Commencement Spotlight: Suzan Abdelqader

Suzan Abdelqader

Russ College of Engineering and Technology

Computer Science major, Spanish minor, Bioinformatics certificate

Athens, OH

What are your next steps or plans for the future?
My post grad plans are to work in Columbus after graduation as a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase. I plan to visit family in Athens as often as possible. Overall, I’d like to travel to various countries and pursue a Software Development lead role.

What was your ah-ha moment at OHIO—that point where you said to yourself, “I’ve got this!”? 
My ah-ha moment was when I completed my freshman year. I had many doubts going into college that I would not be capable of completing a difficult degree like Computer Science (CS). After the first CS class, I was very discouraged as I had never coded before. I was overwhelmed and didn’t think I would survive in the major. In my second semester that year, I passed the second level class with an A and my confidence soared. When you put your mind to something you are capable of anything. I realized hard work and passion can push you where you want to go. 

Why did you choose OHIO? 
I chose OHIO because of the strong and warm community that is here. A lot of other schools are disconnected with their students and at OHIO I knew I’d feel included and supported. Being from Athens, I grew up around the campus and saw how much the students enjoyed the university. 

Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life?
My favorite professors over the course of my time at OHIO have been James Goble, he always comes to class with a Hawaiian shirt and a comedic flare. He makes his classes in electrical engineering understandable for computer science students, which I really appreciate. Emilia Alonso Sameno was my Spanish professor for two classes; she made her students feel like family and is such a caring person. She was the reason I wanted to pursue my minor in Spanish.  

What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO? And how did you overcome challenges or obstacles in your path?
The hardest hill I think I had to climb was managing my time. With multiple jobs, clubs, and organizations, things were very overwhelming. I rarely had time for my own hobbies and interests. I overcame many of these challenges by understanding the realization that sometimes it’s ok to take a break or find time for yourself. I learned how to balance the different aspects of my personal and professional life to be happy. 

What are your favorite OHIO memories?
One of my favorite OHIO memories was when I was elected as president of the Russ College Engineering Ambassadors. It is such an honor to represent the college to prospects and professionals. It means a lot personally, when I was an undecided freshman, two engineering ambassadors gave me and my parents a tour and it led me into computer science. Another core memory was when the Robe Leadership Institute (RLI) scholars had the opportunity to go to California.

What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss?
Don’t miss out on spending time with friends and family even if it means you have to turn something in late or get a lower grade than expected. Yes, one should work hard and be dedicated in college but don’t forget that you should also enjoy these four years as your mental health is much more important!

May 3, 2023
Staff reports