BU CDS Welcomes Colleen Kenney
Boston University proudly welcomes Colleen Kenney as the Senior Undergraduate Academic Advisor in the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS).
As CDS prepares its move into the new Center for Computing & Data Sciences later this Fall, Colleen will support and prepare undergraduate students majoring or minoring in Data Science. “Colleen’s experience and energy are exactly what CDS needs as we welcome our inaugural cohort of undergraduate students,” CDS Director of Administration Chris Devits said, adding “We’re excited to see her bring that energy to our program and help lead us into the new building.”
Broadly, her support comes in the form of helping students explore their academic interests, developing course plans that align with academic requirements, referring students to resources that position them to graduate, and creating community programming.
Colleen plans on expanding her influence on students beyond those parameters, as she notes that “I focus on appreciative advising and developmental advising practices with my students to create an environment where I can teach all of the critical life skills they need outside of their academics.”
Colleen’s own undergraduate experience was untraditional, something students can find comfort in. “I use my experience [initially] failing out of college to my advantage by connecting to, establishing connections with, and creating programming with campus partners that are key to helping struggling students out of their funk,” she explains. This position will mark nearly a decade of working in higher education for Colleen, who previously advised undergraduates at the University of Mississippi, and most recently at the University of Utah School of Computing.
BU’s Director for Undergraduate Advising and Student Support, Katie Steele, recognizes Colleen’s wealth of experience and called her the “ideal person to be advising CDS undergraduates,” especially during this period of transition. “She brings significant previous experience to the role along with boundless energy. I think students will really appreciate her enthusiasm and I know Colleen is excited to get to know each of them.”
According to Colleen, students can expect an “eccentric” advising style that keeps “different learning styles in mind.” Her ultimate goal is to “really help bring students out of their shells and begin to feel comfortable with me much sooner than otherwise,” she says.
Above all, Colleen is “thrilled to be able to continue working in such an important discipline and assist CDS and Spark! with making sure our programs demonstrate that anyone can code – and everyone should have access and opportunities to do so,” she says.
Colleen holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Higher Education from the University of Mississippi. Her academic preparation and training also included study abroad in Osaka, Japan, as a participant in Ole Miss’s Japanese Initiative Language Program.