Learning Community


Software Engineering Learning Community

What is a learning community and how do I join?

Learning communities are a great way to start off your college career with solid support from day one.  These communities are designed to give students the opportunity to be surrounded by students with common goals and struggles. In the Software Engineering Learning Community (SELC), students will take common courses together during their first year. Students will be put into a learning team with 20 students and will have a peer mentor to help them through their first year of college.

Once you’re admitted to Iowa State University as a Software Engineering major, sign up for freshman orientation. When you meet with your adviser, let them know you want to be part of the SELC!

Meet the Peer Mentors....

 Val Chapman

Photo of Val Chapman Major: Software Engineering

Year: Senior

Bio: Val Chapman is a Senior in Software Engineering. He came to Iowa State with no real programming experience. He has been a tutor in calculus for one year. He enjoys teaching and helping others learn. Outside of school Val enjoys being a mechanic and fixing cars. Val is a leader in the campus organization Salt Company. He also enjoys video games, programming video games, building computers, and out door activities such as camping.





 Erin Elsbernd

Photo of Erin Elsbernd

Major: Software Engineering

Year: Senior

Bio: Erin is a senior majoring in Software Engineering from Decorah, Iowa. She likes NPR podcasts, documentaries, and learning things she does not yet know.  Her main academic interests encompass machine learning, recurrent neural networks, and embedded systems.  In her free-time she enjoys AcroYoga, dancing, and board game nights with friends. She looks forward to meeting and working with the students in SE 185!



 Ann Gould

Photo of Ann Gould Major: Software Engineering

Year: Junior

Bio: Ann is a junior in software engineering and is from West Des Moines, Iowa. In her free time you can probably find Ann hanging out with friends, going on runs, rollerblading, listening to music, creating mixed media art, or eating Thai food. Back in high school, she realized that she liked the potential programming had the creativity and potential associated in it and developed a passion for coding. Ann has interned at Entrepreneurial Technologies and General Dynamics IT and is a mentor for Iowa Girls Code. In terms of programming, Ann enjoys working on web development and hopes to someday be a fullstack developer and can't wait to meet and help out new software engineering students.


 Christine Hicaro

Photo of Christine Hicaro

Major: Software Engineering

Year: Junior

Bio: Christine is originally from La Grange, a suburb of Chicago, but she decided to attend ISU to switch things up a bit. She is very involved on campus, holding leadership roles in Digital Women, Web Dev Club, Com S 227 (TA), and now SELC as a peer mentor. As for work experience, she has completed two internships at Google (Display Ads and Android Google Maps Mobile teams) and one at Workiva (Engineering Productivity team). One of her greatest passions is increasing diversity and the retention of underrepresented groups in tech. She is a little quirky, being known for loving random things like ET, dinosaurs, and Dunkin iced coffee.





 Jack Meyer

Photo of Jack Meyer

Major: Software Engineering

Year: Senior

Bio: Jack Meyer is in his third year at Iowa State University.  Currently, his passions are in Application Development, Web Development and Data Science/Big Data.  Last summer he interned at Telligen Healthcare in West Des Moines.  During his internship he worked on an application for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid. 

While at Iowa State he has become very involved within the Software Engineering Program.  Currently, he's involved with the Software Engineering Student Advisory Council (SE SAC) and the Computer Science Software Engineering Club.  The SE SAC's main focus is to be the bridge between faculty and the students.  Their continuously listening to feedback from students and use this feedback to make changes to the curriculum and get more resources for students.  Jack is currently serving as the president of the Computer Science Software Engineering Club (CSE).  The CSE club's main goal is to provide networking opportunities between students and students, faculty and students, and industry leaders and students.  

Jack's goal is to help students achieve their goals. This is why he has decided to be a peer mentor for the Software Engineering Learning Community.  He hopes that as a mentor, he can inspire students and help them accomplish their goals.


 Angela Schauer 

Photo of Angela Schauer

Major: Software Engineering 

Year: Sophomore

Bio: Angela Schauer is a sophomore in Software Engineering. Her hometown is Farmington, MN. In high school she was part of a FIRST robotics team and went to the world competition her senior year. On campus she is involved with the marching band and hockey pep band. In her free time she likes to watch YouTube, play video games, and do yoga. She is double majoring in German and spent the past summer studying abroad in Mannheim, Germany. She was in the learning community last year and hopes to use her experience to better the program for the incoming students.




 Colton Smith

Photo of Colton Smith Major: Software Engineering

Year: Junior

Bio: Colton Smith is from a small town in Central Illinois called Trivoli. Being from a small town his graduating class was a modest one-hundred students. His hobbies include fishing, video games, watching movies, and just having a good time with friends. When he first came to Iowa State, he was an undeclared engineer that had no idea what field he wanted to dive into. After about six weeks of exposure to all the different majors helped him decide that he wanted to be a Software Engineer. He hopes that as a learning community peer mentor he will help new student adjust as smoothly as possible.





Software Engineering Learning Community Coordinator

Teela Wilmes

Phone: 515-294-0222 | Email: twilmes@iastate.edu