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

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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

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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

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Major: Software Engineering

Year: Senior

Bio: Jack Meyer is a senior majoring in Software Engineering at Iowa State University. Throughout his experiences at Iowa State, Jack has become passionate about the Software Engineering Program's curriculum and helping other students achieve their goals. This has led to his involvement in the Computer Science and Software Engineering Club (CSE), the Software Engineering Student Advisory Council (SE SAC), and the Software Engineering Learning Community (SELC).  

Last year, Jack had the opportunity to serve as the president of the CSE club. The CSE club's main goal is to provide networking opportunities between students & students, faculty & students, and industry leaders & students.  While president Jack was able to raise the attendance level at club meetings, hosted some of the biggest CSE club events in recent history and started more outreach in the Ames K-12 community by attending STEM nights at Meeker and Sawyer Elementary Schools. 

This year Jack is serving as the leader of the SE SAC. The SE SAC's focus is to be the bridge between the student body and faculty members. The SE SAC is continuously listening to feedback from students and using this feedback to provide input and help create changes to the curriculum along with getting more resources for students. The SE SAC host a Student Town Hall each semester for students to come and voice their concerns and thoughts about the Software Engineering Program in a safe environment. 

Jack's technical interests includes: Web Development, Software Architecture, Distributed Systems, and DevOps. Over the last two summers, Jack has interned at Telligen in West Des Moines and will be continuing there after graduation!

Jack’s advice for current and future SE students is to get involved on campus by joining different organizations and clubs. “Being a part of a club can open many doors as a student,” said Jack. “You can gain valuable leadership skills, and meet many smart people in the process!”

 Angela Schauer 

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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.