Meet the Executive Director

Dr. Cynthia Lester joined Georgia Perimeter College in January 2012, as the Executive Director of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) Initiatives and as an Associate Professor of Computer Science.  Prior to her joining the GPC family, she was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama.  Dr. Lester earned the B.S. degree in Computer Science from Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas and both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

Dr. Lesterís areas of specialization are Human-computer Interaction, Software Engineering, and Software Security. Her work in human-computer interaction and software engineering focuses on developing a software application that assists students with learning the fundamentals of programming.  In the area of software security, she has been investigating ways to teach software security and how to effectively implement the secure software development life cycle in small-scale projects. Her research appears in numerous peer-reviewed papers in journals and international conference proceedings. She has also presented her work at national and international conferences and has appeared as the guest speaker for several conferences and workshops.  Two of her papers have received Best Paper Awards at International Conferences.  In 2010, she was named an International Academy, Research, and Industry Association Fellow for her work in the areas of human-computer interaction, software engineering, and software security.

 Dr. Lesterís goal as a scholar-researcher is not just to continue her own work, but to also train students.  She has guided numerous research projects; one of the projects resulted in three refereed publications in which the second author was an undergraduate student.  Further, she has written grants and received funds to continue her research in human-computer interaction and software security. 

As the Executive Director of the newly created GPC Office of STEM Initiatives, Dr. Lesterís goal is to expand the STEM pipeline by improving student success in the STEM fields and by increasing the number of students prepared for and enrolled in STEM degree programs.  Ultimately, it is her desire that GPC be the nationís leader in this area.  Consequently, the office is working to meet this objective by supporting student and faculty-centered activities, some of which include: the USG STEM Initiative II grant; the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program; the Education and Nurture Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarship (ENLISTEM) Program; the Peach State Louis Stoke for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program; and, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion (STEP) Program.  These programs provide $3.5 Million dollars of support to GPC faculty, students, and K-12 partners.

Dr. Lester is passionate about creating the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians, which she does by instructing through precept, educating by experience and serving as an example.