Alumni Spotlight: Shane Emmons, Computer Science & Information Systems

Shane Emmons graduated from UM-Flint in 2004 with a BS and 2006 with an MS in Computer Science. After several years of success in his field, he wrote to his home department asking if there was a way to give back to the community that helped him accomplish so much. Dr. Michael Farmer, Department Chair of CSEP, gladly accepted the offer and enlisted Emmons as an instructor for a graduate-level networking course. Read on to learn more about this UM-Flint alum and his place in the world of computer science.

Shane Emmons, alumnus and faculty member of UM-Flint's Computer Science program

Shane Emmons, alumnus and faculty member of UM-Flint’s Computer Science program

Name: Shane Emmons
Degree(s): Bachelors, Computer Science – 2004; Masters, Computer Science and Information Systems – 2006

What are you doing now? 
CTO, TeamSnap. I work as part of the executive team to define, plan, and execute the vision of the company. As the CTO, I also distill the overall company vision into a vision for the engineering organization which we then act upon. I spend time daily mentoring developers, defining our platform architecture and working to create consensus amongst the various groups on how we approach technical hurdles.

According to their website, TeamSnap is an “online sports team management application for coaches, managers and organizers to save time organizing their teams and groups.” Available services from the application include “0nline registration, player and schedule management, [and a] public website.”

How did your University of Michigan-Flint education prepare you for what you are doing now?
[UM-Flint] gave me the background I needed to hit the ground running. I was able to take what I learned in class and apply it directly to complicated problems that would have eluded me otherwise. It also taught me how to work as a team and how to clearly express myself. Communication is extremely important, especially in the highly remote and connected world of technology.

Who made the biggest impact on your UM-Flint career?
Dr. Turner in the CSEP department was my biggest influence. He always pushed me to do my best. He gave my opportunities to do independent research and to also assist him in research. Without his guidance and natural leadership to do something better I may not have strived as hard to reach my goals today.

What is the value of UM-Flint curricula?
You cannot begin to put value on how important the real-world curriculum was to my education. There are things we discussed in class that come up on a nearly daily basis. This approach allowed me to immediately put into action things I learned in class, even before I graduated.

What does UM-Flint do better than any other university?
UM-Flint does two great things you’ll not find at every University. First, they give students great individual focus. If you’re hungry to learn and willing to put in the work, you’ll find the professors there right alongside you giving back as much (or more) than you put in. Secondly, they offer great flexibility for those who are working but still want that university experience. Whether it’s classes at night or a mixed-mode online course, you can bet you’ll get the same University caliber experience.

What advice would you give to an incoming UM-Flint freshman?
Study hard, do the homework. What you put into the classes is what you’ll get out. The harder you work, the more you’ll learn and the further you’ll go.

Describe “the UM-Flint of the future.” What could it be? What should it be? 
An interconnected university that bridges remote and in-class students together in one cohesive experience.

For more information on the computer science program at UM-Flint, visit their website umflint.edu/computer-science.