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QUICK FACTS

Name: Lauren-Jiavanna Morita

Age: 20

Hometown: Modesto, Calif.

Majors: Computer Science and Chinese

Expected graduation: 2017

Plans: Graduate school

Lauren-Jiavanna Morita, Team Venus ’13

Lauren-Jiavanna Morita, Team Venus ’13
“This competition is important because it not only fortifies my passion for computers, but also allows my talented teammates to represent University of the Pacific, as well as females in the computer science field.” – Lauren-Jiavanna Morita, Team Venus ’13

In her words:

The essential reasons why I came to University of the Pacific were the close proximity to home and the Pacific Legal Scholars Program's invitation to join the law program. I started at University of the Pacific as an International Business major without any goals for my future, near or far. I chose business as my initial major, because I knew it was a field of study that could be integrated into any other subject.

While I enjoyed my classes as an International Business major, I felt as though there was not enough interest for me to want to continue in business for the rest of my working life. I always felt like there was something else that I could do that would pique my interest more.

I found such interest when I began taking a basic computers class that was required for business majors. One assignment I enjoyed in particular was creating a website for a product or service that we planned to sell. With this assignment, I discovered my passion for website design and through that, computer science. I changed my major that semester to Computer Science.

The current team captain of Team Venus, Kathleen Shoga, had been a close friend and a Computer Science and Computer Engineering double major who influenced me to join Team Venus. Before my major was finalized, I started to help her build the miniature cluster that Team Venus would use for practice in parallel computing for the coming year. I relished seeing the concrete results of our labor, unlike business where most answers were not absolute. Because of the time that I aided Kathleen in building some of the cluster and my newfound excitement for computer science, I readily agreed to join Team Venus to participate at the Student Cluster Competition when Kathleen invited me.

This competition is important because it not only fortifies my passion for computers, but also allows my talented teammates to represent University of the Pacific, as well as females in the computer science field.

I do not believe the fact that our team is all-female is the only decisive factor that makes us unique. We have received close counseling by dedicated professors like Dr. Jeff Shafer, Dr. Anthony Dutoi, Dr. Jinzhu Gao, and Dr. Louise Stark who have committed a great deal of time to help us in our competition. We would not have been able to have such an opportunity to work with professors on a personal level if it were any other large university. This opportunity at University of the Pacific has created a new path for me in life that I wish to continue on for the remainder of my life.

Return to the Team Venus story.