as a student she doubted her ability to succeed in a field dominated by men.
“This scholarship was created to encourage women to stick with this career because, while there are challenges, the rewards are tremendous,” said Farmer, now the vice president of site reliability for many of Google’s billion-customer products including Gmail, Search, Google Maps, Android and Chrome.
She also oversees reliability of product infrastructure, including Google’s authentication, identity and abuse systems.