When Jordan Doyle ’26 thinks about what prompted her love for computer science, she remembers a turtle from her childhood. The half-shelled protagonist was the star of a block-coding application that challenged her and children like her to send it across a screen in a number of moves.
“I got into it when I was little because it felt like a puzzle to me,” Doyle said. “I loved puzzles and coding was just a puzzle to solve.”
Since, she has continued seeking puzzles through computer science. Doyle built her interest and knowledge in classes throughout high school, while specialties such as cybersecurity piqued her interest even more. And now, Doyle is anticipating that she will declare a computer science major in the upcoming academic year at Kalamazoo College, where she also plays women’s lacrosse and participates in the Computer Science Society and the Eco Club.
This summer, she is building more technology experience away from Kalamazoo while working alongside a network of cohorts and professionals, thanks to a Women in Sports Technology (WiST) fellowship.
WiST is a non-profit organization that seeks to drive transformative growth opportunities for women in fields ranging from athletics biotechnology to sports gambling. The organization chose 22 fellows this year from 21 schools across the country, such as Duke University, Stanford University and—with Doyle’s fellowship—Kalamazoo College. All of them serve in internships of up to eight weeks with a sports technology enterprise or innovative startup while receiving a grant of up to $5,000, plus travel stipends, if necessary.
As a rising sophomore, Doyle is interning remotely from her home in Troy, Michigan, on a software engineering team with Sports-Reference.com, a group of sites that provides statistics and sabermetrics to sports fans.
“They look to democratize data,” she said. “If you look on any of their websites, you’ll see tables full of data for football, soccer, baseball—it’s a bunch of reference sites that can help you find the stats from almost any game. I focus mostly on finding and resolving bugs on the website, as well as doing some testing work and adding a couple of features on my own.”
WiST places interns like Doyle in positions that touch on both technology and sports because women are drastically underrepresented in sports-related and STEM professions, and in STEM majors in higher education. Women comprise only 28% of the workforce in STEM-related careers and just 19% of computer and information science majors in higher education, according to the American Association for University Women. That makes Doyle’s experience with Sports-Reference.com even more valuable to her.
“It’s empowering to know that I’m getting opportunities to move forward in this career path,” Doyle said. “As women we are one of the underrepresented groups and I love having this opportunity to connect with other women who have similar interests so I can see their successes throughout their careers. I love the idea of having opportunities that create change in the world through technology.”
Her Future is so Bright, She Invented Shades
Jordan Doyle’s experience with technology and innovation doesn’t stop at computers.
Doyle was participating in a lacrosse match on a sunny fall day in seventh grade when she grew frustrated with EyeBlack, a substance that rolls on under an athlete’s eyes to reduce glare. The negative experience led her to research visors for her protective goggle, while only finding products for sports such as football and softball.
With necessity being the mother of invention, Doyle made her own visor, designing it with the plastic of a salad container and a clinging shade shield that is commonly put on cars. She worked more in high school innovation classes that helped her design it further, and a meeting with a patent attorney later yielded sketch drawings and a patent.
Since her high school graduation, she’s finalized her initial prototype for Sun Goggles, a project she continues pursuing. Hear more from Doyle in the video here.