Sharon Stansfield, Computer Science

Sharon Stansfield

Associate Professor & Chair
(607) 274-3630

I'm not only a first-generation college graduate, I was also the first member of my immediate family to graduate high school. In some ways, I consider that a bigger achievement. I went on to get Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science (where women are considered an underrepresented group). I think in many ways my first-generation status was an important factor in my future accomplishments. No one in my family knew about degrees and technology careers and no one ever told me that I couldn't (graduate high school, go to college, build a career in a discipline that was male-dominated). So, I got the degrees and worked at two national research labs before I came to Ithaca College.

Here at IC, I'm a faculty member and chair of the Computer Science department. My research is in Virtual Reality and Robotics. I'm especially interested in research that has social impact. I am part of an interdisciplinary team that is developing a robotic "wheelchair" for babies as young as 5 months old. My VR work is focused on delivering physical therapy for balance disorders and Parkinson's disease in ways that make doing the required exercises interesting and fun.

Some other things about me? I love animals. I have two dogs, a cat, a bird, and fish. I also support animal rescue and animal rights. I like to watch and read science fiction and fantasy/horror. Oh, and I was born in Ithaca and still think it's one of the most naturally beautiful areas I've seen, even when it snows.