Silicon Valley organization connects diverse tech talent from UMBC with top companies  

Published: Mar 25, 2016

The ITE building. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC. (The ITE building. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC.)

A recent TIME article highlights UMBC as a university that should be on the radar for top companies and start-ups seeking diverse technology talent.

Tristan Walker, co-founder and chair of CODE2040 board, and founder and CEO of Walker & Company Brands, says that it is important to assist start-up companies in the Silicon Valley in connecting with talented students pursuing tech-related degrees. Walker notes that these companies might not have the resources to fly around the country seeking out upcoming leaders in tech at universities like UMBC, but that CODE2040 can help them make those connections.

CODE2040 is an organization that creates pathways for black and Latino/a computer science students to connect with small tech startups as well as leading Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Apple. In addition to providing highly competitive summer internships, speaker series, entrepreneurship workshops and mentorship for students, CODE2040 also works with companies that are committed to creating corporate cultures that support the success of people from all backgrounds. Walker says that CODE2040 helps “partner companies scale their recruiting efforts” to reach a broader range of talented computer scientists.

Several UMBC students have participated in the prestigious CODE2040 fellows program. Randi Williams ‘16, computer engineering, completed a CODE2040 fellowship in 2013, interning at the wearable tech company Jawbone and accessing CEO meetings and tours with companies including Google, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. After her return to UMBC, she was inspired to co-organize the first hackUMBC. In summer 2014, she conducted research in the robotics department of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena before joining UMBC’s ECLIPSE research cluster, focusing on wearable technologies to support people with limited mobility.   

Read the full article, “Meet the Silicon Valley CEO Opening Doors for People of Color” in TIME.

Image: UMBC’s Information Technology and Engineering building. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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