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When Josh Tiffany started school at SBU, he planned to follow SBU’s pre-engineering program that would have taken him to Missouri S&T after two years. After taking some computer science classes, however, he was hooked on computer programming, changed his major and stayed at SBU.
“The computer science program is great, and the teachers are great,” said Josh, a computer science and mathematics major from Independence, Mo. “I had never programmed before college, and I was so excited when I wrote my first program. Continuing through the Computer Science and Mathematics curriculums, I have continued to gain abilities that I wouldn’t have gained without the schooling.”
Josh has been putting those abilities to work — and adding depth to his education and experience — through internships: One with the Department of Energy at the Brookhaven National Lab in New York and another internship with Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.
“At Brookhaven, I worked on a program that collected cloud radar data and displays it graphically for meteorologists,” Josh said. “I worked on the graphical user interface for it, and I translated that from a proprietary language to Python. I learned what it’s like to work an 8-to-5 job and a programming job. I learned pretty much a new language, and I learned that I can do it. That’s the type of questions that future employers will have for me: How fast can you learn? Are you teachable?”
SBU faculty have been actively involved in Josh’s academic success.
“COBACS professors are particularly brilliant about assisting us in getting internships and scholarships,” he said. “They had a hand in getting me internships. Even in academic advising, my advisor is quick to offer helpful advice to keep me on my academic path.”
Outside of the classroom, Josh has participated in global projects that have exposed him to other cultures through SBU’s Center for Global Connections.
“By going to Northwest Africa and Guatemala, I have experienced rich and diverse cultures,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t have gone on these trips if I wasn’t at SBU. Now that I’ve had a taste of international cultures, I want more and I’m probably going to pursue an international career after school.”