Svetlana Lockwood did not have the opportunity to pursue high education in Latvia because, in the absence of disability accommodations for her cerebral palsy, attending a university would have been almost impossible. She worked as an office assistant until she married her husband in 2002 and moved to Pullman. She soon learned that Pullman was home to WSU.
“I always wanted to study but I didn’t have a chance,” Lockwood said. “I was physically handicapped, I was an immigrant and I had no money.”
In 2005 Lockwood became a Washington state resident and enrolled in her first class that spring. She received support from scholarships and from the Disability Resource Center. The next semester, Lockwood was able to sign up for a full course load.
Since then, she has collected a list of prestigious awards, including being named one of only 300 Goldwater Scholars in the United States in 2009.
While working with professor Diane Cook, Lockwood conducted research to examine the possibility of providing automated living environments with voice-user interfaces. This research will hopefully allow people to maintain an independent lifestyle and avoid entering into assisted living facilities.
“Svetlana is extremely bright and has a natural gift for research,” said Cook. “The standard she sets for herself in her studies and in her research surpasses what I have seen for any other student.”
Lockwood worked with members of the School of Molecular Biosciences and the Department of Mathematics in developing a computation model that could predict temperature-sensitive mutations in proteins. She is also an active member of the Bio-Math Club and worked as a tutor in the College of Engineering and Architecture. Lockwood also participated in the National Science Foundation Undergraduate Biology and Mathematics program.
Lockwood has been accepted as a graduate student at WSU and hopes to continue her students in computer science and computational biology.