Emma McDonald HeadshotEmma McDonald

CRA-E Graduate Fellow
University of Alberta

Emma (she/her) is a PhD student in Computing Science at the University of Alberta supervised by Carrie Demmans Epp. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Alberta in 2019, working on a tool to help students learn introductory Python programming.

Emma is part of the EdTeKLA group that does research at the intersection of education and technology. She investigates how aspects like sense of belonging, mental health, and identity impact post-secondary students’ experiences and persistence in their CS degree programs. The goal of her work is to increase students’ success in CS by addressing both pedagogical and social factors.

Emma’s interest in CS education began in her undergraduate degree when she taught elementary school students to make Arduino-powered cat ears. Since then, she has been a sessional instructor, a teaching assistant, a MOOC developer, and a junior researcher supervisor. She also serves as the local coordinator at the University of Alberta for the CRA’s UR2PhD program