The Focus Is You

Featured Engagement Participant

Ten Oklahoma students were named 2016-2017 Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact as part of a group of 218 students from 36 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico. They were nominated by their college or university president as inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is named for Dr. Frank Newman, one of the founders of Campus Compact, who dedicated his life to creating opportunities for student civic learning and engagement.

Smoot Honored as SWOSU's 2016 - 2017 Newman Civic Fellow

photo of Devin Smoot

A computer science major at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU), Devin Smoot is involved in the Blue Thunder Alley project to develop the SWOSU High Performance Computing cluster for undergraduate research. He was selected to represent the SWOSU team in meeting with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center researchers to establish research collaborations, which resulted in research awards. Devin served his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps, and has been active developing the computer network at his church. Because of his Native American heritage and through tribal security work for an Oklahoma Native American tribe, Devin gained insight into the serious need for education applicable to current job markets, and developed a goal to begin a non-profit organization to teach various programming and computer skills to minorities in Oklahoma. He notes that while there are plenty of free and open source resources available, a teaching environment with a leader who is easily accessible is needed. Devin believes that an at-home study course could reach people for whom vocational school training or higher education are not always an option. With a solid support system, Devin will train people to be programmers, web developers, and computer repair specialists, equipping them with the skills to obtain certifications and become employable in a freelance environment or corporate America.

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The Focus Is You