Christelle Scharff, PhD

Computer Science Professor Christelle Scharff, PhD, has a global reputation. She founded MobileSenegal Hub, a groundbreaking initiative in mobile training and entrepreneurship that significantly expanded the mobile ecosystem in Senegal. Since its inception in 2008, the program has trained more than 400 developers, as well as launched the first-ever mobile competition in the country.

“Computing is a difficult field and it is the quickest evolving field,” Scharff told us. “I am always telling students who ask me about my expectations that I want them to amaze me. I am often amazed.” Her students have developed everything from mobile apps to IoT (Internet of Things) projects to games to even fashion technology. “I love to see things that I would never have thought about.”

As the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship award, Scharff taught at the University of Bambey in Senegal while furthering her research on mobile learning. She also launched a program to inspire children and young adults to embrace coding and STEM careers, and organized lectures, workshops, and exhibitions on fashion tech.

Scharff brought that passion for uplifting budding talent back to Pace, where she is always creating new and exciting research and education opportunities. “Do not be scared!” Scharff advised. “Experiment and experience different STEM subjects, and define what you mean by success. We all have different definitions and it is important to create your own.”

With more than 40 published papers on global software development and mobile computing; very successful stints as program chair of the International Conference on Mobile Communication (M4D) and chair of the Computer Science Department at Pace; and work as the principal investigator of grants from the NSF, Google, VentureWell, and IBM; it’s safe to say Scharff embodies success. “With STEM, you have many opportunities to impact the world.”