2012 Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow Profile

Q&A with Kristin Roher
1st-year Ph.D. student in Informatics

Kristin Roher received a 2012 Eugene Cota-Robles (ECR) Fellowship, awarded by the UC Irvine Graduate Division. Considered the most prestigious diversity fellowship offered at UCI, the ECR is named in honor of one of the earliest Mexican-American professors in the University of California. The fellowship is designed to increase the number of qualified candidates for faculty positions within the UC; it places students interested in careers in academic teaching and research on a fast track toward achieving their doctoral degree.

photo: Kristin Roher

Where are you from?
I grew up in town called Lewisberry, just outside of Harrisburg, Pa.

What are your previous academic degrees?
B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at UCI?
My advisor at Pitt recommended that I check out UCI because he knew Professor Debra Richardson (now my advisor) from when he was in graduate school. He said her interests seem to be in line with mine, and he was right. I also really wanted to go somewhere in California for the warm weather.

What is your current research focus? Why did you choose to go into this field of study?
My research goal is to contribute to the effort of aiding developing societies in becoming more environmentally sustainable through IT interventions — “greening through IT” — which I hope will help reduce the looming threats of global climate change and other environmental concerns. Complementary to this, I am interested in designing technologies that will help software developers build systems that meet stakeholder needs while reducing the environmental impacts brought about by those systems — “Software Engineering for Sustainability.”

What are your future plans?
I plan to stay in academia because I like the flexibility that it will offer in terms of the research I’ll be doing.

How do you like to spend your time outside of school?
I enjoy swimming, biking, hiking, wine tasting and hanging out with friends.