Senior Teaching Faculty
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr. Cheryl A. Swanier is a Senior Teaching Faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She was the former Department Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science at Claflin University, where she was named the Henry N. and Alice Carson Tisdale Endowed Professor.
Dr. Swanier was successful in leading and establishing the inaugural ABET accreditation for the computer science program at Claflin University. Dr. Swanier is the founder and CEO of Swanier Consulting, LLC as well as the non-profit organization the SIS Foundation Inc. 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. Swanier was selected as a Visiting Research Scientist at Google in Mountain View, California and she received the 2016-17 Google igniteCS Award. Swanier is a recipient of the 2017 NCWIT Seed Fund Award and 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 works with many programs focused on increasing the computing pipeline by getting students interested in STEM disciplines and future technology careers through her non-profit The SIS Foundation, Inc. that implements the Kewl Girlz Kode project and is dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in computing through engagement, inspiration, and empowerment.
Dr. Swanier is a recipient of the 2016 NCWIT Seed Fund Award, 2013 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, and 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 works with outreach initiatives to improve computer science education at all levels. One of these initiatives is the ARTSI Alliance, Advancing Robotics, Technology for Societal Impact. Swanier established the first robotics lab at Fort Valley State University. The robotics programming was implemented in Calypso, a robotics application framework in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. Another initiative is the STARS (Students & Technology in Academia, Research & Service) Alliance, a regional partnership among academia, industry, K-12 and the community to strengthen local BPC programs by focusing on K-12 outreach, community service, student leadership and computing diversity research.