Shannon E. Bennett is no stranger to hard work. The Covington, Virginia native is not only a double major in Mathematics and Software Engineering, she also spends many hours on the softball field.

Bennett, who was valedictorian of her high school, worked for the majority of her four years at UVa-Wise. She was the first intern for the cybersecurity company known as Atomicorp. The company partnered with UVa-Wise and Mach37.

The student-athlete worked for Atomicorp for over a year when she stopped to focus on her recovery from surgery following a season ending injury on the softball field. She roared back from the injury and was named team captain.

In her first two seasons of softball, Bennett was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All American Scholarship Athlete team. She received the Highland Cavalier Club award in 2018 year. The award is given annually to the male and female athlete who displays the most leadership skills on and off the field. In recognition of Bennett’s dedication and perseverance in athletics and academics, she was awarded the 2019 Faculty Athletic Award.

She also began working for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science as a student grader and a data science intern. Bennett has been on the UVa-Wise Dean’s List for seven out of seven semesters and will graduate Summa Cum Laude. She has presented at Research Day for the past two years, and presented her research at National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

Bennett plans to attend Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science to complete a master’s degree in Information Technology-Software Engineering. Upon graduating from one of the best computer science schools in the nation, she wants to enter the workforce in the field of high-risk/high-stake company such as SpaceX or enter the Federal Bureau of Investigation.