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N.C. A&T Computer Science Student Receives White House Initiative Honor

By Jamie Crockett / 06/18/2020 College of Engineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 18, 2020) – Oluchi Chukwunyere, a rising senior studying computer science at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, has been selected by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities as a 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar. Chukwunyere is among 44 students selected from 33 HBCUs nationwide to receive the initiative’s highest honor based on academic achievements, campus leadership, civic engagement and entrepreneurial spirit.

“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.”

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, 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., COE 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.

The 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars will participate in the 2020 Virtual National HBCU Week Conference and monthly virtual events hosted by the White House Initiative and other partners, network with other scholars and receive a certificate of recognition from the initiative’s executive director.

To learn more about the HBCU Competitiveness Scholar program, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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