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During Women's History Month, Columbus State is profiling women professors in the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medical) fields. Here, Computer Science Prof. Liz Helms, M.A., tells her story in her own words.
I graduated from Columbus Technical Institute in 1973 with a Secretarial Science degree. My first new job was as a secretary at an insurance company. I worked in different departments before taking a job at a local teachers association.
It was there that I was first introduced to a word processor. I was intrigued because the sales representative talked about features such as cut and paste. At that time, my boss used to literally cut up the letters I typed and rearrange the paragraphs by pasting them on a sheet of paper. I was the first to learn to use this equipment. Then I was asked to teach the other secretaries in my office.
When the company began to use actual computers, I was the first to learn how to use them. I ended up transferring to the Computer Services department and became the trainer for everyone in this company, from the secretarial staff to the president. While employed at this company, I attended Franklin University and earned a double bachelor's degree in Business/Human Resources Management. I wanted to be a professional trainer and trainers usually are in one of those departments.
I started teaching in the evenings at Columbus State Community College in 1995. My first assignment was at the Gahanna branch. It was so new that when I walked into my classroom there were no computers. We improvised for the first week. I transferred to teaching on the main campus, and when I left the job at the teachers association, I was able to teach during the day. I went back to school and earned an online master's degree in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University.
I have always been a self-starter and learned to use programs on my own. My current inspiration and goals are to keep current with new software. There are always new versions of software to learn and new features to use.
Want to learn computers with early adopters like Prof. Helms? Get started!