Courtney Thurston
Courtney (she/her/hers) is a software engineer living in Seattle and working on the Spark offerings of the Azure HDInsight and Azure Spark Analytics products. Courtney graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a second major in Computational Mathematics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach campus in May 2019. In March of 2018, she won the United States Congress’ Goldwater Scholarship for research in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

She previously interned at Microsoft in 2016, 2017, and 2018—initially as an Explore Intern, then twice as a Software Engineer Intern, all on the Azure Stream Analytics product. Before Microsoft, she interned in Propulsion/Structures on SpaceX's Landing Legs team; as a Technical Intern Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk team; and at Carnegie Mellon University as a General Robotics Systems Intern for Near Earth Autonomy.

Courtney hopes to transition into non-profit grant writing whenever she retires from technology. She is currently active in the non-profit space and has won and managed over $450,000 in funding from over 25 grants to-date. On her college campus, she founded and managed the Women’s Engineering Institute, writing 100% of funded grants from fiscal years FY16 through FY20.

In 2015, Courtney was fortunate to win some of the United States’ most competitive college scholarships. She now works to help other low-income, underrepresented, or otherwise disadvantaged students find a path forward in the pursuit of college admissions, scholarships, research opportunities and funding, internships, and full-time employment.
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