John D. Hastings, Ph.D.

Holly Esquivel, a University of Nebraska at Kearney computer science major from Lincoln, has been selected as a participant in the CRA-W Distributed Mentor Program, a highly selective computer science mentoring program.  
A junior, Esquivel was one of only 45 students in the nation selected from among more than 225 who applied for the computer science research opportunity.  
Esquivel will do research over the summer at the University of Delaware where she will work with graduate students and faculty member Dr. Lori Pollock. The University of Delaware offers a doctoral program in computer science.
Dr. John Hastings, Esquivel’s UNK mentor and an assistant professor of computer science, said, “Holly is a very bright, outgoing and motivated student.” He noted that Esquivel’s current undergraduate research activities, along with her academic performance as an Honors student, aided her in being selected for this program.  
How Esquivel was notified about her selection into the Distributed Mentor Program is almost a story in itself. According to Esquivel, she was working in a computer lab for her second night on a computer science project, when she opened the e-mail notifying her of her admission into the program.  
“I started jumping up and down and yelling that I was going to Delaware, and I got some really funny looks, but it made staying up for the second night in a row all worthwhile,” Esquivel said.
“I’m also really happy about the project I will be working on, because I’m a Web junkie, and I will be working on developing an application that tests to see if Web applications were executed properly,” she said.  
She  will receive $600 a week for her 10-week research program. Additionally, her faculty mentor Dr. Pollock will receive an honorarium for her services.  
Esquivel said this program will help her decide what she wants to do the rest of her life, and she is anxious for this summer.
The mentoring program is managed by the Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W). The Distributed Mentor Program (DMP) was created in 1994, and since its inception, the DMP has had more than 300 participants from over 100 colleges and universities.    The objective of the DMP is to increase the number of women entering graduate studies in the fields of computer science and engineering.
The DMP also gives students a simulation of graduate school, and a goal of the program is to increase the competitiveness of participants’ applications for graduate admissions and fellowships.