What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
I have had the opportunity to get involved in various organizations at my time here at the University of Maryland. One important volunteer experience that I have had is being a member of the Technical Outreach and Community Help Committee of the UMD Black Engineers Society (NSBE chapter). I was able to mentor elementary school students as they learned more about STEM concepts through fun and interactive activities. These activities, such as building and testing model bridges, help to spark interest in STEM and them a more about what engineering entails. Our committee also was able to benefit the environment on campus by working to design enclosures for the installation of new flowers that would bring an endangered butterfly species back to campus.
I have also been a part of the Student Success Leadership Council. This group works to plan and execute various events throughout the year that enrich the student experience and foster community. I was able to help to plan FreshCon, an event where incoming African-American freshman students would have the opportunity to better adjust to University rigor and lifestyle through various workshops. I enjoyed being able to share some of my experiences as a student in a presentation so that others who would soon be in my place could benefit.
I also enjoyed being involved with the Knights of Columbus. This is a Catholic mens service fraternity that supports the College Park community in many forms of service. I have been able to help organize fundraisers and events that ultimately benefit many people in the College Park area.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
I am very grateful to have been chosen to recieve this award. I have been given the opportunity to attend college and truly grow as a student and leader, without being held back by financial worries. Through this scholarship, I am further motivated to be an engaged student and make a difference in the community through my increased involvement in organizations.
Why did you choose to attend the University of Maryland, what makes this place special to you and what is your favorite part of being a Terp?
I chose the University of Maryland because I never heard anything negative from anyone about this school. I was sure that it was a great place to receive a quality education, and could think of almost no negative aspects of this choice.
I am always able to be involved in almost anything that I want. There is a myriad of various events, organizations, and activities that I can take part in. There is always, always something great to do. My favorite part, however, is the ability for there to be times of quiet and peace despite the busyness of campus.
How will you make a positive difference in the world?
I plan to make a positive difference in the world by directly impacting those in need. However, I know that it would be unwise to do so without a proper education. By attending college, I hope to gain the skills I need to make a difference in the lives of others.
I hope to use my engineering skills to work towards solutions to the problems of those in need. This can be done by inspiring those in need with direct contributions to communities. Those in need can also be reached by mentoring youth so that they can be impactful future leaders.
None of this would be possible, though, without a proper education. I am very grateful for all of the generous individuals who see potential in me and allow me to make my plans reality.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
My name is Chukwuma Odigwe and I am a junior Electrical Engineering Major in the class of 2018. I expect to graduate in 2018.
What is your Hometown?
My hometown is Oxon Hill, MD.
Tell us about your favorite class, extracurricular activity, academic opportunity, community involvement or another unique experience.
My favorite class was ENES100:Introduction to Engineering Design. This course involved working with 7 other students to design and create an autonomous over sand vehicle. This initially was a challenge, but turned out to be a lot of fun. I enjoyed being able to actually work on an engineering project even though it was my first semester of college. I learned a lot about engineering, how to work well with others, and the many things teamwork can accomplish.