Kelsey began coding long before college. “Computer science is a way you can help people. During high school, I started building websites for local nonprofits, for women shelters and animal shelters that didn’t have the funds to make websites themselves. That branched into making apps for language learning, and from there I became interested in computer science as a whole.”

Her journey led her straight to South Dakota Mines, where the high quality, low cost, and personal attention was too good to pass up. And she’s been able to dive in from day one, building real software programs for an education beyond the books.

Kelsey’s used to total immersion. She's traveled the world with her mom, who’s employed by the Army, living throughout Africa, in Puerto Rico, and Europe. And she’s done her fair share of exploring here in the Black Hills, hiking, discovering ghost towns, and scoping out abandoned mines.

That’s on top of an impressive list of jobs and extracurriculars, working for the Aurum school newspaper, writing weekend stories at the Rapid City Journal, and working with the ACM computer club.

The key to balancing it all: WiSE.

“As part of the mentorship program, I have a WiSE mentor, Jesse Thompson, and she’s helped me a lot. It’s hard managing school and so many jobs, and she’s given me advice on how to juggle it all, apply for internships, and tips on college life in general. It’s provided me direction and one-on-one support.”

Kelsey’s network is her rock – from finals study groups to leadership workshops to just having another female to turn to and rely on. South Dakota Mines’ networks have proved invaluable too, preparing students for interviews and internships – preparation that led Kelsey to land one of her own.

This summer, she’ll be interning in social media and writing at Evergreen Media. Communication has always been an equal passion to computer science, from linguistic apps (check out her Swedish one, Innoli Swedish, in the app store!) to freelance writing to her ultimate dream job: a combination of the two.

“One day, I want to write for Wired magazine and put those two passions together” into a powerful career.