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Student Snapshot: Pamela Ortiz '22

Pamela Ortiz '22

Pamela Ortiz ’22 is making an indelible mark on campus on several fronts. As marketing executive for the 2022 Women of Color Summit, Inclusivity in STEM member and president—and co-founder, with fellow computer-science major  Katya Egorova '22—of Girls Who Code, she works to help create opportunities for learning, connection and thriving. She’s also a Posse scholar, an RA, the president of the Hypnotic dance group and Wheel and Chain honorary society, and a member of the Wheel and Chain honorary society.  This summer, she’ll study Japanese in Japan through a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). The CLS program is administered by American Councils for International Education as part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Meanwhile, for her senior project, she's part of a student team working to improve an electronic medical-record system.


Queens, New York.


Computer science, with a minor in Japanese.

Clubs and organizations:

Women of Color Summit (marketing executive), Inclusivity in STEM, Hypnotic (president), Girls Who Code College Loops (president), Wheel and Chain/Blue Hats (president) and RA.

Change A Life, Change the WorldHonors/scholarships/awards

Posse Scholar, Alpha Lambda Delta, Wheel and Chain/Blue Hats and Critical Language Scholarship.

Favorite book:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Favorite movie:

Whiplash by Damien Chazelle or Billy Elliot by Stephen Daldry (I can't pick).

Best thing about my Dickinson experience:

The best thing about my experience here would have to be the people. I have been lucky enough to find a small community on campus that has helped me grow, and I will forever be thankful to those who helped me when I struggled.

Best thing about my major:

Just like math, you can use code to do anything! And what blows my mind is that code can help people cultivate creativity and discipline both artistically and technically.

Favorite place on campus:

Everyone who know me knows I spend lot of time the library, so I think the Biblio is my favorite space on campus.   

Favorite class:

The Chinese Science Fiction course I took last semester with Professor Ma [Nan Ma, assistant professor of East Asian studies]. I enjoy reading and watching hard science fiction when I have time, and because of this class I was able to stumble upon the The Three-Body Problem series by Cixin Liu. This series has now become one of my favorites of all time.

Favorite off-campus spot:

Helena's Chocolate Café and Crêperie [in downtown Carlisle].

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… an astronaut.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I will study Japanese language this summer, as part of the Japan cohort, through the Critical Language Scholarship.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… a woman from past Taino communities in the Dominican Republic. I would love to connect with the ancestry that many Latinxs have lost.

Proudest accomplishment so far:

Pushing myself to learn five languages! The more languages we know, the more people we can help.

About my research:

I am currently working with other classmates on an open-source software project as part of my senior-seminar class. The name of the platform we chose to learn more about is called OpenMRS, and this application functions as an electronic medical-record system or EMR. The goal of this application is to make medical-record tracking abilities accessible to communities in need around the world, and since last semester, my classmates and I have been trying to figure out ways to contribute and improve this platform with our code.

Most important thing I've learned so far:

It is better to do few things well than many things badly.             

Advice for younger students:

Sleep! And take an intro computer-science course; you will thank me later.

Read more Student Snapshots.


Published April 7, 2022