Student Spotlight: Sammy Mudede
Growing holistically, becoming socially conscious
Sammy Mudede is a computer science major who will graduate from United Methodist-related Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, in May.
Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, Mudede said he choose Huston-Tillotson because it was a faith-based, historically Black college with small classes. As an international student, Mudede said his spiritual life has been a "pillar of strength" as he tries "to make educational advancements in the face of adversity."
"I have been blessed with a multitude of opportunities that have helped me to grow holistically to become a socially conscious member of the international community," he said.
Mudede said internships have helped him determine he wants a career as a software engineer, while co-curricular involvements at the university have enhanced his leadership, organizational, communication and conflict-resolution skills.
After serving as president of the university's National Society of Black Engineers, Mudede was named chair of a regional telecommunications group, where he managed the student-run website for 10 states. He also has been the computer lab supervisor and a resident assistant.
An active member of University United Methodist Church in Austin, Mudede has also become an advocate for homeless people. He volunteered at a homeless rehabilitation center and soup kitchen in Washington, D.C., while on a spring break mission trip. On campus, he has spoken during weekly chapel services about what students can do to aid the homeless.
Mudede is also a volunteer tutor for elementary school students preparing for the state's standardized tests.
As a Lina McCord Ambassador, Mudede provides information about the Black College Fund to various groups as well as recruiting new ambassadors and mentoring potential Lina McCord interns
He said attending a United Methodist-related school has provided him with "a supportive environment that is spiritually conducive" and kept him "perpetually optimistic and endlessly hopeful through the loss of my father."
"This spiritually conducive environment was one of the things that helped me settle down and find familiarity and comfort in a new place after relocating to Austin at the start of my college career," he added.
"My Christian faith has provided hope, stability and direction in my life, especially in my decision making and in determining the lifestyle I lead as well as how I relate to other people."