The Hub STEM Sisters

STEM Sisters

By: Dr. Vivekanandan Kumar

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is crucial in our world, which has an ever-increasing need to find qualified candidates for high-tech jobs. Claudia, Rebecca, and Isabelle Guillot are three STEM sisters from Quebec City with very distinct but complementary skills that form an exemplary women’s Information Technology (IT) team.

All three sisters are current undergraduate students at Athabasca University. They have worked on various research projects under Dr. Vivekanandan Kumar, Professor – School of Computing and Information Systems, Faculty of Science and Technology (FST), over the last four years as research assistants.


“In addition to having strong work ethic and professionalism, a performing computing team requires a set of skills that goes beyond programming. This is exactly what these sisters display in a unique way. ”

– Dr. Vive Kumar

Claudia is highly talented in graphics and user interface design. With the help of graphic software such as the Adobe Creative Software Suite, Blender, and Unity, she creates attractive and professional-looking logos and software interface for research software products developed by Professor Kumar’s research team. She selects specific design-related courses at AU, like COMP 230, APST 215, and APST 220, that enhance and deepen her understanding and skills in design. Claudia is further developing her skills in web development and web design, while considering FST’s Bachelor of Science in Architecture program as a potential pathway to success.

“Being passionate with graphic design, AU’s courses and research opportunities have allowed me to enhance and put to use my skills in that area. I’d be thrilled to see AU offering a full graphics and interaction design program in the future!”

– Claudia Guillot

Rebecca is enrolled in the School of Computing and Information Systems at AU and aims to complete her Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems Major over the next few years.

Exceptionally creative by nature, Rebecca has a unique talent to ensure that software is developed in a user-friendly way with meaningful functionalities for the end user. Rebecca is passionate about mathematics and logic, which makes programming a joy for her. She always wants to know more about programming and to learn about high performance programming. Her strong self-organization skills and dynamic nature create momentum within the team for speedy development and well-tested delivery of software packages.

“AU has been and is still wonderful for me because I can pursue academic objectives merged to analytics research projects in computing and information systems, which keep me on the edge of new technologies and programming techniques. All this in the comfort of my home and adjusted to my schedule!”

– Rebecca Guillot

Isabelle is registered in the Bachelor of Management program with AU and has great interest in project management, as well as in coordination and administrative tasks. She excels in her ability to communicate professionally and demonstrates strong organizational and facilitation skills. Isabelle, a certified ScrumMaster, applies the lean and agile project management approach with the Scrum framework for several research projects on software development and industry-academia collaborations. She also facilitates the flow of communication for several learning analytics projects in Professor Kumar’s analytics research group at FST. Her interpersonal skills are exemplary and appreciated by everyone within the research group. She also volunteers at international conferences to further facilitate marketing and program analysis.

“In addition to studying at distance in a field that I love (business management), I have found through AU wonderful professors genuinely dedicated to help me grow in my communication, agile project management, and data analysis skills by providing me opportunities to interact with a network of academic and industrial figures around the world to handle and promote research projects and conferences. I am extremely grateful for that.”

– Isabelle Guillot

These three hard-working sisters, along with a few other AU students, have started their own IT company to put their complementary talents and skills to good use. They are very grateful for the learning opportunities provided through AU’s programs as well as the possibility to be research assistants, where they can put theoretical concepts into practice and preparing them for rewarding careers in computing. The three STEM sisters already are a shining example of empowered women within computing, while striving to achieve their full potential as AU learners.

  • January 2, 2019
Guest Blog from:
Dr. Vivekanandan Kumar