'I love that we can use technology to make people’s lives better'
Emerging Media and Technology student Serena Gestring, ‘25, has developed a passion for the role technology plays in the lives of others.
“Technology is fascinating to me, and I love that we can use technology to make people’s lives better and also to create things in new and exciting ways,” she said. “What I love about coding and web design specifically is that it allows me to be creative without needing to be traditionally artistic.”
Gestring’s journey to Kent State began during high school, where she took her first computer coding class and discovered the field of web development. While she was researching potential majors and minors at Kent State, she was also looking for somewhere to complete a required high school internship. She secured one at the Kent State LGBTQ+ Center, and spent most of her senior year of high school working on events, programming and student interactions. She also got the chance to explore campus.
“It was an amazing experience,” Gestring said.
Once she graduated high school, that positive experience and Kent State’s location made her feel confident in pursuing the Emerging Media Technology major with minors in Web Design and Development and User Experience Design.
She maintained her connections at the LGBTQ+ Center, and secured a student job — this time working on the office’s web development tasks, something that aligned with her Emerging Media and Technology major.
“I have been updating and maintaining the LGBTQ+ Center’s website for about three years now. My web development and UXD classes have taught me principles and skills for creating effective and accessible websites, which has been helpful for improving the content structure and navigation on the LGBTQ+ Center’s website,” she said.
At the LGBTQ+ Center, she’s also gained professional development experience related to project management, leadership and more. She anticipates this experience will be helpful as she progresses in her classes because in addition to teaching technical skills in coding and development, the Emerging Media and Technology major focuses on project management, teamwork and communicating about technology.
“These experiences and training sessions have definitely improved my leadership skills and helped me be more confident working in and even leading group projects in my classes,” she said. “Also, the professional communication skills I have developed have helped me in effectively communicating with my professors, classmates and other professionals in the classroom and the workplace.”
The experiences Serena has had in her major and minor courses are successfully preparing her to pursue a web developer position, involving both design and coding, post-graduation.