Mary Sanseverino was a passionate UVic Computer Science professor. Last semester was her final semester at UVic before retiring. Mary strove to enhance her students learning experiences with her teaching.
Although teaching was not initially a lifelong career for Mary, it came almost naturally. She wants to “leave a legacy of people that do things for the pleasure of curiosity, for intellectual stimulation”. As she taught, Mary realized that she was learning as well. This Edsger Dijkstra quote says it all: “discovering what is teachable”.
In the past Mary frequently taught first year courses. Why? She enjoyed students coming up, at the end of their degrees and saying “hey I kind of thought that database stuff was a little on the dull side, but you know what…I got the best job. I’ve used some of the things you taught, all the way back in first year and it has been a door opener for me.” Mary likes when people come out with practical skills, and a new perspective on Computer Science. Mary believes Computer Science should be a required course just as English is a required course. She believes that is our duty and care as Computer Scientists to make sure that we are inclusive in order to further our reach. Everyone can have a hand in making technology something of their own.
Mary is an avid mountaineer as she enjoys spending her time in high places. Her favourite activities include hill walking in Scotland, hiking and climbing but she enjoys cycle touring, photography—and anything that involves the outdoors! Her area of research vastly overlaps with her love of the outdoors. In the future, Mary not only wants to spend quality time with her husband, but advance the Mountain Legacy Project. More information on her research, and the Mountain Legacy Project can be found here.
Mary has been awarded the Harry Hickman Teaching Excellence Award in 2010. Mary has also been awarded a Legacy Award, an award that is given to anyone with excellent contributions to teaching here at UVic. One of her proudest moments included 3 particular students. She thinks of them as representations of all students; students who come from a variety of backgrounds that have all gone into fantastic careers. Being a part of their accomplishments has been extremely rewarding.
Mary was an incredible asset to our UVic community and will leave more than just a legacy. She will be remembered well not only in the Computer Science community at UVic, but within the learning community as a whole.