L.I.F.E. Foundation Fellowship


Student Bio & Personal Essay

Shawn Huesman

My name is Shawn Huesman and I am a student at Northern Kentucky University majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. I have lived in my hometown, Bellevue, Kentucky, for most of my life. I went to Bellevue High School and during my Junior year of high school, I was fortunate enough to participate in the School Based Scholars program as a full-time student at NKU. I chose to take some programming courses because I have always had an interest in computers. I loved every second of it! Before I knew it, I was deep within an exciting new world of problem solving and invention.

Not only did I fall in love with Computer Science, but I feel in love with NKU. The more time I spend at NKU, the more I feel like it is my home away from home. Professors are always easily accessible and love to talk to students. I feel like I could come up with any question and I could find someone who knows, or can help me find, the answer. Furthermore, I have been astonished by the opportunities available here. I feel like there is always something new and valuable around the corner to be involved in.

The LIFE Fellowship has helped me focus on my academic and professional goals. Last semester I completed a data engineering internship with General Electric and my second semester of research on developing programs to detect inaccurate information in social media. I have since developed an interest in big data and machine learning, and the LIFE Fellowship has greatly assisted me in exploring these interests. I plan to continue my current research as well as start new research on video game artificial intelligence this semester. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities that the LIFE Fellowship has given me. Thank you so much!

Student Bio & Personal Essay

Ludiana Atnafu

My name is Ludiana Atnafu and I am a student at Northern Kentucky University majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Biology. I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I came to Northern Kentucky University as an international student after finishing high school in my country. I was very excited to be part of NKU’s community, because I knew I would get all the support and resources I need to succeed in my education. Alongside focusing on my academics, I wanted to be involved in the various organizations on campus.

As a freshman I was able to be part of different organizations, namely the African Student Union, the International Student Union and the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society. In addition, I was able to gain a diverse work experience on campus as a Teaching Assistant for the Computer Science Department, as an Orientation Leader and as a Student Assistant for the Steely Library. Towards the end of my freshmen year, I was given an amazing opportunity to become a L.I.F.E fellow

The L.I.F.E Fellowship program gave me the opportunity to purse my minor in Biology and enabled me to explore ways I can use computer science to solve day to day problems. This program also gave me the opportunity to do research within the computer science department, which enabled me to better understand the field I am studying and gave me a real time experience on ways I can apply what I have learnt in class. Moreover, the program provided me with a very generous scholarship that greatly relieved my financial burden. I am very grateful for this scholarship as it has enabled me to have my full focus on my education and encouraged me to continue pursuing my dreams. Thank you!