Make The Connection

Impact Fellowship

June 13, 2018 – by Cole Hatcher

Selam Weldu ’20 (right) uses an OWU Connection grant to spend two weeks studying computer science in New York City with the Impact Fellowship Program. (Photo courtesy of Selam Weldu)

Ohio Wesleyan Student Completes Computer Science Experience in New York City

Name: Selam Weldu ’20
Major(s): Computer Science
Minor(s): Economics
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Experience: Weldu traveled to New York City during spring semester to attend the two-week Impact Fellowship program, a selective computer programming fellowship that teaches college students from across the nation the skills needed to become successful social entrepreneurs. Weldu received funds from the University’s Small Grant Program to support her travel and OWU Connection learning experience.

Lessons learned

“During my time at the fellowship, I was able to improve and expand my technical skills. I unquestionably believe the program achieved its ambitious goal of providing students with tools to be able to start companies and solve real-world problems. As a result, I gained insight into the space of innovative and meaningful work in the tech industry.

“During the two-week period, Computer Programming Lessons in Software Engineering, Graphic Design, Big Data Analysis and Machine Learning were carried out by amazing computer science instructors and Ivy League professors. … We met with speakers and leaders from NGOs, social startups, think tanks, and philanthropic organizations.

“In the workshops, we discussed the current challenges of our generation. Through creative training and hands-on exercises, we explored the tools that innovative leaders have used to shape the past so that we may use them to build the future.

“The fellowship was an amazing opportunity that brought students together from top universities across the United States. … Peer Programming was a significant portion of the experience, and I worked with a variety of students on many different projects throughout the program.

“This opportunity has substantially elevated my technical skills along with giving me better tools to help solve the challenges the world is facing. I truly appreciate the support I received from Ohio Wesleyan University. …

The Impact Fellowship program was amazing because it tied in the two things I am passionate about: Computer Science and social good. … [T]he grant also really helped me secure an internship over the winter break and create a unique opportunity for me.

Why I chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose to attend OWU because even though I knew I was majoring in computer science, I wanted to sample different courses from a plethora of departments. I consider a liberal arts background to be essential in today's world, and at OWU I am fortunate enough to receive a well-rounded education.”

My plans after graduation

“I plan to work as a software developer after graduation.”