This is all the honors experiences I've completed. They have shaped my education, career and personal life greatly.
Along with other members of the UC Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) chapter, I helped organize a non-stop, 24-hour campus hackathon on the weekend on February 22-23, 2020. The event, which many students and sponsors attend, encourages innovation through friendly competition, mentoring resources, seminars, free food and swag. As organizers, we were responsible for making sure everything ran smoothly and all our attendees had a great experience. In order to achieve this goal, we used our planning and communication skills to ensure that we had all of our resources accounted for, could respond to any situation, and promote an inclusive and awesome environment. With nearly 300 hackers and many sponsors, including several major ones such as Fifth Third and Kroger, we had to ensure that our event’s amenities and atmosphere was top-notch. Our partnership with Major League Hacking (MLH) helped us ensure that we could provide the best hackathon for all participants. While it was quite a challenge to prepare for and run the vent, especially as a first time organizer, I will definitely come back to organize the tenth occurrence of this hackathon, in Spring 2021. If you are interested, and want to come next time or become a sponsor, see our website at https://revolutionuc.com/ for more details.
Study Abroad - Germany
While I am comparatively lucky compared to many other people, it was still quite disappointing for me when the trip was cancelled. Honestly, having to leave my dorm and go back home only added to my worries. But that didn’t mean my experience would abruptly end there. After a tense move home, we were assigned a new project. In collaboration with students in ENSEM, a university in Lorraine, France, we formed teams and worked on a new project about the COVID-19 pandemic. I worked with two UC and two ENSEM students to predict a model for Italy’s COVID-19 numbers using engineering and basic epidemiological principles. Through our times together, we learned more about each other’s culture and perspectives, with discussion of current events, politics, linguistic and educational differences occurring on a regular basis. I choose this image to show the results of our alternative project and teamwork. Although I had missed an opportunity to see another part of the world, I got the chance to analyze and help solve one of our greatest global issues and cooperate with members of and learn more about another culture. I think that makes this experience even greater for my development as a global citizen scholar.
Domestic Study Tour - Washington, DC
After my spring was interrupted by the coronavirus, I hoped that everything would be alleviated by a couple months, but unfortunately a global pandemic is not so easy to stop. Instead of going to Washington, DC to visit several government agencies and private firms involved in cybersecurity and intelligence gathering, we did a variety of activities from home to explore those organizations and career fields. This included attending the Intelligence Virtual Career Fair to learn more about federal involvement in intelligence and talk to the representatives of several national intelligence agencies, exploring the impact of organizational culture and diversity in the workplace, and researching the DC metropolitan area. I have included an image from a project I did on the last subject, where I looked at jobs and the cost of living in the region. I think that, overall, it was a great experience. A lot of the duties and procedures of working for the national government and in intelligence were demystified for me, and I got to see, well, how ordinary it all is. I also got to learn about interesting sectors I had not heard of before, such as geographical intelligence. I hope to visit the DC area soon and learn more about these paths.
Honors Seminar - War and Peace in Asia
One of the first classes of my Asian Studies minor, "War and Peace in Asia" was an overview of various conflicts and issues affecting parts of Asia, with each segment covering a different area, such as the war in Afghanistan and the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. of Although the course had a broad scope and was quite open-ended, we were given the resources necessary to dive deeper into each unit and our instructor encouraged us to look at all aspects of the situation. Through a series of in-class discussion, we were given the opportunity to truly talk about and debate our research, ideas and possible solutions with minimal instructor intervention - a format that I really liked and I think helped me develop better knowledge of each situation and exposed me to more solutions. My final paper, which focused on the dispute between the Philippines and China in particular, benefited from these discussion as well as a rigorous in-class process of refinement through drafts and a presentation to other students summarizing the paper in which they could provide their feedback and raise point that might have been missed or ignored. Because of all this, I was able to write a comprehensive overview of the conflict and assess various possible paths including some rather unorthodox solutions.
(Image below from VOA)