George Mason University Department of Computer Science

Alumni Profile

Meet Meghan Clark, Sam Gelman, and Nathan LaPierre.

three newly minted CS Alums who prove that success can spark early.

Meghan Clark

Meghan Clark

Year Graduated: 2012

Path to CS: Began her Mason studies in conflict resolution, switched to economics and had her ah-ha moment when she took an intro to programming class.

Bravo! 2012 Volgenau School of Engineering Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award winner and 2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellow

GPS: PhD student at the University of Michigan in computer science and engineering studying smart building infrastructure.

Paying it Forward: "I started the CS KickStart program at the University of Michigan to address the problem of too-few women in computer science. During a one-week summer program we taught incoming freshman women how to program and exposed them to the impactful research and jobs available to those with computer science degrees."

What’s Next? Finishing the NSF Graduate Fellow Program and transferring to Berkeley to work with her advisor.

Then? “I want to become a professor. Mason was a great role model for female faculty members.”


Sam Gelman

Year Graduated: BS CS 2014 and MS CS 2016

Path to CS: Enrolled as a biology student with plans to enter medicine. CS was a hobby in high school. Took a class and realized there were applications to both CS and biology. It was a great mix.

Bravo! 2014 OSCAR Student Excellence Award for outstanding research in creative activities. “Mason was a great place to study. My sister is a graduate and my brother is there now. It’s our school.”

GPS: PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying artificial intelligence and machine learning

Paying it Forward: Mentors students and works as a teaching assistant.

What’s Next? “Several more years of research.”

Then? As much as I like Madison, I plan to return home to the Baltimore area when I graduate. I want to work in industry and make a difference in people’s lives.”

Nathan LaPierre

Nathan LaPierre

Year Graduated: 2015

Path to CS:“It was a foregone conclusion: Thomas Jefferson High School graduate, father is a computer programmer.” Planned to become a software engineer then became interested in bioinformatics and data mining. Knocked on Professor Huzefa Rangwala’s door one day and asked about research opportunities.

Bravo! As an undergrad, co-authored and published a paper with Professor, Huzefa Rangwala. Just returned from China where he and Rangwala presented another paper, "CAMIL: Clustering and Assembly with Multiple Instance Learning for Phenotype Prediction," for the IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (IEEE BIBM '16).

GPS:UCLA – “The weather is a bonus.”

Paying it Forward: Just ran a city 5K to raise money for Special Olympics

What’s Next? Working on an NIH training grant. Researching ways to sequence bacteria and build models and reference databases for research.

Then? Teaching – maybe