Kossi Loic Avegnon, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, was selected for the Black Trailblazers in Engineering (BTE) Fellowship from Purdue University.
The program is geared for graduate students who want to be future engineering faculty with a goal of increasing the number and success of Black engineering faculty in the U.S. BTE Fellows were invited to attend a virtual four-day workshop - Feb. 24-27 – and will receive a $500 scholarship.
Avegnon, who is being advised by Michael Sealy and is a graduate research assistant working on additive manufacturing projects in the NEAT Lab, said he is inspired by his experiences as a student in Africa. Avegnon said he hopes to pay forward his good fortune by becoming an engineering professor and helping young people who have similar backgrounds to his.
"I like teaching and dispatching knowledge that I've learned to people who don't have much access, like I was," Avegnon said. "In my home countries, there are not many things to get motivation from to do bigger things and we never had enough resources to do what we wanted to do.
"It was hard to get the values or knowledge you need to advance in life. People I came across gave me that confidence and allowed me to take those chances. I want to do the same for the generations that come behind me."
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