Scholarship Q&A: Michael Wallace Karugu ’15, Information Systems, and M.S. ’17, Cybersecurity

As the academic year draws to a close, we thought we might take the time to introduce you to some of our Alumni Association Scholarship recipients. Today, we hear from Michael Wallace Karugu ’15, information systems, who is currently working toward a master’s degree in cybersecurity here at UMBC.

IMG_20150713_135034Name: Michael Wallace Karugu

Major: Information Systems (current master’s student in Cybersecurity)

Grad Year: 2015, 2017

Extracurriculars: Soccer and billiards

Why did you decide to attend UMBC? UMBC is a renowned institution offering recognized STEM programs. I wanted to experience the learning environment and opportunities offered by UMBC. Furthermore, since I was a transfer student, UMBC was ready to accommodate the credits that I wanted to transfer.

What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here? The faculty, staff and students at UMBC are very friendly and always willing to assist. This friendly environment promotes a healthy learning environment.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC? I am currently the student manager of the Desktop Student Support section in DoIT. Having started as a regular student employee here two years ago, I feel this is my most proud accomplishment during my time at UMBC.

What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship? I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart for supporting me financially. This assistance enabled me to focus more on my studies as compared to stressing about how I would meet my school related costs. This assistance goes a long way in nurturing deserving students.

What do you hope to do after graduation? I graduated from my undergraduate program in fall 2015 and I am now pursuing a master’s program in cybersecurity here at UMBC. I plan on graduating in the Spring of 2017. After earning my master’s degree, I will pursue employment from the private sector as a cybersecurity specialist, and in future I plan on establishing a cybersecurity consultancy firm.

Students like Michael rely on the financial support of our donors. Please consider making a contribution today.

Constellation Awards E2 Energy to Educate Grant to UMBC’s Information Systems Department

constellationFor the second year in a row, UMBC has been awarded an E2 Energy to Educate grant from Constellation. E2 Energy to Educate grants support learning-focused, team-oriented projects that yield specific results, reach at least 100 students, and align with one of three energy knowledge and innovation focus areas:

  • Energy science: the science required to create new energy solutions
  • Energy technology: how energy technology is making it to market
  • Energy education: the interface of information technology and energy technology

Dr. Nimrayla Roy, Assistant Professor of Information Systems, leads the UMBC project team. A group of 200 information systems students are engaging in a project where wireless smart plugs are monitoring and compiling data on the power consumption of small to medium load appliances. The data will then be analyzed by the students who will build a web-based portal for visualizing detailed historic and real-time energy consumption. Ultimately, these systems will make energy consumption visible and actionable. The students will also investigate motivational practices to convince individual consumers to reduce their energy footprints.

UMBC thanks Constellation for their continued support!

Student Scholarship Q&A: Kirley Silva, information systems

Every so often, we highlight the importance of student scholarships by introducing you to the very students they help to succeed. Today, we’re featuring Kirley Silva ‘15, information systems, who is an Esperanza Scholarship recipient. This scholarship is awarded to a student of Latino or Hispanic ancestry who demonstrates commitment to the advancement of minorities, especially of Latino or Hispanic descent.

Name: Kirley Silva
Major: Information systemsKirleySilva-7275
Scholarship(s)
: Esperanza Scholarship

Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?
As an honors university, I chose UMBC for its challenging and prestigious academics, as well as for its amazing support system and endless opportunities for technology students in Baltimore. Also, as a transfer student, UMBC accepted the majority of my credits and provided me with guidance and support through the whole process, making the transition between community college and university seamless and easy.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
I discovered that although UMBC is a big university, there is a very strong community atmosphere which makes going here a very pleasurable and rewarding experience. I work closely with my classmates and we help each other learn together, while the faculty and staff are extremely knowledgeable and resourceful.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
I took a weekend adventure class for gym credit where I had to face many challenges and try new things out of my comfort zone. I learned the value of motivation, leadership, control, and courage. I gained appreciation for new things and pushed myself harder. As a result of this class, I appreciate the hard work and commitment needed to achieve a goal more than ever. This class and the values I took from it will serve as a driving factor as I continue my studies and become a professional.

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
As an immigrant and being the first in my family to attend college, there have been many challenges along the way. Also, working while being a full-time student makes the journey much more challenging. Being fortunate to receive the financial help of a scholarship provides immense relief and allows me to continue my education by focusing on my goals and the future.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
As a woman in information technology and a Hispanic student, I am proud to represent the hardworking minority of our university and to enrich the school’s diversity. Being an Esperanza scholar allows me to be a role model to similar students, and well as give hope to those students.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
Thank you for supporting and believing in me. Your help is not only valued but also empowering as I continue my education and reach my goals. Your support has made a world of difference and I will continue working hard to be the best that I can be and to help my community.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
Following graduation I plan to start a career in the fast growing technology sector of Baltimore as a database administrator. I also hope to, in the future, be able to attend officer candidate school and join the US Navy as an information warfare officer.

Support students like Kirley today!