Informatics Grad and Husky Promise Student Aims to Deliver IT Resources to Underprivileged Communities
Bryan graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Informatics, with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction. His ultimate career goal is to one day become the CIO of the United States. Of his lofty goal, Dean Harry Bruce, pictured here with Bryan and UW President Michael Young, says, “I believe he will.”
Bryan was born and raised on the Yakama Reservation on the Eastern side of Washington State. Growing up in Wapato, there were hardly any information technology (IT) resources that were readily available to the general public. Wapato’s only public library hosted six obsolete computers and its school district computer labs were equipped with outdated software.
“It was not until after I graduated from high school and moved to Seattle that I realized the technological divide that exists between the two cities. Having now lived in Seattle for four years, I’m thankful to have access to Wi-Fi around every corner, and I always see a smart phone in every pocket. However, I realize that my community back home isn’t as privileged with this access. I chose to study Informatics because I wanted to help address and solve this digital divide,” says Bryan.
As an Informatics student, Bryan assisted faculty in conducting research in public access computing, co-authored a research paper, participated in the Undergraduate Research Symposium, and served as the project manager of his Capstone team to develop a fully functional web application that manages volunteer records online. In addition, he volunteered at InterConnection, a nonprofit organization that refurbishes second-hand computers to ship to underdeveloped schools and communities around the world, and served as a voting member on the Citizen’s Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, where he helped guide the mayor and city council on policy decisions that impact the digital future for the City of Seattle. He chaired the city’s committee on digital inclusion, and authored a municipal strategic plan that assessed digital inclusion efforts for Seattle. Bryan is now a PhD student in Information Science and Technology at Syracuse University.
“As a Husky Promise student and a recipient of the Information School Boeing Diversity Scholarship, I realize it is generous donors who have made my wonderful undergraduate experience possible,” Bryan says.