September 29, 2022

Class of 2022: Kodua ‘KD’ Kwarteng flexes the versatility of computer science to find his path | VTx

When looking for majors to go after, Kodua “KD” Kwarteng noticed personal computer science as a fantastic match for the reason that it was both of those gratifying and a inventive outlet. Drawing inspiration from his Black Engineering Aid Groups mentor Kayla Moore ’20, Kwarteng reported he was fascinated when she spoke of her encounters and aspirations with personal computer science. 

By means of quite a few courses, such as Introduction to Human-Laptop or computer Interaction, Kwarteng and his classmates had been questioned to consider whether technologies contributes to isolationism and had been tasked with developing a venture that supported their placement on the dilemma. One of the initial functions involved a quick-hearth brainstorming session in which pupils pitched ideas involving wearable technologies and digital reality.

“The position of the physical exercise was to feel outdoors of the box and pitch the initial points that came to thoughts,” reported Kwarteng. “Brainstorming this way allowed me to individual the complexity part from doable alternatives, as I was inspired to pitch my most unique suggestions. The exercise taught me that we have a tendency to limit our creative imagination to what we know is already probable and what we have presently professional.”

Kwarteng and his classmates created Project Fellowship, asserting that engineering provides individuals with each other instead than leading to isolation and making use of the various applications of technologies throughout the pandemic to aid this assert. “We then selected a challenge to target on, which was socializing for the duration of the pandemic, and commenced operating on our solution,” explained Kwarteng. This route resulted in prototyping a virtual area for graduating students to hook up.

When the department launched the Human-Laptop or computer Interaction slight, Kwarteng jumped at the prospect. The minor provided a gateway to all the alternatives he could explore inside of the pc science significant though also preserving flexibility.

“If I didn’t obtain pleasure in producing program in a certain industry, I could test a new one particular,” explained Kwarteng. “If I had an concept that I wished to deliver to lifetime, I would have the applications and awareness to start developing it.”

Finding his way

In high faculty in Falls Church, Virginia, Kwarteng understood he wished to go after engineering. Having Virginia Tech as an in-state selection, he said he was by natural means drawn to the program’s status. Virginia Tech’s School of Engineering has been regularly ranked as a main undergraduate plan in the region.

As with most pupils, stepping onto campus and receiving a heat welcome served solidify Kwarteng’s determination. He felt even more at house soon after studying about the UJIMA Living-Discovering Group, which he would later sign up for. UJIMA locations a specific emphasis on comprehension the exceptional experiences of Black and African American individuals in culture, which include their higher education journeys. 

Kwarteng joined a variety of campus golf equipment to meet far more persons and convey himself academically, culturally, and socially. He cites becoming a member of the Nationwide Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) as a person of the very best selections he built. 

Kwarteng admits that this was a person of the best decisions based mostly on imposter syndrome. “I to begin with had a difficult time convincing myself that I belonged in this system, but NSBE authorized me to triumph over that,” he reported. “I spoke to college students that ended up in comparable situations to me, who also shared comparable backgrounds. This created it a ton less complicated to see myself in an engineering industry submit-graduation.”

He also credits the culture for supporting job improvement by web hosting different resume-making workshops and organization classes that proved beneficial all through recruiting seasons. “Following collaborating in these activities, I never ever skilled issues getting interviews from best providers. I felt like I understood what organizations had been on the lookout for and how to spotlight my techniques,” said Kwarteng.

Motivated by his Ghanaian heritage, Kwarteng turned active in Virginia Tech’s chapter of the African Student Association, a multicultural pupil group web hosting campuswide activities such as Flavor of Africa, which manufactured household experience a very little a lot less significantly absent.

He and his mother and father ended up born in Kumasi, Ghana. The family moved to Falls Church when he was 1 many years previous. “In the beginning, we had no property, no income, and at one particular place, no residence,” explained Kwarteng. “My mom worked relentlessly and ultimately grew to become a nurse, building our situation superior.”

Witnessing his mother’s attempts inspired Kwarteng to get his education quite significantly. “Here I am these days, on observe to being the initially member of my household to obtain a bachelor’s diploma.”

Mounting to the problem

Under no circumstances one to shy away from a new working experience, Kwarteng embraced the opportunities the Faculty of Engineering supplied with its Rising Sophomore Abroad Method by means of the Division of Engineering Instruction. In addition to the spring worldwide Science, Technological know-how, Education, and Math apply study course, Kwarteng did a two-7 days intercontinental module in Spain and Morocco. “Participating in this system gave me insights into computer science alternatives outdoors of the United States,” he explained.