Two students in the School of Computing at the University of North Florida were recognized for academic excellence in the field of computing science by Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society for the computing and information disciplines. They received cash awards totaling $2,500.
Graduate student Joseph William Allen, a resident of St. Augustine, received the UPE Academic Achievement Award of $1,500, while undergraduate student Sean Patrick Ascheman, a Southside resident, was awarded a $1,000 UPE Scholarship.
“The students were selected for these competitive and prestigious awards on the basis of their academic record, extracurricular activities and recommendation,” said Dr. Sanjay Ahuja, UNF computing professor and UPE Faculty Advisor. “Receiving these international awards affirms the quality and strength of our programs as well as faculty in UNF’s School of Computing and shows that we are preparing our students for successful careers.”
Allen earned his Bachelor of Science degree in spring 2019 from the School of Computing and began his master’s degree program at UNF this past summer. He’s currently collaborating with School of Computing faculty in artificial intelligence research. Allen’s long-term career goal is to work on state-of-the-art intelligent systems in academia, industry or both.
Now serving in the role of UPE chapter president at UNF, he has also participated in the Florida Data Science for Social Good program. The program, hosted at UNF, blends data science and technology design to inform and solve important social problems in Northeast Florida. Student interns work along with community partners in analyzing data and finding impactful solutions to social issues.
Ascheman, a Hicks Honors College student who will graduate this fall, has maintained a 3.83 GPA in his three years as a computer science major. He says his classes have greatly impacted him and reformed the way he thinks about an ecosystem within computing. He has been a Peer Assisted Student Success instructor and now has taken up private tutoring. This past summer, Ascheman interned with Florida Blue’s Software Development Department.
As an active member and officer of the Osprey Security Club, which recently competed in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, Ascheman has applied his education to his extracurricular activities. He credits his membership in the Catholic Ospreys club on campus with allowing him the opportunity to practice leadership skills among those of different interests and backgrounds.
Each year, the Executive Council of Upsilon Pi Epsilon evaluates numerous scholarship applications from undergraduate and graduate students. All applicants are required to complete a comprehensive application, including a statement on their long-term plans in the profession, a summary of their contributions to their respective UPE chapters and related student activities at their college or university as well as a faculty recommendation.
UNF’s School of Computing is dedicated to the promotion of an academically exciting and progressive intellectual climate, characterized by a superior program of instruction, peer-recognized scholarship, effective support services and productive professional community involvement. The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have designated UNF’s School of Computing as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through 2024.
UNF is a nationally ranked university in Jacksonville, Florida, that is nestled on a beautiful 1,300-acre nature preserve, featuring six colleges of distinction as well as nationally recognized flagship programs, with 56 bachelor degree programs and over 75 areas of concentration.