Ellissa Peterson, 20

Hacker
Ellissa Peterson
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Elissa first started coding her sophomore year of high school in an intro to Java class. She decided to try it out after enjoying a basic HTML page in her Video, Web, and More class the previous year. She immediately fell in love with the excitement she got from solving a problem that she could’ve been stuck on for a long time.

Ellissa was introduced to hackathons by a friend in her major at Iowa State University. In a last-minute decision, she decided to go with her friend and his group to Kansas for HackKU. She learned so much that weekend she started going to as many hackathons as possible. She currently has attended 11 hackathons.

Having attended plenty within a short period of time, Ellissa noticed a group of students that were at all of the same events as her from Iowa State and they became friends. Impacted by the hacker community, they wanted to help others find their way into the community. They started Hackathon Club, an organization whose sole purpose was to help introduce people to hackathons and help them to attend. In their first semester, the five members traveled the Midwest together attending events in Kansas, Missouri, and Florida. As of today, their club is currently 72 members strong and growing. More than half of their new members had never been to a hackathon before joining. Ellissa was recently elected as president and is excited about the six hackathons they have scheduled for this spring. Their main goal right now is to create a strong foundation for the club by fundraising and reaching out to the community to ensure its longevity.

Through hackathons, Ellissa has developed her hard skills such as learning React and Javascript and has grown immensely in her soft skills. She learned that she liked being a leader. It gave her the confidence she needed to find a great summer internship with SAP Concur. During her time there, she wrote tests using a testing framework called Cucumber. She worked alongside a team, creating tests for a new webpage.

Her favorite project from a hackathon was Cloud Hockey. She and her team created a web app that allowed them to pull data from an accelerometer in a smartphone taped to a hockey stick. They then represented this data on a real-time graph and were able to allow the judges to take turns hitting a stress ball into a make-shift net to view the acceleration of their shots. The project was innovative and ended up winning second place at PickHacks.

Quick Facts

Pronouns: She/Her
Hometown: Ankeny, Iowa, USA
School: Iowa State University
Graduation Date: 2021
First Hackathon: HackKU (Spring 2019)
Favorite Coding Language: Java, React, and JavaScript
Can't Live Without: GitHub Desktop
Ellissa and her team demoing their Cloud Hockey project at PickHacks 2019

Ellissa Peterson, 20

Hacker
Ellissa Peterson
Share this profile

Elissa first started coding her sophomore year of high school in an intro to Java class. She decided to try it out after enjoying a basic HTML page in her Video, Web, and More class the previous year. She immediately fell in love with the excitement she got from solving a problem that she could’ve been stuck on for a long time.

Ellissa was introduced to hackathons by a friend in her major at Iowa State University. In a last-minute decision, she decided to go with her friend and his group to Kansas for HackKU. She learned so much that weekend she started going to as many hackathons as possible. She currently has attended 11 hackathons.

Having attended plenty within a short period of time, Ellissa noticed a group of students that were at all of the same events as her from Iowa State and they became friends. Impacted by the hacker community, they wanted to help others find their way into the community. They started Hackathon Club, an organization whose sole purpose was to help introduce people to hackathons and help them to attend. In their first semester, the five members traveled the Midwest together attending events in Kansas, Missouri, and Florida. As of today, their club is currently 72 members strong and growing. More than half of their new members had never been to a hackathon before joining. Ellissa was recently elected as president and is excited about the six hackathons they have scheduled for this spring. Their main goal right now is to create a strong foundation for the club by fundraising and reaching out to the community to ensure its longevity.

Through hackathons, Ellissa has developed her hard skills such as learning React and Javascript and has grown immensely in her soft skills. She learned that she liked being a leader. It gave her the confidence she needed to find a great summer internship with SAP Concur. During her time there, she wrote tests using a testing framework called Cucumber. She worked alongside a team, creating tests for a new webpage.

Her favorite project from a hackathon was Cloud Hockey. She and her team created a web app that allowed them to pull data from an accelerometer in a smartphone taped to a hockey stick. They then represented this data on a real-time graph and were able to allow the judges to take turns hitting a stress ball into a make-shift net to view the acceleration of their shots. The project was innovative and ended up winning second place at PickHacks.

Quick Facts

Pronouns: She/Her
Hometown: Ankeny, Iowa, USA
School: Iowa State University
Graduation Date: 2021
First Hackathon: HackKU (Spring 2019)
Favorite Coding Language: Java, React, and JavaScript
Can't Live Without: GitHub Desktop
Share this profile
Ellissa and her team demoing their Cloud Hockey project at PickHacks 2019

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