Ivy Smith

Division of Computational & Data Science
Degree pursuing: PhD in computation and data science
Hometown: Canton, Mississippi

Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
Tougaloo College

What motivated you to earn a graduate engineering degree?
I was interested in continuing my studies and researching after undergrad. Earning a graduate degree in my field of study was the best way I could do that.

Please provide your lab and a description of research.
I am a PhD student in Dr. Sheretta Butler-Barnes' Black Families & Racial Justice (BFRJ) lab. Currently, we study how Black parents speak to their children about their experience with racial violence and racial discrimination. Also, we study how their children cope with race-related incidents.

What drew you to this area of research?
I've always been interested in working on issues that affect not only me, but also my community. Why did you pick WashU? As soon as I stepped onto the campus, I knew this was the place for me. I love the interdisciplinary nature of my program, DCDS. Also, I love how close and supportive everyone is.

Who is your favorite instructor and why?
I have two favorite instructors: Dr. William Yeoh and Dr. Patrick Fowler. I had a great experience in my Computational & Data Sciences Research Exploration course. They made the class informative and interactive. Also, both are available to help students regardless of the problem.

What advice would you give to a new student?
Try not to stress too much! I know that everything is so new and different but stressing about it won't help. Remember that everyone is here to help. If you are having a problem, don't be afraid to reach out for assistance.

What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
How accessible and affordable it is! Everything just seems to be so close to me.

What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
I would definitely recommend joining the Black Graduate Student Union. They have many fun events where you can meet and socialize with other graduate students.

What are your plans for the future?
After completing my PhD, I would like to enter the workforce and continue to help my community through research.