Cheryl Swanier, Ph.D.

Cheryl Swanier
Claflin University
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Dr. Cheryl A. Swanier is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Claflin University where she was named the Henry N. and Alice Carson Tisdale Endowed Professor and served as the former Department Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science. In her role as chair, she was successful in strategically obtaining the inaugural ABET accreditation for the Computer Science program at Claflin University and establishing the inaugural Computer Science Advisory Board.  

Dr. Swanier is the founder and CEO of Swanier Consulting, LLC and the non-profit organization The SIS Foundation, Inc. Swanier was selected in 2017 as a Visiting Research Scientist at Google in their inaugural Faculty in Residence program in Mountain View, California, and she received the 2016-17 Google igniteCS Award. Swanier is a recipient of the 2013 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award. Swanier is also the recipient of the 2013 Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion Award given by the White House. She was recognized by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in the December-January 2013-14 issue. 

Dr. Swanier conducts research in Human Computer Interaction with an emphasis in visual programming of educational simulations with end user programming and educational gaming technologies. Dr. Swanier works with outreach initiatives to improve computer science education at all levels. One of these initiatives is the Kewl Girlz Kode summer learning program. Another initiative is the STARS (Students & Technology in Academia, Research & Service) Alliance, a regional partnerships among academia, industry, K-12, and the community to strengthen local BPC (Broadening Participation in Computing) programs by focusing on K-12 outreach, community service, student leadership, and computing diversity research. Swanier has formerly served as a faculty liaison with the ARTSI Alliance, Advancing Robotics, Technology for Societal Impact, which was affiliated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) BPC.

Dr. Swanier is a member of the NCWIT Academic Alliance, where she currently serves on the Academic Alliance Steering Committee, and has previously served as an NCWIT Pacesetter. Swanier provides mentoring to undergraduate students. She facilitates presentations to provide undergraduates with opportunities to gain information on research experiences, internships and on exploring the graduate experience. NCWIT awarded Swanier a $10,000 Seed Fund Award for the Kewl Girlz Kode summer learning program during 2016-17.

Dr. Swanier works with many programs focused on increasing the computing pipeline by getting students interested in STEM disciplines and future technology careers. She also conducts outreach activities to organizations such as Girls, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Delta Academy and Delta GEMS, and Links, Inc. in a concerted effort to broaden participation in computing for underrepresented minorities and girls. These workshops include teaching girls from K-12 how to learn visual programming languages, develop websites, and program robots. Dr. Swanier is open to collaboration in areas of HCI, Virtual Environments, and Visual Programming.

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