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CRA Welcomes 2019 Tisdale Fellow


By Jesse Anderson, 2019 CRA Tisdale Fellow

Hello! My name is Jesse Anderson, and I am thrilled to be CRA’s Tisdale Fellow this summer. I am a rising sophomore double-majoring in computer science and journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a minor in math. Within my university, I am heavily involved in the Maryland Lead Program, the Girl Up Club, and the Association for Women in Computing. I am the president of the Girls Who Code club. 

Outside of my studies, I frequently research HIV development among youth and water security’s role in inter-regional conflict. For my research on water security, I was invited to speak on a panel at the World Youth Conference in Egypt alongside Mohamed Abdel-Ati, Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources. Upon learning more about the HIV crisis worldwide, I created a chatbot called Caring that mimics real-life conversation in an effort to undermine the stigma surrounding HIV while making education more accessible. While the chatbot is currently available on several platforms, including Kik and Telegram, I’m creating an app that will be available on the app store at the end of July 2019. I’m also an avid consumer of news and an activist both inside and outside of school. Reflecting this, my best friend and I are creating a startup called NYAToday to further engage, excite and educate youth about politics and activism. We look forward to premiering the final product ahead of the 2020 elections. 

To de-stress, I love biking with my mom and learning Ukrainian with my grandma. I also recently found out about Glee (no, I do not live under a rock), and I haven’t been able to stop watching. I love to code during my spare time. In the upcoming semester at UMD, I look forward to expanding the Girls Who Code club. Coding is for everyone, and I think it’s important to empower young women and minorities to recognize that they belong in STEM fields. 

I am honored to work with CRA. While I have always loved computer science, I have not looked into the policy side of the field. The work that CRA does is fascinating, and I’m excited to learn more about the way in which CRA reviews STEM policies to determine whether and how they are significant to the computing research community.