Meet the Trainers of Software Training for Students

Mon February 5, 2018

Free in-person technology workshops and one-on-one project support make Software Training for Students (STS) a popular resource on campus. But one of the best things about STS is that undergrads and grad students receive this help from fellow Badgers. Pavan Kemparaju and Ellen Light are two of the friendly faces that create a welcoming atmosphere perfect for picking up new skills and troubleshooting problems

Get to know Pavan and Ellen by reading their interviews below. If you’d like to join them as a trainer, fill out our application form. No specific software skills are required, but basic proficiency with computers is important.

Pavan Kemparaju

STS Meet the Trainer Pavan KemparajuWhat are you studying here at UW?
Computer Sciences – Masters

What do you think is valuable about Software Training for Students?
For me it has been getting out of the box of seeing software in my own field. Seeing people apply software in their fields makes you think of cool things you’d have never come up with by yourself. I’ve had fun learning Photoshop and playing with Illustrator because the people teaching it at STS were my friends!

What is something about software/technology that you’ve learned while working at STS?
I realized how pervasive software is in every department and field. Our students don’t just come here to learn to code, they want to edit their movies, make sense of their experiment data, show off their artwork and software helps them all. Everyone has a different way of seeing technology and making analogies.

What is your favorite area of software/tech?
I love programing for the web and visualizing data to see patterns.

What is something helpful for students to know about STS?
The curriculum is for you! We are not a strict classroom lecturing you and grading you, we are all having fun learning and teaching software together and being amazed by how it can help you do what you want to do.

Any other thoughts/comments for students?
The instructors are not professors, you don’t lose a grade in our classes. So come for the learning and stay for the fun and friendly faces!

Ellen Light

STS Meet the Trainer Ellen LightWhat are you studying here at UW?
Computer Science, Mathematics, and Economics

What do you think is valuable about Software Training for Students?
STS provides many different types of instruction so that students can get exactly what they need. Students can sign up for large group introductory workshops, as well as small group specialized workshops. We also offer one-on-one sessions for highly specific questions.

What is something about software/technology that you’ve learned while working at STS?
STS introduced me to some of the technologies used in design, such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. I had a lot of fun doing small art projects with them to prepare for teaching. It’s something I would not have gotten exposed to if I had not been working for STS.

What is your favorite area of software/tech?
I like learning different programming languages.

What is something helpful for students to know about STS?
Ask A Trainer appointments are very flexible. If you can’t make the time listed on the website, you can sign up for the session anyway and email the trainer to arrange another time.

Any other thoughts/comments for students?
Consider working for STS! We are very supportive of each other as trainers and it’s really fun to learn new technologies!