Oluchi Chukwunyere, a rising senior studying computer science at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, is one of the lucky students selected as a 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
All 44 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars will participate in the 2020 Virtual National HBCU Week Conference, September 20-26.
“This honor provides an opportunity for me to use my past initiatives at A&T as the blueprint,” said Chukwunyere. “One of my goals is to push and advance African Americans as well as other minorities in this tech space.”
The students from 33 HBCUs nationwide were all selected based on their academic achievements, campus leadership, civic engagement and entrepreneurial spirit.
Chukwunyere aims to equip other scholars with programming guides and marketing resources to launch coding series at their respective colleges.
“I am immensely proud of Oluchi for her White House honor,” said Dorothy Yuan, Ph.D., chair of the computer science department in the College of Engineering (COE). “With her participation in internships, competitions and student organizations, Oluchi demonstrates the many ways our department not only supports the career development of students, but also develops the future leaders of the computer science industries.”
Chukwunyere, also a Forbes 30 under 30 Scholar, was the first Aggie selected to participate in the Google Tech Exchange Program this spring. She has also interned at Apple and Microsoft, and was named a fellow for the Management Leadership for Tomorrow and Rewriting the Code Fellowship programs.
“We are all very proud of Oluchi, who continues to thrive at North Carolina A&T and push herself to achieve one distinction after another,” said Robin N. Coger, Ph.D., College of Engineering dean.
Chukwunyere organized A&T’s second annual Hackathon and served as a judge for the university’s FIRST robotic tournaments in 2018 and went on to lead a team of computer science students who placed first in the Black Enterprise 2019 BE SMART Hackathon. It was the third time A&T won the event since its inception.
“Oluchi has engaged and shown care for other students and is the prime example of what we like our STEM students to be,” said Kelvin Bryant, Ph.D., assistant professor in the computer science department.
In addition to serving as a program advisor for the Built By Girls’ WAVE technology mentorship program, Chukwunyere co-founded the Nigeria-based nonprofit Janet Hope Alive International Initiative with her parents. The organization is dedicated to empowering Nigerian citizens by providing computer literacy education and web development training, among other skills, to improve their economic status and expand entrepreneurial opportunities.
Watch the N.C.A&T video here: Computer Science Student Receives White House Initiative Honor