Welcome to the CSTA Volunteer Spotlight series, where we celebrate the incredible individuals who dedicate their time and passion to making a difference in the CSTA community. Join us in recognizing and appreciating the extraordinary efforts of Jigar in their role as an Equity Strand Lead in the Conference Committee.  

What inspired you to volunteer your time with CSTA? How has this experience impacted you?

CSTA’s vision and mission have inspired me to volunteer, specifically their intentionality in elevating educator voices, expanding CS education to all learners, and providing a space for CS educators to come together and collaborate. Volunteering with CSTA has helped develop my understanding of educational challenges within the CS landscape and has led to both personal and professional growth.

How long have you been involved with CSTA, and what motivated you to join?

I have been a member of CSTA since 2020. I was part of the group that started the CSTA Susquehanna Valley Chapter in Central Pennsylvania. One of my colleagues motivated me to join in with the idea of starting a CSTA chapter in our region.

Can you share any memorable experiences or highlights from your involvement with CSTA?

The CSTA Equity Fellowship was one of the most memorable and impactful experiences I have had, personally and professionally. On a personal level, the fellowship deepened my understanding of the challenges and barriers faced by underrepresented students in computer science.

How has CSTA impacted your teaching career and professional development?

Professionally, the fellowship, as well as working with CSTA members from across the world, has offered opportunities to network with like-minded educators, learn from leaders in the field, and develop new teaching strategies that are both inclusive and effective.

In what ways do you see CSTA shaping the future of computer science education?

I see CSTA continuing to advocate for responsible teaching of CS. Especially when there is so much focus on AI, we must teach students about responsible uses of technology. I also see CSTA expanding resources and programs to reach underrepresented groups and make CS inclusive.

Are there any specific initiatives or projects within CSTA that you’ve been particularly passionate about?

I have been passionate about the CSTA Equity Fellowship and the CSTA Conference!

What does the future of CSTA look like?

I see CSTA continue to push and advocate for Policy changes to ensure that every student has access to CS. Not everyone is going to be a computer scientist or computer programmer, but in this day and age of emphasis on Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and deep integration of computers in every aspect of our lives, students need to understand how these things work.