US-RSE Black History Month Spotlight - Lyndsey Scott

Published: Feb 28, 2024 by Mattie Niznik

US-RSE’s DEI working group (DEI-WG) is proud to help US-RSE celebrate and participate in Black History Month. Each week during Black History Month, the US-RSE will spotlight Black/African Americans who have been involved in computing, science, engineering, and/or math, and have inspired our members through their accomplishments in their careers and their personal stories.

This week’s Black History Month spotlight features Lyndsey Scott

Lyndsey Scott, 29, studied computer science in college before
becoming a model. (Photo Courtesy of Alli Harvey/Getty Images)
Lyndsey Scott, 29, studied computer science in college before becoming a model. (Photo Courtesy of Alli Harvey/Getty Images)

As we highlight Black individuals this month who have made contributions in technology spaces, I was drawn to the story of Lyndsey Scott. I am a fervent believer in the principle that no one interest should preclude a person from exploring the totality of who they are. From what I have learned about Lindsey, she too follows this principle but to a much more impressive degree.

Lyndsey grew up in New Jersey and explored diverse interests including Taekwondo, theater, and computer science in addition to being an impressive track athlete. Like many of us, she enjoyed writing games into her Texas Instruments graphing calculator in middle school and learned Java and C++ during her time at Amherst before branching out into Python and Objective C. As a programmer, she is perhaps most known for her iOS experience and tutorials. A recent check of her Stack Overflow profile reveals a reputation of 37180 and 2.1 million users reached.

You might think the above is impressive enough - but she’s also a successful model! She was the first Black model to sign an exclusive runway contract with Calvin Klein and has been featured in a variety of magazines along the way. Many outlets covered her in the early 2010s, though it can be a little difficult to read some of them due to the way puns like “beauty and a geek” were overused. However, I think that just reflects on the outlets themselves and takes nothing away from the achievements and influence Lyndsey can lay claim to.

In 2022, Lyndsey launched a coding scholarship geared toward LGBTQIA+, women, and/or BIPOC students majoring in computer science. This is perhaps unsurprising when you examine the apps in her portfolio, many of which seem geared towards helping others. As you poke around the links below and learn more about Lyndsey, I hope you are filled with the same joy and enthusiasm I was; she is an inspiring speaker and I’m always impressed by people who unapologetically embrace all of their interests and, in doing so, truly thrive.

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