Published on September 18, 2019 by Sean Flynt  
Phi Kappa Phi1
Phi Kappa Phi is one of the nation’s the oldest and most selective academic honor societies

Samford computer science alumna Gabby Hoefer ’19 is one of only 200 students in the U.S. to earn Phi Kappa Phi’s Love of Learning Award in recognition of her superior academic record and life and career ambitions. The $500 award from one of the nation’s the oldest and most selective academic honor societies supports graduate and professional studies, doctoral dissertations, continuing education, career development and education-related travel.

 Hoefer, one of a group of Samford students who enjoyed impressive success in hackathon competitions, is earning a master’s degree in computer science at Brown University, where she applies her Samford computer science and psychology education as the manager of the university’s Human-Computer Interaction lab under advisor Jeff Huang. She also works on a system– Sochiatrist–that helps psychiatrists determine mental health risks by analyzing patient's messaging data. The research is supported by several NIH grants and an Army Research Office grant. Hoefer’s long term goal is to work in the fields of user experience and human-centered robotics. 

“I'm incredibly grateful to Phi Kappa Phi for helping me pursue my masters in computer science at Brown University,” Hoefer said, adding that her mentors played a key role her success. “I would not be where I am today without help from my Samford advisors, Amanda Howard and Greg Kawell,” she said.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.