What it Means to Be a Knight: Computer Science

What it Means to Be a Knight: Computer Science

By: Kaitlyn Lively

For Hiram Hernàndez, senior computer science major with plans to pursue a career in mobile development, SWAU’s computer science department taught him the value of teamwork in and out of the classroom, as well as what it means to Be a Knight. 

What led you to choose SWAU?
In 2017, I moved to the United States from Mexico. My girlfriend and cousin, both of whom were SWAU students, encouraged me to visit. While touring the campus, it was very noticeable how welcoming and kind the campus family was to me. My cousin also expressed how much he enjoyed SWAU. That visit gave me such a positive first impression that I prayed, if it was God’s will, He would lead me to SWAU; And that is what He did.

What led you to pursue a degree in computer science?
I have always been tech-savvy, so while visiting SWAU, I toured the computer science department. Daryl Thomas, professor and department chair for the Department of Computer Science, was very welcoming and made me feel like I had a place to call home here on campus. I knew after that visit with him, that’s where I needed to be.

What extra-curricular activities have you participated in?
I am the treasurer for the computer science club. The club feels like a family thanks to Dr. Thomas. 
I have also participated in intramurals every year. I take every opportunity I get to play volleyball or soccer. Intramurals are fun, competitive and keeps me active. 

What is one moment that occurred at SWAU that you will remember forever?
That would be my freshman year, in my first class with Dr. Thomas. He talked about handwork and how computer science pushes you to pick things apart and dissect them to find the real problem so that we can fix it appropriately. He took apart a keyboard and dispersed the keys amongst the class. This moment holds a special place in my heart because it reminded me of the beginning of my journey. Initially, I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up. I had to dig deeper and take apart things to learn what I wanted to do. I plan to return the computer keys to him once I graduate and tell him how much of an influence he and his classes have had on me.

What does it mean to Be a Knight to you?
“Be a Knight” to me means being bold and having the willingness to help others around you. Something so special and unique about this campus is that no matter where you go, everyone is willing to lend a hand or just simply be kind. 

How have you experienced God here on campus?
I tend to stay more to myself and I’m not very social, but God showed me, through my classes, professors and classmates, that it is okay to open up and go out of my comfort zone. My campus family never fails to smile, say hello or acknowledge me when I walk by. We find candid opportunities to study the Word and pray together. I also enjoy participating in service day each year because it allows me to get out and talk to new people and lend a helping hand to them. 

What are your goals for the future? How has SWAU prepared you to pursue those dreams?
I had the opportunity to intern in the SWAU IT department where I am currently a software developer. This job confirmed my love for computers. I plan to pursue a career in mobile development. That will expand my knowledge in the area, so I can work for myself one day.

What is your message to someone considering SWAU?
I would encourage them to take that leap of faith and do it. SWAU has so many different opportunities for each and every person. There is always something available. The faculty, staff and student body here are so helpful and welcoming. It is definitely somewhere you want to be.

When Hernàndez chose to Be a Knight, it allowed him the opportunity to be more involved in his classes and social life and taught him teamwork as he prepares to leap into his future in knowledge, faith and service. Take Hernàndez’s advice and schedule a campus visit at swau.edu/visit. Learn more about SWAU’s computer science program swau.edu/cs. 

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