Randi Williams ’16
Major: Computer Engineering
Hometown: Bowie, Maryland
Favorite thing about UMBC: I’ve only spent a year at UMBC, but I am already taken by how many different people are on campus. I have learned so much about the cultures of my friends who are literally from all over the world: India, Kashmir, Africa, Iran, and the Caribbean. I feel like the world is opened to me at UMBC.
Favorite thing about the Honors College: As a STEM student, Honors College is my pathway to connect with students who will not typically be in my class. It is also my chance to get close enough to other majors to explore them while still being committed to my own major. Honors College does a lot to make the school smaller, giving more access to the professors and wonderful staff at UMBC; and at the same time UMBC is made bigger by exposing everything the school has to offer.
Favorite Honors College Memory: Making the video for Honors College Forum was a lot of fun. My group wanted to be as educational and serious as possible and we ended up creating a news brief that looked a lot like a real newscast. However, pretty soon we realized that we were having too much fun to actually be all that serious. We tried to incorporate “candid” interviews with “unsuspecting” citizens on the street. When we couldn’t find anyone on the street to interview, though, we just used disguises and accents and played the parts of the random citizens ourselves. I learned a lot but it was also a really fun project.
Favorite Honors College Class: So far I have only taken Honors Forum 1 and it was awesome. It was a nice break between all of the technical classes I have been taken. I have to admit though I am very excited for my Robots and Society class next semester!
Favorite Honors College Professor: She may not know this, but Dr. Kelber-Kaye made a humongous impact on me in Honors Forum. For Honors Forum one day she was the speaker and she spoke about Marriage Rights. I felt that my voice was suddenly much larger than I thought. For one, I had a vote which meant that my opinion was important. But the coolest thing I discovered was that I had a voice. A voice that could speak to my peers the same way Dr. Kelber-Kaye spoke to us and being brave enough to use that voice could help create change on a bigger scale.
Advice that you would give to incoming Honors College Students: Speak up in Honors Forum! I think the one thing that I regret was that the entire semester I only raised my hand to ask one question. The students who always asked questions are the ones that gained the most from the class and were well-known. A lot of students in the class had different perspectives from me, something I noticed in our smaller groups. When we come together as a large group that is the best opportunity to use your voice and learn something new and awesome!
Tell us a little about your experience with Code 2040, and what type of career you hope to pursue someday: Tell us a little about your experience with Code 2040, and what type of career you hope to pursue someday: CODE2040 is all about getting more Latino and Black students into Silicon Valley working at top start-ups. The mission of the program is based on the fact that in the year 2040 people of color will collectively become the majority in the United States — yet the number of Latinos and Blacks in tech is pitifully small. A CODE2040 fellowship includes an internship, workshops, and visits to tech companies throughout Silicon Valley. I am interning at Jawbone this summer working on their website. I have gotten the opportunity to meet the CEOs of companies like Dropbox, Andreessen Horowitz, and Square. I have been inside of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and lots of other companies. The experience that I am gaining and the opportunities being opened to me this summer are just amazing and I would love for other Latino and Black students to be a part of this program in the future.