Honours for Bianca

Jamaican student inducted

Sunday, March 24, 2019

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J ohnson & Wales University (JWU) reported on Friday that Jamaican student Bianca Ebanks, a senior software engineering major, was inducted into the university's first class in the Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) International Honor Society for the Computing and Information Disciplines.

She is among 33 students (29 undergraduate, four graduate) students as well as two faculty members from the College of Engineering & Design to have been so recognised.

UPE is the first honour society dedicated to the discipline of the computing and information disciplines. It recognises students and faculty for excellence in scholarship, leadership and ethicality.

To qualify for consideration, undergraduate students must maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, and a 3.2 GPA in their major. Graduate students are required to hold an overall 3.6 GPA. Members are chosen not only for their scholastic achievement in a computing science programme, JW says, but also for distinguishing themselves as true professionals by meeting the standards of the society.

Ebanks is a graduate of Wolmer's Trust High School for Girls in Kingston. She was a contestant in Miss Universe Jamaica North East in 2016 and has several modelling gigs under her belt, including a print campaign for Lasco Food Drink.

At JWU she is vice-president of the UPE chapter. Being inducted into UPE, she says, “is something that says you've really done well while you've been at school' an and it's nice to know that there are people who recognise how much work we put in at JWU.”

She adds that now that she's started applying for jobs, being part of UPE is already starting to have a positive effect on her future.

“So far, two of the companies I've applied to have actually come back to me and said, 'Hey, you know, we actually didn't know that JWU started a UPE chapter,' and they were actually really interested in me because of it.”

Fellow inductee Aryk Ledet agrees that induction validates students' work.

“This is a great honour for me,” he says. “I've worked really hard for this, and everyone else here worked really hard. This is a great thing for Johnson & Wales University, that's what I'm most excited about. It's important to get our name out there and get more people interested in our computer science programme.”

Professor in the College of Engineering & Design, and faculty advisor of JWU's UPE chapter Dr Tom Calabrese said the development reinforces JWU's expertise in computer science.

“Over the last 12 months, we documented and presented the state of our programme, the expertise of our faculty, the capabilities of our labs and resources, the abilities and potential of our students and the university's commitment to computer science learning. This prestigious honour spotlights the talents, skills and readiness of our students on a global scale,” he said at the installation ceremony earlier this month.

Alo at the ceremony, the group explained the significance of the symbols that make up the UPE emblem, or key, and what they represent to the professional association.

“Three historical symbols in the computing and information disciplines are the zero, the one and the abacus,” says sofware engineering senior Kristopher Sneed describing the key's features in detail. The inductees took their place during the ceremony, sitting in front of a table where 11 candles, nine lit and two unlit, where arranged to represent the binary bits on the key.

Johnson & Wales University, funded in 1914, is a private, non-profit, accredited institution with approximately 13,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The university offers degree programmes in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies.


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