Senior Spotlight: Angela Zigarelli

By Tamanna Desai,
Technology & Innovation Editor

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released results in 2010 that women make up about 40 percent of the total United States workforce. However, women only make up 29 percent of the Science and Engineering workforce. For this week’s Stillman Exchange issue, we decided to interview a student who has utilized the resources available on campus to bring to light the different opportunities available at Seton Hall.

Angela Zigarelli is a senior who is majoring in marketing and minoring in math. When she graduates, she will also receive a certificate in market research data analysis. Zigarelli took advanced placement statistics in high school but was not sure she could succeed in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) field when she came in undecided to Seton Hall. Her dream job is to work as a statistician using the principles of data science in research. Zigarelli is very active on campus and is a member of the Martin Luther King Scholarship Association, a member of the University Honors program and founder/president of the Data Science club, which started up this spring semester.

The senior has partook in various research projects. Her first research project was with Dr. Minimair a few other students where they created an algorithm distribution of the types and frequencies of crimes happening in South Orange with data collected from the South Orange department. With her team, Zigarelli presented their project at the Liberty Science Center.

Her second research project was with Dr. Connell and involved history research on foreign workers in renaissance history and together they created a model of visas that were permitted to foreign workers. The third research project was with Dr. Ganning on a non-linear model that represents each state’s population over certain time-periods. This research project also has the possibility of becoming a publication. By approaching and being selected for these projects, Zigarelli has been able to transform the topics she has learned from the textbook and classroom into real life tangible products.

Along with her ongoing research projects, Zigarelli also heads the Data Science club. She founded the club last year and they currently have a roster of 100 students with 30 active members. They meet in space 154 on Mondays from 8-9 PM and learn how to program in python because it is used the most in machine engineering. Their long-term project focuses on building the program of a self-driving car and meet on Fridays from 5-6 PM in McNulty 222. The autonomous car created at Stanford University named Stanley inspired this long-term project . When asked what Zigarelli’s vision is for the club after she graduates this May she said, “I would like to see more industry personnel be brought in as mentors and for more students to sign up for things.” She said the club would also be looking into hosting its own hackathon. Currently there are hackathons being held locally at Kean University, Rutgers and New York University. After some research, Zigarelli said the only universities with publicly marketed Data Science clubs are Cornell University and The University of California, Berkeley.

When asked if Zigarelli always knew what she wanted to do coming in to Seton Hall, she said she was discouraged by her high school and doubted herself of whether or not she could succeed a STEM major. Although her father is an engineer and she was a straight A student in high school, her guidance counselor recommended marketing as a more attainable major for her. She heard about the DAVA minor or major through the Career Center after visiting the center and seeing a pamphlet on it. She said many students are interested in a STEM major but are not able to find the resources on campus to pursue it and therefore are discouraged to look into it.

Zigarelli had a word of encouragement for students who are unsure of majoring in STEM. “Research the different career possibilities in STEM and pursue it no matter how unattainable it seems. Seek out resources on campus or create them if what you are looking for is not available,” said Zigarelli. Angela Zigarelli said her favorite class during her time at Seton Hall was Introduction to Statistics with Dr. Sethi.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 print edition.

Contact Tamanna at
 tamanna.desai@student.shu.edu

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