Κολέγιο CITY College
International Faculty,
CITY College.
Main Campus, Thessaloniki, Greece
29 November 2017

Interview with Dr Ioanna Stamatopoulou

Dr Ioanna Stamatopoulou
Dr Ioanna Stamatopoulou
Lecturer, Computer Science Department

A lady teaching at the Computer Science Department. How does it feel to be part of a traditionally male-dominated field?

It feels very natural, actually! It was always clear to me that this is my inclination and the fact that Computer Science, like all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) areas, is male-dominated was never an issue. The reasons why this happens is another story. We know the reasons and we know they are a residue from older times when the role of women in society was very different. The fact that STEM areas are still male-dominated says something bad about our secondary education systems. Our societies have changed but our educational systems have not. They fail to keep up.

On the other hand, the Computer Science department of the IF,  led by Ms Anna Sotiriadou, goes against the “rule”.  You cannot say women are under-represented where I work...

 

When did you realise that you fit in Computer Science?

When I made the decision to study Computer Science I knew absolutely nothing about it. I had hardly switched a computer on and off! All I knew was that I was good at STEM subjects and that I wanted to study it; it was my personal challenge; a mature decision as much as it was a whim. I actually realised I fit in sometime during my Bachelor's studies. I guess I woke up one day and thought “I'm quite good at this and I want to know more”.

 

Rumour has it that you are a ‘book-worm’. What kind of books do you like to read?

I object to the characterization! I am not a simple book-worm. I am the proud Queen of book-worms! I have a book constantly on me and I read everywhere―while waiting for the bus, on the bus, in the doctor's waiting room... I try to read about 35 books a year, mainly classics, a lot of 19th century British literature, and contemporary crime mysteries and thrillers. I am lately also expanding into scientific fiction and (mainly Greek) poetry.

 

Tell us a few words about the ‘Book Club’ you lead at the International Faculty.

We, book lovers, are unfortunately a quite rare species (that's another fail of our educational system...). The International Faculty's Book Club aims to bring us “crazy people” together. Book readers, we are inherently curious people―we want to know what others are reading, why they like it (or not), and what other people believe is worth reading. The book club is just a bunch of friends discussing what we read individually, but also voting on common books to read so that we later exchange our views and opinions, while having a coffee or drink. Because, “no two persons ever read the same book”...

 

Which was your funniest teaching moment? Which was your most awkward teaching moment?

Unfortunately, I can't share either. The first would be “lost in translation” and the second is also the most embarrassing. Let's just say I really really really enjoy teaching and leave it at that.

 

What is your ideal Sunday morning?

It's summer. I wake up really early in a trailer that is parked right in front of the sea, make myself a coffee and enjoy the sunrise. From then on it's a cycle of swim, read, swim, read, grab a beer...

 

If you didn’t live in Greece, where would you like to live? Why?

Scotland, Canada, or Australia. I'd choose the first for its people and its natural beauty, the second because it appears to be the most decent country to live in, and the third because the other two are too cold for me!

 

What inspires you?

Inspiring people! A person who shows more kindness than that they receive, a teacher who is better than I am; a writer who expresses what we are thinking or feeling better than we can; an artist who constantly outperforms themselves; the curiosity, imagination, and creativity of a child.

 

What makes life meaningful?

The little moments: my kids when they laugh for absolutely no reason; having friends over for lunch; my students when they break a mental barrier; a beer (or five…) under the sun; a swim in the sea; listening to music while reading a book. Happiness is about increasing the amount of moments we enjoy at the cost of those we don't.

 

 

 

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