Note: This article is part of the StanGrad series highlighting Stanislaus State students who are part of the Class of 2021. Read more StanGrad profiles.
To say that Emma Van Hoogmoed got a well-rounded education at Stanislaus State is a bit of an understatement.
“When I first came to Stan State, I was shy and uncertain of my abilities as a student. My attitude was altered by the time I was ready to graduate,” said Van Hoogmoed, who transferred to Stan State from Fresno City College. “I met encouraging faculty and peers that pushed me to achieve more than I thought I ever could.”
She excelled in the classroom on her way to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and has been accepted into a master’s program at UC Davis.
She credits the close relationships with faculty and staff she’d hoped to find at Stan State with making it possible.
“I could write an entire essay about all the people on campus that have helped me gain confidence both as a person and as a student,” Van Hoogmoed said. “Stan State is filled with friendly people who want to see you succeed and are more than happy to help you do just that.”
Her personal growth extended beyond the classroom.
“Through my participation at the Warrior Cross Cultural Center, I learned so much about the world around me and what it means to be an activist,” Van Hoogmoed said.
“The event that stands out the most to me was the viewing of the movie, ‘Fruitvale Station,’ and the discussion that followed. It was heartbreaking to hear my classmates talk about their fears in situations that I don’t think twice about and to hear about how little is being done to rid inequality from our country and how ignorant most people are on the topic. I learned that all of us must actively push for social and political change.” Professionally, Van Hoogmoed hopes to become a cybersecurity architect to keep people safe online and prevent cyber-attacks.
“I also want to bring computer science learning to children in underprivileged areas whether through a company or a volunteer opportunity,” she said. “Unfortunately, the Central Valley is one of those areas. I am proud to be working on a research project that will directly impact the Central Valley. I am confident it will make a positive impact on the residents of the region.”
Emma Van Hoogmoed
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
What memories stand out most from your time at Stanislaus State?
“I would say my happiest memories are those with friends. I looked forward to my weekly study groups where we would struggle, vent, laugh and ultimately produce great work together. I loved attending Hackathons on campus. It was here that I was able to apply my learning in a fun, creative way. I was grateful when the 2020 Hackathon wasn’t canceled due to the pandemic. Although we were on a virtual platform, I had a great time creating a mental health app with my team.”
Which faculty or staff member had the greatest impact on you, and why?
“Dr. Xuejun Liang was my mentor for my McNair project and taught me how to conduct research. He helped me develop the initial idea, write a proposal, perform the project, publish a journal article and everything in between.
“Dr. Jamila Newton pushed me to be a better student and person through discussion in and outside her class. She made me look at my life differently and showed me how I could do more than I ever thought I could. Both of these instructors are inspiring to me, and I am beyond grateful for meeting them.
“I’m grateful for the entire Computer Science Department. Without their help, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
What advice would you give to current and future students?
“Get involved as soon as you can! As cliché as it sounds, it really makes a difference between school feeling like a chore or feeling like a rewarding experience. There are plenty of ways to give back to the community through clubs and volunteer opportunities. There are also jobs and paid research opportunities so you can gain experience while also gaining a sense of belonging.”