• Corey Pennycuff graduated from Graham High School in 1998 with the intent to pursue music. Now Pennycuff is set to enter his second year as an assistant teaching professor of computer science at the University of Notre Dame. (Contributed photo)

From one keyboard to another

Grahamite Pennycuff discusses his journey from playing piano to computer programming

Corey Pennycuff graduated from Graham High School in 1998 with the intent to pursue music. Now Pennycuff is set to enter his second year as an Assistant Teaching Professor of Computer Science at the University of Notre Dame.

He pursued a music degree at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls and graduated with a bachelor’s in piano performance in 2011. However, while pursuing his degree, he worked via telecommute for a company in Dallas writing code.

“The way that I paid for my education was by being a freelance (computer) programmer,” Pennycuff said. “Programming was actually something I taught myself how to do back in high school. I had done it for fun and then one day I figured out that people will pay you to solve their problems.”

Pennycuff said while he was able to find out he loved teaching by teaching piano during the pursuit of his music degree, he realized he was not going to be able to pursue music as a career.

“I finally realized that I would be better off financially by doing computer programming as my main job and doing the music just because I enjoy it,” Pennycuff said. “I realized that my senior year, finishing up the music degree, but I went ahead and finished it and started taking computer sciences at Midwestern State University.”

During his senior year, Pennycuff approached Midwestern State University’s computer science program about pursuing an undergraduate degree in the course and they told him to pursue a master’s degree.

He pursued the degree with intention of becoming a computer programming teacher and graduated in 201. However, at the time computer programming was not in most school districts curriculum and he had to look toward the university level which requires a doctorate.

He applied to the University of Notre Dame to pursue that degree and was accepted. He would graduate in 2018 with his doctorate in computer science. While pursuing the doctorate, he got to teach his first class as an instructor of record in fall of 2017 and was hired by the university in the fall of 2018.

For the rest of the story, see the Saturday, July 6 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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