Jolene Fan

Commencement: Fall 2014, Ceremony 6

Degree: Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering

Graduate of: College of Engineering and Computing

Sometimes the most momentous decision comes from ordinary circumstances. For Jolene Fan, that day came when she joined the robotics club at her California high school. It was not because she loved math and science, but because her fellow musicians in the school’s marching band – Jolene played flute – were also involved in making robots.

From that start, Jolene, 20, now graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering – following in the footsteps of her father, Jeffrey Fan, who previously taught at FIU. Jolene whole-heartedly devoted herself to the discipline. She started FIU at 16, became involved in research projects – nanotechnology was one area — and then became the Student Government Association representative for the College of Engineering and Computing.

Three mentors were instrumental in her success, she says: Amir Mirmiran, dean of the College; Shekhar Bhansali, chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; and Frank Urban, her logic professor. Jolene plans to attend graduate school in California, and expects to specialize in computer modeling in the financial field. Ultimately, her goal is to be a professor.