Comfort Olorunlero, Computer Science M.S. Student
By Ryan Schoensee
Meet Comfort Olorunlero, a graduate student who is currently pursuing her M.S. in Computer Science with a focus on software engineering. Comfort is from Nigeria and decided to study at UTSA because she'd heard great things from her sister who started her career in San Antonio, and also because UTSA's cybersecurity programs are ranked #1 in the nation.
At the age of 16, Comfort started her academic career as a freshman at UTSA. Comfort always had an interest in technology, and her family inspired her to pursue it further. This made her decision to become a computer science major even easier, because she also wanted to earn a degree that would offer a rewarding career path.
What makes UTSA special to Comfort is the sense of community and belonging she's found in the Department of Computer Science. She's cultivated connections with students and faculty that feel familial, and it's made the university feel more like a home to her.
"The encouragement to try everything and the dedication to support students and give back to our communities through research and development is unparalleled," said Comfort. "There is a real drive at UTSA to be an asset to our students, our community, and the world at large."
Comfort believes that her time spent in the computer science program at UTSA will prove invaluable to her future career prospects. Comfort has been able to participate in extracurricular activities that have helped her develop additional soft skills that go beyond simply earning a technical degree.
These extracurriculars include serving on the COS Dean's Student Board and being a member of the student organizations Association for Computing Machinery and its partner organization Association for Computing Machinery Women's Chapter. Comfort was also a part of the first RowdyHacks cyber competition in 2016, which has now become the largest student-led hackathon in Southwest Texas. Comfort participated again in this year's RowdyHacks, and she's proud of how much the organization has achieved since its inception five years ago.
"As someone who was a part of the first RowdyHacks, being part of this year's was surreal," said Comfort. "I cannot believe how the students, year after year, have outdone themselves; the growth and reach of the hackathon is astounding and it truly takes an impeccable team to pull off all that this organization has achieved."
When Comfort thinks back to when she first started as a computer science major, she felt a disconnect between who she was and what the other students in her classroom looked like then. However, she says it's changing for the better every day and the student population in her major is becoming more and more diverse. Her advice to other students who may feel the same way is one of encouragement.
"It doesn't matter where you're from or who you are – you can succeed here," Comfort said. "You just have to be willing to put in the work."