My name is Jennifer A. Polack and I am a Full Professor of Computer Science at the University of Mary Washington. I was born and raised on Long Island, NY. I did the majority of primary and secondary education in Mineola, NY. I go back every year, especially because I attend the Egan Family Picnic, which has been going on for at least 50 years.
B.S. Bachelor’s of Science .
Next I was off to the University of Scranton, PA where I almost quit computer science but my Mom urged me to continue with it (actually she said if I was going to study education then I could go to a public University). In my sophomore year while taking Data Structures, my professor Fernando Nevada told me he didn’t think computer science was my thing. I was glad to prove him wrong and tell him when I unexpectedly found out we were both FIE Conference Chairs in 2010. He didn’t even remember me but we are friends now and enjoy laughing together. Two years later I received my B.S. in computer science from the University of Scranton.
M.S Master of Science
While I applied to a ton of jobs, 1992 was a horrible year to graduate and find employment. But on a bright note, I was accepted to Pace University and got a full ride as a research assistant in downtown NYC. The only problem was I needed to start the day after I graduated from Scranton and moved back to Long Island. It was a very exciting year commuting on the LIRR and subways, meeting new friends (Juan Trinidad) and of course studying computer science. I found out very quickly I wanted to get my PhD and put my M.S. on the fast track. Fourteen months later I had my M.S. in Computer Science.
PhD: Doctorate of Philosophy
Once again the day after I graduated I was already at a new University starting my Ph.D. at the University of South Florida, Tampa. In fact I was already down in Florida starting my new path when I was suppose to be walking graduation at Pace University. Once again I was fortunate to get a full-ride and served as a lecturer at the University of South Florida in Lakeland . In December of 1997 I earned my Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering.
My six years in Florida were amazing and where I found out I love to teach, I love warm weather and played soccer with some great friends, called the drinking buddies. Actually the team still exists and Chris & Tracey my former buddies own the Tampa Bay Club Sport.
My sense of humor is based on sarcasm and I use it daily. Whether it is in the classroom or with my two beautiful girls I want to laugh and live a life with humor and sarcasm. I believe that I have learned just as much as I have taught from the hundreds of students that have passed through my classroom. Every semester brings in a new batch of students and information that we can share with each other. Teaching is what I was meant to do and it is a great career. I love the Computer Science Department and my colleagues in the department. My two favorite ladies that I share my days with are Karen Anewalt and Jeanne Campbell; we laugh even more when we have a visit from Caitie Finalyson.