Stephanie M. Nagel
(BS, Computer Science and Mathematics, ’17)
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My favorite professor is Dr. Puerzer, with whom I worked on research. In our research, we used sabermetrics to determine whether baseball players who received Lasik eye surgery received a performance boost after the surgery along with an unfair advantage, compared to other baseball players. This research allowed me to gain a new interest in baseball and learn how to use R, a statistical programming language. Hofstra recognized me as a “World Changer,” and I was featured in a Hofstra article.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
While I attended Hofstra, I worked two internships at Frontline Education, for which I received 6 credits. The day after my graduation from Hofstra University Honors College, I began a full-time software developer position at Frontline Education, where I learned that being a team player is one of the most important assets in the business world. Most of the projects I work on at Frontline Education are team projects, and we use agile principles based on the idea that in order to excel, you must work as a team, not just an individual.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I always excelled in mathematics. I took a computer science course in high school and almost dropped it, as it did not come as easy to me as mathematics. However, I decided to work harder and began to realize that my brain was in fact well-suited for computer science. I enjoyed the ACM programming competitions at Hofstra, and my internships at Frontline Education further cemented my feeling that computer science was a great career choice.
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
My advice for Hofstra students is to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. I did not think I would like computer science, and while it was not easy for me in the beginning, I stuck with it, and it is now my passion.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- After two weeks of interning with Frontline Education, the company hired you. Can you explain your experience as an intern and what led you to landing a full-time job so quickly?
I interned at Frontline Education during my time at Hofstra University, and was offered a full-time position because I worked very hard to be a part of the team and to learn about the company and its products.
- As a software developer for Frontline Education, you develop applications to assist the next generation of learners. Can you explain your strategy in brainstorming application concepts and how you manage to bring your ideas to life?
The Frontline Education Dashboard Project is a project where I am a key team player. The project manager on my team created this idea based on talking to school administrators. With the new dashboard, when a user logs in, the administrators can now see what needs to be done on an urgent basis. This assists teachers and principals in knowing where to focus their attention. In addition, I worked on a project that created the ability for Response to Intervention (RTI) teachers to fill out progress reports in a system. I led this project’s implementation, and now RTI teachers can fill out progress reports more quickly, which frees up their availability for students.
- How has your degree from Hofstra University helped you in your career?
At Hofstra, I took a Java programming class, CSC 17: Fundamentals of Computer Science III, with Dr. Liang, and I currently write codes in Java. This class allowed me to be more confident as a Java programmer.
In 2014, Stephanie Nagel graduated from Oceanside High School as salutatorian. Her options were wide open as to where to attend college, and she chose Hofstra University because of the personal attention she received. Prior to making a decision, Stephanie attended the Hofstra University Honors College dinner where she met professors who were very impressed by her achievements and aspirations. Upon acceptance, Stephanie received a handwritten note from Andrea Nadler, a Hofstra University admission counselor. In addition, she was honored with a prestigious Hofstra University Trustee Scholarship, which covered the full cost of tuition. Since Hofstra accepted Stephanie’s high school advanced placement credits, as well as internship credits, she was able to graduate from the University in just three years.
Hofstra assisted Stephanie in overcoming her fear of public speaking by giving her the opportunity to present her research and internship experiences to an audience of professors and students. Stephanie recently returned from a business trip where she presented three Knowledge Sharing Workshops with confidence.
Stephanie also served as a tutor in Hofstra’s Mathematics Tutoring Center. This experience helped prepare her for her current role as a software developer at Frontline Education where she trains and mentors employees. Stephanie has been working full-time at Frontline Education for over a year, and is currently pursuing an MS in analytics at Georgia Institute of Technology.