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Join USF Engineering in spotlighting some of our outstanding students for Black Heritage Month

Black Heritage Month Spotlight: Sayde King

Sayde King Headshot

Sayde Kind, PhD Candidate in the department of computer science & engineering

Q1: What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black history is an opportunity to pause and reflect on those who have paved the way before us and made a commitment to change so that I have the agency that I have today. It's a time to learn more about not only our history but our future – reflecting on how far we have come and what still needs to change.

Q2: Can you discuss your background and journey to becoming an engineering major?

I have always loved science. I would binge the weather channel and dream of being a meteorologist. Once I took physics, I was dying to be a MythBuster and engineer models to test myths that I heard about like Jamie and Adam. But my fascination with computing began when I took a one-credit class where I and a team of students worked with the high school's IT department to meet the needs of the school. I remember taking apart laptops and PC towers, adding memory and putting them back together. As a high schooler, I thought that was computer engineering! I figured since I mastered "computer engineering", I might as well give computer science a shot.

Q3: How do you bring your own unique background to your experience at USF?

I do my best to show up as my authentic self. And what that means for me is to stick to what I know is right and wrong, remain true to my integrity, and continue to be the woman that my family raised me to be. That person that only I can be is how I entered USF and how I have remained throughout my academic journey along with new experiences and personal growth that I have welcomed with open arms.

Q4: Can you discuss some of the mentors you have had throughout your education? How have they inspired and motivated you?

My first mentor was of course, my mother. She instilled in me discipline, a hunger for knowledge, and independence to seek that knowledge for myself. These tenets have remained central to my education regardless of the level. Over time, I am blessed to say that I have a rich mentoring network – ranging from industry professionals and academics to my sisters. Each mentor serves their own purpose and contributes to who and where I am today.

Q5:  What advice/guidance would you like others to know about navigating a major/career in engineering?

My advice is to persist. It will be challenging, it is meant to be challenging. Adversity will come, and how you overcome it will be what shapes you. This doesn’t mean to face adversity alone or without strategy or resources. Ask for help, get what you need, and keep pushing.

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