Shani Mensing is a recent graduate from Mount Holyoke College, with a major in Cognitive Computer Science. She was born in Manhattan, New York and was raised in Miami Beach, Florida. In her first year of college, Shani began learning how to code and collaborate as a Community Based Learning fellow. In her sophomore year, she worked at after-school programs with students from the Holyoke Boys and Girls club and well as students from Peck Elementary School. At that time, Shani helped design a first year seminar course called iDesign Studio. The focus of iDesign was to inspire women to pursue a stem major by showing the creative side of programming. This course, at the time, was only open to first year students at Mount Holyoke College with minimal or no computer science background.
During her junior year, Shani assisted in teaching the iDesign Studio course and an Intro to Computer Science course. She also declared her Cognitive Computer Science major with a focus on User Interface. In her senior year, she continued as a Teaching Assistant for computer science courses, including an upper level course in Robotics. Shani also continued her community work by teaching middle school students how to create their own basic circuit during the CS Middle School outreach program and as Head of Hardware for both Mount Holyoke’s HackHolyoke 2014 and 2015.