TechBridgeWorld-Donor Testimonial
Donor Testimonial

Carnegie Mellon

From Professor Donald S. Shepard
Heller School, Brandeis University

I first heard about TechBridgeWorld from a gift officer through Carnegie Mellon’s Office of University Advancement. At that time I was a parent of a current Carnegie Mellon student. My son was a senior in computer science and he had benefited enormously from his time at the university. As a parent I felt indebted to the university and wanted to try to give back to the institution that had benefited our family.

Specifically, I wanted to find out about some of the university’s activities in computer science that were meaningful to me and the things my son was doing. What impresses me about the global computer science community is the aspect of sharing--the notion of people donating time and ideas to help a community is pervasive within computer science, from bulletin boards to open source software. TechBridgeWorld (in the School of Computer Science) appealed to me because it accomplished two powerful goals simultaneously.  While finding ways of using creative ideas to help developing countries, it also honed the skills of Carnegie Mellon students. My own personal background working in Africa made me realize that involvement in TechBridgeWorld may have a lifelong impact on some participants and made it an activity that I was particularly interested in supporting.

As a sponsor, I enjoyed reading the Carnegie Mellon students’ blogs about their experiences in Africa under TechBridgeWorld, both their technical work and their personal growth experiences. As in all international experiences, there is growth on all sides of the partnership. I decided that as long as I was able to I wanted to support this work. Now as an alumni parent I have continued to support student experiences with TechBridgeWorld through my financial contributions.

After college, Professor Shepard spent two years volunteering in Kenya and Tanzania.  This experience had a lasting impact on his professional career and contributes to his interest in TechBridgeWorld.

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