MEET THE STUDENTS
|Nicole's Three Favorite Things about the ECE Department:
1) The department's commitment to students
2) The department's corporate connections
3) The Professors
Advice to Incoming Students:
Academically, I would encourage all incoming students to build relationships with professors. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and go to office hours. The professors are willing to help, but you should make the first move. In general, I would also like to encourage all incoming students to dabble in as much as possible. The University of Maryland has so many opportunities, from study abroad, to student organizations, to recreational activities. I challenge all incoming students to get a taste of it all! That, plus a great ECE major, makes for the most enjoyable college experience!
talks about ECE @ Maryland:
I am a senior Computer Engineering major. I grew up in Columbia, Maryland with my five younger siblings and my parents in a home where I was always challenged to break the mold and push myself. I attended a fairly large high school in Howard County where my strong academic life was accented by my passion for athletics.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a love for numbers, problem solving, and taking things apart. This, of course, led me to gain academic strengths in math and science courses while I was growing up. I later learned that these were the building blocks for a strong engineering foundation. In high school, I stumbled upon computer programming, which helped me to narrow down which field of engineering I wanted to pursue. What attracts me the most to computer engineering as a career field is its versatility. One of my mentors once explained the major as being able to sit on the fence between computer science and electrical engineering and understand both languages. My heart is in programming but I also enjoy basic engineering principles and circuitry, so computer engineering allows for me to get the best of both of those worlds.
When I was applying to universities, I knew that I wanted to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering, the question was where. The University of Maryland was my first choice. Maryland’s prestigious A. James Clark School of Engineering was highly ranked and, more specifically, the ECE department was also much esteemed. The University of Maryland also emphasized breaking such a large university into a smaller, more personal experience. Even better, all of this was in my backyard, since the school was only about 20 minutes away from my house. Not to mention the fact that I have always been a Terp fan, the University of Maryland was definitely the place for me!
I expect to graduate in Spring 2011 with a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a certificate in African American Studies. The most interesting aspect of my major is the cool applications that it has. In today’s technology driven society, things untouched by computer engineering are slim to none, and I can’t wait to get out into the world and do my part!
As an ECE student, I serve as an ECE Department Ambassador. In this role, I meet with potential University of Maryland engineering students to share with them my experiences within ECE and the university in general, in order to show them the benefits of being an ECE student. I am also a graduate of the College Park Scholars Program; my freshman and sophomore years at the university I was in the Science, Technology, and Society cluster of the program. My junior year I went back and served as a TA for the freshman class of the program. The Scholars Program was great to me, so I figured I would give back to the Scholar’s community by helping first year students have a positive experience similar to mine. I am also the current Co-Finance Chair of the University of Maryland Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, known locally as the Black Engineers Society. We are currently the 2009 National Distinguished Chapter of the Year, from a pool of over 270 collegiate institutions we were selected supreme for our commitment to our community and our members' scholastic and professional achievement. I am also a member of the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Fellows Program. This program is unique, as it gives engineering and other science related majors the opportunity to enter the realm of the Robert H. Business School. We take interactive and collaborative classes with business students and work on real consulting projects for well-known corporations.
Being an engineering student at the University of Maryland can be rigourous. That’s why I make it a practice to also do activities that I find relaxing and fun. I found a balance where I can have fun and get paid! I work as a Supervisor for the Campus Recreational Service Intramural Sports Program. I began as a sports official, and then moved up to a managerial position. So, after I finish my engineering homework, I head over to the gym to oversee sports games ranging from 5x5 basketball to table tennis, definitely a relaxing way to end a day!
The students of the ECE department are very diverse, but we all have a common goal of learning and growing while obtaining our degrees. They are also some of the smartest people I have ever met! One of the great things about attending such a prestigious university is the people you meet and the knowledge and information they can share. In the ECE department it is never hard to find a great study buddy, since the students are always very serious and motivated. The same can be said about the professors. Many of the ECE professors are very highly regarded within their fields and are always anxious to share their stories and experiences. Not to mention the immense wealth of knowledge that they can convey to us. Even though the University of Maryland is a large school, I have never had an issue getting one-on-one attention from a professor when I needed it. They are very willing to help where they can.
My experiences at the University of Maryland have definitely changed me. I have become a more determined, educated, confident and professional person. The persistence needed to survive the rigorous courses at the University of Maryland have made me a stronger, more driven person. I also have built up a network of my fellow Terps, some of the most motivated and intelligent people I have ever come to meet. Most notably, I think that my time at the University of Maryland has opened my eyes to the potential that I hold. I, without a doubt, feel prepared to tackle the world from my experiences over these past four years.
Dr. Judi Bell and Mr. Steve Norton were definitely helpful in advising me and sending me in the correct direction my beginning years at the university. To this da,y they still remember the things that they did for me and hopefully the positive effect that was imposed. These ECE staff members know my struggles and successes and have gone out of their way to keep me involved in the ECE program and its recruitment, which is something I really appreciate. This just goes to show you exactly how powerful that personal connection that the ECE department stresses can be.
After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in the defense industry or consulting. The ECE program has helped me in my journey to this goal because of the strong academic background that I have gained from the department. These skills set me apart from some of my peers entering the job market. I also received my internship offer, which will potentially turn into a job offer, from a conference in Orlando, FL, that the ECE program helped me attend.
I think that the professors of the University of Maryland’s ECE program are a huge reason why students should enroll at this university. We learn from the best of the best, literally. Our professors are top researchers and award winners. The passion and drive shown from their own professional and academic careers is enough to motivate any student to reach for the stars!
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