Informatics empowers ASU grad to innovate

April 28, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.

Patrick Wojcik was drawn to Arizona State University for its nationally recognized engineering program and innovative culture. patrick wojcik Patrick Wojcik is a 2023 Outstanding Graduate in informatics. Download Full Image

“ASU's commitment to entrepreneurship and experiential learning aligned with my personal values and aspirations, ultimately making it the perfect choice for me,” he says.

Wojcik pursued a degree in informatics in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU, noting he was encouraged by the degree’s interdisciplinary approach and emphasis on practical, real-world applications of technology.

“I was surprised to learn how diverse the applications of informatics can be, from developing data-driven health care solutions to designing user-friendly technology interfaces,” he says. “Informatics combines elements of computer science, information science and social science to create innovative solutions.”

He credits the Fulton Schools’ reputation for giving him the tools to succeed.

“When I think of the Fulton Schools, I think of innovation,” says Wojcik, who is from Goodyear, Arizona. “The Fulton Schools are known for their forward-thinking approach to education, interdisciplinary collaboration, cutting-edge technology and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Overall, the Fulton Schools create a culture of innovation and inclusivity that inspires and prepares students to make a positive impact in the engineering field.”

Outside the classroom, Wojcik served as a member of the Sun Devil Motorsports’ aerodynamics team, where he used skills from his major to contribute to his team’s success. He also founded the university’s Polish Student Association, helping establish its mission and goals in addition to increasing membership and engagement across the student body.

As Wojcik reflects on his time at ASU, he is grateful for his well-rounded education that has prepared him for the workforce.

“My experience in the Fulton Schools has taught me the importance of working together and thinking outside the box,” he says. “Through group projects and interacting with students from different fields, I learned that diverse perspectives can lead to more creative and effective solutions. It's a lesson that I'll carry with me throughout my career and personal life.”

After graduation, Wojcik will be staying in Tempe and joining YellowBird Holdings as a software engineer.

“By designing and implementing innovative solutions,” he says, “I can help organizations and individuals make better decisions, streamline processes and create positive change in the world.”

Annelise Krafft

Communications Specialist, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Computer science allows ASU grad to bridge creativity and logic

April 28, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.

Michelle Houchins was inspired to pursue a degree in computer science because of her dad, who has worked with computers all of his life. Michelle Houchins Michelle Houchins is a 2023 Outstanding Graduate in computer science. Download Full Image

“One thing I love about coding is that for any problem, there are an infinite number of solutions,” she says. “It’s the perfect balance of creativity and logic: No one program looks alike, yet code will either work or it will not.”

Houchins pursued her degree in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University and says that being around other women in engineering also inspired her.

“My first year, I attended the Grace Hopper Celebration, the largest conference for women in computing,” Houchins says. “Being among so many brilliant, like-minded women with a passion for computer science and bettering the world helped me know I was on the right path.”

During her time at ASU, Houchins was heavily involved in extracurricular activities. She served as the project lead and K–12 outreach coordinator for Next Level Devils, an aerospace project-based club that participates in NASA design challenges; a member and former director of internal programming for Phi Sigma Rho, a social sorority for women in engineering; a member of Science Detectives, an education science program for elementary school students; and a C2 counselor at E2, where she led and mentored first-year students.

One of her proudest achievements was traveling to Houston with Next Level Devils to participate in NASA’s Micro-g NExT challenge, in which undergraduate students design, build and test a tool to address space exploration challenges.

“NASA requested to display our device, a lunar sample marker for astronauts to deploy during extravehicular activities on the upcoming Artemis missions, in the Artemis exhibit at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center,” she says proudly.

Houchins also served as the project lead on a 10-person team competing in the NASA SUITS Challenge, a Russian tutor for the School of International Letters and Cultures and an Engineering Futures mentor, which she deems her most rewarding experience.

After graduation, Houchins will join Iridium as an engineer in its Orbital Program. In the future, she hopes to become a leader of an organization working to make STEM and technology accessible to girls of all backgrounds.

“Everyone deserves to find and pursue their passion,” she says. “Girls who dream of building rockets, designing airplanes or curing cancer deserve to make those dreams a reality.”

Annelise Krafft

Communications Specialist, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering