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Computing and information honors society helps students excel

Women in Tech event
In late fall, DePaul's UPE chapter hosted its annual Women in Tech event. From left to right: Danyell Jones-Muhammad, research lead at ZS Associates; Dannie Lynn Fountain, account representative at Google; Jodi Hill, vice president of business strategy at Senior Lifestyle; and Becky Jacob, data scientist at Sprout Social. (Image courtesy of Stephanie Nikolas)

Among the many student organizations and honors societies at DePaul lies Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the College of Computing and Digital Media’s international honors society for computing and information disciplines. With more than 2,000 members, the chapter is the largest and most active in the nation, earning the 2018 and 2019 Outstanding Chapter award.

Daniela Stan Raicu, DePaul’s associate provost for research, founded the university’s UPE chapter in 2002, and since 2008 has served on the honor society’s national executive council. With the help of Jonathan Gemmell, an associate professor and faculty advisor to UPE, the chapter has grown. 

For both Raicu and Gemmell, UPE is more than an honors society for the Blue Demons in CDM. It is an organization that serves the community through educational and academic events.

“In general, UPE provides a resume boost,” Gemmell says. “Beyond that, UPE at DePaul offers a place for top students to come together and serve the school. It is an opportunity to give back via knowledge-sharing events and other service to the community.”

Through signature events held throughout the year, students involved in UPE develop networking and research conferences and showcases. These events allow participants to not only make connections and learn more about different career paths, but also help those in the computing and information science community foster affinity for their field. 

“We are ambassadors for the computing field,” Stan Raicu says. “We are here not only to encourage others to pursue computing degree, but also to make a difference.”

Monica Stettler, a graduate student studying data science and UPE president, oversaw the chapter’s “Women in Tech” event two years in a row. She also aided Stan Raicu with a “Data Science Summer Academy” for high school students. 

Thanks to her work in the chapter, Stettler earned UPE’s 2019 Dan Drew Award, the national organization’s highest honor and scholarship. Dan Drew, the award’s namesake, was an advisor to the students who founded UPE at Texas A&M University in 1967.

“She leads and takes initiative,” Stan Raicu says. “The Dan Drew Award is a true recognition of her efforts.” 

For Stettler, participating in UPE is not about recognition, but about service and continuing the Vincentian mission. 

“We are here to serve others in any way we can,” Stettler says. “It is not a part of what we do, it is everything we do.” 

Stettler was not the only Blue Demon UPE member to receive a scholarship in fall 2019. Meghan Kimball, the undergraduate outreach chair for UPE and student of computer science, received the Academic Achievement Award. The national organization honored Kimball for her academic excellence, service and involvement in the chapter and surrounding community.

“I have always been involved in service and never expect anything back,” Kimball says. “Being involved in UPE has been a reward in it of itself. It has given me so much to be grateful for.”

To learn more, visit the DePaul UPE website or contact