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Google Engineer Teaching Computer Science at Spelman College for Fall 2018 Share a Spelman College Press Release

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:

Cody Nichelson
For Google

Mashaun D. Simon
Spelman College

Google in Residence at SpelmanATLANTA (Oct. 19, 2018) — Spelman College welcomed this fall, Rachel Harsley, Ph.D., Google engineer, as part of the Google in Residence program.

Launched in 2013, the Google in Residence program aims to improve diversity in the tech industry by embedding engineers at historically Black colleges and universities and Hispanic serving institutions. This fall, Dr. Harsely is teaching courses in software engineering, sharing insights with students and trading ideas with Spelman faculty.

“Through the Google-in-Residence program, Rachel is without a doubt helping us bring more job skills and experiences to our computer science students,” said Brandeis Marshall, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. “The program is a great example of a public-private partnership that’s advancing communities. Together, we’re working on problems that are important today and preparing our students and faculty to take on the challenges of tomorrow.”

A self-proclaimed dreamer, innovator, and problem solver, Dr. Harlsey joined Google’s Security and Privacy Team for the Google Cloud Platform in March 2017. Passionate about helping others, she founded Maychild Technologies to connect small businesses and non-profits to technology solutions, particularly via web design and branding. In November of 2015, she launched Maychild Technologies’ entry into the app development industry with the release of Clean Slate Messenger.

"My goal is to prepare students to make significant contributions to society. Each class helps with forming this toolset. It's then up to students to become the next innovators and change-leaders in a technology space that desperately needs their talent,” said Dr. Harsley. “Ultimately, it’s my hope that many of my current students will become future colleagues.”

Dr. Harsley will conclude her residency at Spelman at the end of the fall semester.

Fast Facts about the Google in Residence Program

  • The Google in Residence program, founded in 2013, is running at 13 schools, including 11 HBCUs and 2 HSIs.
  • Dr. Harsley is teaching CIS 472: Software Engineering, a senior-level capstone course.
  • Dr. Harsley is an assistant instructor for CIS 482: Senior Seminar.
  • Dr. Harsley received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2017 and her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

  • Fast Facts about Spelman College

    • Spelman’s current graduation rate of 76 percent (six-year average) is the highest among all HBCUs and is well above the national graduation rate (44 percent) for African-American students.
    • Annually recognized among the top 100 national liberal arts colleges, this year Spelman was noted as a top innovative college and is ranked No. 51 among liberal arts colleges and universities in the country, according to the 2018 U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges" rankings.
    • 100% of Computer Science majors in Class of 2018 are employed, pursuing graduate study or taking a gap year.
    • The College has become synonymous with producing Black women founders of technology companies. The 2016 #ProjectDiane Report on the state of Black women in tech entrepreneurship in the United States ranked Spelman among the top 10 schools educating Black women who create tech startups.

    • About Google
      Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. 

      About Spelman College
      Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges and No. 1 among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and author Pearl Cleage. For more information, visit


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