Welcome to the Gateway Scholar Spotlight SeriesWPI Online recently launched the Gateway Scholarship, which is awarded each year to 5 of our online, part-time graduate students. This series will introduce you to the award winners: working professionals who are pursuing their educational goals through WPI Online while juggling career, family, and more.

How many data scientists do you know who play electric violin? Go ahead and add Jacklyn Turner to that presumably short list.

Our next Gateway Scholar is a woman of varied talents. In addition to her job as a manager of data management at an investment company in Cambridge, MA, Jacklyn also has a husband, two young kids, and plays electric violin in “It’s a J Thing,” a 3-person band that plays throughout the Boston area. “The three of us have been playing together for 8 years now,” she says.

Recently, both Jacklyn and her husband took a big leap. “[We] both decided to go back to school at the same time,” she says. Her husband had to go full-time, so that means Jacklyn now supports the family on her salary alone. But that doesn’t stop her from pursuing her own educational goals, with an assist from WPI’s online programs in Data Science.

“WPI [Online] gives me the flexibility to get an education on my own terms.  From the application process to the course assignments, everything has been incredibly easy and convenient.”

While there are new Data Science programs popping up online regularly, Jacklyn wanted a program of quality and knew where to turn. “I am familiar with WPI’s strong reputation in this capacity and have been highly impressed with the individuals I’ve met over the years who received degrees from WPI,” she says.

In addition, she says, “WPI’s interdisciplinary [approach to] Data Science is not offered by many other universities (especially online), and the rigorous curriculum aligns perfectly with my interests.”

Jacklyn is also thankful to be one of the first Gateway Scholars, as it has reinforced her self-confidence and drive.

“At times I have doubted whether I can take on the additional responsibility,” she says. “Receiving this award has helped me change my mindset. I now feel connected to a broader support network that has invested in my success. I know I will not let them down!”

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