Catholic values are front and center for Linda Humphrey Lyimo ’21, a transfer student from Tanzania. The CITS major fell in love with Elms thanks to her religious roots.

A Catholic Safety Net

When you trace the history of the word “catholic,” it leads you back to the Latin word for universal, and the Greek word for whole. For Linda Humphrey Lyimo ’21, this global, all-encompassing aspect of Catholicism is what made Elms a surefire choice for her.

“You’re safe, regardless of where you are,” said Linda, who grew up in a Catholic household and attended parochial schools in Tanzania. “Catholic values are the same — the only thing different is language.”

Never one to limit herself, Linda added a minor in cyber security to broaden her knowledge of computer networks.

Transitioning to Elms was a fairly smooth process for Linda, who felt like her faith was a safety net connecting Tanzania and western Massachusetts. Majoring in computer information technology and security (CITS) came easy, since she had worked for nine years prior in the Tanzanian telecommunications industry.

“It really caught me by my heart.”

— Linda Humphrey Lyimo, on her impression of Western Massachusetts.

Even with all of her experience, Linda still views her time at Elms as a period of immense intellectual and personal growth. She credits the open door policy of the faculty with giving her a new sense of self-confidence.

“The faculty have always helped me identify my weaknesses, and then bridge those gaps,” she said. “I’m amazed by the things I’ve learned.”

Linda has helped pay it forward, too, when it comes to building community with others. Working with CITS professor Beryl Hoffman, Ph.D., she mentored students at Holyoke Codes, a local nonprofit focusing on technology education. Working with youth to solve coding challenges was mutually beneficial for Linda, as it prompted her to rethink her own computer science methodologies.

After she graduates Linda plans on working in the cyber security industry, following in the footsteps of her father, a technology engineer.

“He told me you should always be ready to learn, because you can’t do just one thing with computers,” Linda recalled. “With Elms, I’m getting all of that.”

Love working with technology? Our computer science and computer information technology and security programs feature small class sizes, dedicated faculty, and state-of-the-art equipment.