MINERVA VOICES

The First Minerva Student to Graduate with an Interdisciplinary Digital Practices Minor

Meet Rose Njuguna, Class of 2024

May 1, 2024

What does the Minerva community mean to you?

For me, the word community embodies the essence of diversity, safety, and love among other things. At Minerva, I found a family away from home. I managed to cultivate deep, lifelong friendships, and engage in thought-provoking discussions with peers, faculty members, and staff. The meaningful connections I formed provided me with a strong support system that extends beyond the confines of campus life. I like to think of my life as a canvas, and the individuals I've journeyed alongside over the past four years have contributed to my present self. Each encounter, each shared experience, has been like a brushstroke, creatively and uniquely forming the intricate and vibrant masterpiece that defines who I am today. The Minerva community has been a space where I felt free to express myself authentically and pursue my passions wholeheartedly. I found inspiration, mentorship, and opportunities for personal, academic, and professional growth, shaping my educational experience, broader worldview, and sense of purpose. Truly, the bonds forged within Minerva have left an indelible mark on my journey, and though my time as a student may be coming to a close, I am confident that the experiences shared within the community will continue to shape my future endeavors and enrich my life for years to come.

What motivated your decision to pursue the innovative "Interdisciplinary Digital Practices" minor at Minerva? Can you share the thought process behind selecting this particular minor and how it aligns with your academic and career aspirations?

My motivation for taking the Interdisciplinary Digital Practices (IDP) Minor stemmed from its alignment with my career aspirations in impactful innovation and a growing interest in the rapidly evolving technological landscape. It offered me an opportunity to uniquely blend creative expression, technical skill development, and critical thinking, to explore the intersections of art, technology, and contemporary societal issues. I also wanted to better understand system dynamics in today’s digital era. I am very passionate about social entrepreneurship and hope to continue effecting meaningful change and creating tangible impact, particularly in underserved communities and marginalized populations.

Among the array of courses essential for completing the minor, which ones resonated with you the most? Could you elaborate on the specific courses that you found particularly enriching or impactful in shaping your understanding of digital practices?

My two favorites of all courses were AI Ethics and Social Justice (IL181), and Modeling and Analysis of Complex Systems (CS166). IL181 challenged me to explore the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. By being prompted to critically think about the complexities of networked information technologies and generative AI, I gained insights into their profound impact on society. I now understand the importance of integrating ethical perspectives into the development and use of data. I also resonated deeply with the emphasis on diversity and inclusivity in the discourse surrounding AI and data ethics, a topic that interests me, as it highlights the need to amplify marginalized voices and promote equitable solutions in technology-driven fields. CS166 provided me with the analytical tools and methodologies to simulate, analyze, and predict the behavior of complex systems across diverse domains. I got a more nuanced understanding of the underlying principles and interdependencies within digital ecosystems. Both of these shaped my approach to utilizing digital tools and technologies, more so in professional contexts.

How do you envision your graduation with the Interdisciplinary Digital Practices Minor bolstering your professional trajectory? In what ways do you anticipate leveraging the skills and knowledge gained through this minor to advance your career goals?

Graduating with a minor in IDP provides me with a versatile set of skills that makes me competent in tackling complex problems with innovative solutions. I intend to leverage my solid foundation in programming, system architecture, and philosophy, enabling me to create robust, inclusive, and sustainable software solutions. I am determined to play a pivotal role in advocating for responsible innovation and ethically sensitive practices in the tech industry. I aspire to continue leveraging my interdisciplinary background to navigate the complex intersections of technology, ethics, and society whether it be addressing algorithmic bias, advocating for AI constitutionalism, or promoting inclusive design principles.

Your Capstone project, "Technology for Social Good - Enhancing Inclusivity and Accessibility for People with Disabilities using Machine Learning Technologies," seems profoundly impactful. Could you elaborate on how the courses integral to the minor influenced your approach to this project?

The courses I undertook within the IDP Minor laid the groundwork for my capstone "Building for Impact" project, by allowing me to explore and utilize different frameworks, tools, and design principles. By harnessing machine learning capabilities in image and language processing, I aimed to address challenges faced by minority populations, specifically individuals with disabilities. I modeled a proof of concept on what it means to build systems that are truly inclusive by showcasing the potential for technology to prioritize the needs of minority populations, consider diverse perspectives, and design solutions that cater to their specific requirements. My proof of concept inspires further exploration and innovation in leveraging technology for social good, emphasizing its transformative power when wielded responsibly and with a focus on creating positive societal impact. The minor allowed me to develop both the technical expertise and a multidisciplinary perspective that guided my approach to addressing societal challenges.

What are your current post-graduation plans?

Upon graduation, I am looking to pursue a career at the intersection of technological innovation and social impact. I am eager to apply the knowledge and skills I've gained at Minerva to develop software solutions as tools for positive change. I am also very interested in the field of social robotics and continue to explore opportunities around this, leveraging my past experiences to further my career. 

How do you think your Minerva education will make you uniquely prepared for post-graduate life?

Minerva, through coaching, mentorship, and the support of very committed professors has equipped me with a holistic set of skills and a multidisciplinary perspective which have been invaluable in preparing me for post-graduate life. Its innovative curriculum and global exposure have allowed me to develop strong critical thinking and effective communication skills, and gain a deep understanding of both technical and ethical considerations in this digital age. I feel uniquely positioned to tackle complex problems, innovate responsibly, and contribute meaningfully to advancing technology for the benefit of society throughout my personal and professional journey.

If you were inspired by Rose's story and are seeking a college experience that will teach you valuable pragmatic skills that will enable you to change the world, you may want to consider Minerva University.

Quick Facts

Name
Rose Gathoni Njuguna
Country
Kenya
Class
2024
Major

Natural Sciences

Social Sciences

Cognitive Science and Economics & Political Science

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Economics and Society

Cells and Organisms & Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Applied Problem Solving & Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

What does the Minerva community mean to you?

For me, the word community embodies the essence of diversity, safety, and love among other things. At Minerva, I found a family away from home. I managed to cultivate deep, lifelong friendships, and engage in thought-provoking discussions with peers, faculty members, and staff. The meaningful connections I formed provided me with a strong support system that extends beyond the confines of campus life. I like to think of my life as a canvas, and the individuals I've journeyed alongside over the past four years have contributed to my present self. Each encounter, each shared experience, has been like a brushstroke, creatively and uniquely forming the intricate and vibrant masterpiece that defines who I am today. The Minerva community has been a space where I felt free to express myself authentically and pursue my passions wholeheartedly. I found inspiration, mentorship, and opportunities for personal, academic, and professional growth, shaping my educational experience, broader worldview, and sense of purpose. Truly, the bonds forged within Minerva have left an indelible mark on my journey, and though my time as a student may be coming to a close, I am confident that the experiences shared within the community will continue to shape my future endeavors and enrich my life for years to come.

What motivated your decision to pursue the innovative "Interdisciplinary Digital Practices" minor at Minerva? Can you share the thought process behind selecting this particular minor and how it aligns with your academic and career aspirations?

My motivation for taking the Interdisciplinary Digital Practices (IDP) Minor stemmed from its alignment with my career aspirations in impactful innovation and a growing interest in the rapidly evolving technological landscape. It offered me an opportunity to uniquely blend creative expression, technical skill development, and critical thinking, to explore the intersections of art, technology, and contemporary societal issues. I also wanted to better understand system dynamics in today’s digital era. I am very passionate about social entrepreneurship and hope to continue effecting meaningful change and creating tangible impact, particularly in underserved communities and marginalized populations.

Among the array of courses essential for completing the minor, which ones resonated with you the most? Could you elaborate on the specific courses that you found particularly enriching or impactful in shaping your understanding of digital practices?

My two favorites of all courses were AI Ethics and Social Justice (IL181), and Modeling and Analysis of Complex Systems (CS166). IL181 challenged me to explore the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. By being prompted to critically think about the complexities of networked information technologies and generative AI, I gained insights into their profound impact on society. I now understand the importance of integrating ethical perspectives into the development and use of data. I also resonated deeply with the emphasis on diversity and inclusivity in the discourse surrounding AI and data ethics, a topic that interests me, as it highlights the need to amplify marginalized voices and promote equitable solutions in technology-driven fields. CS166 provided me with the analytical tools and methodologies to simulate, analyze, and predict the behavior of complex systems across diverse domains. I got a more nuanced understanding of the underlying principles and interdependencies within digital ecosystems. Both of these shaped my approach to utilizing digital tools and technologies, more so in professional contexts.

How do you envision your graduation with the Interdisciplinary Digital Practices Minor bolstering your professional trajectory? In what ways do you anticipate leveraging the skills and knowledge gained through this minor to advance your career goals?

Graduating with a minor in IDP provides me with a versatile set of skills that makes me competent in tackling complex problems with innovative solutions. I intend to leverage my solid foundation in programming, system architecture, and philosophy, enabling me to create robust, inclusive, and sustainable software solutions. I am determined to play a pivotal role in advocating for responsible innovation and ethically sensitive practices in the tech industry. I aspire to continue leveraging my interdisciplinary background to navigate the complex intersections of technology, ethics, and society whether it be addressing algorithmic bias, advocating for AI constitutionalism, or promoting inclusive design principles.

Your Capstone project, "Technology for Social Good - Enhancing Inclusivity and Accessibility for People with Disabilities using Machine Learning Technologies," seems profoundly impactful. Could you elaborate on how the courses integral to the minor influenced your approach to this project?

The courses I undertook within the IDP Minor laid the groundwork for my capstone "Building for Impact" project, by allowing me to explore and utilize different frameworks, tools, and design principles. By harnessing machine learning capabilities in image and language processing, I aimed to address challenges faced by minority populations, specifically individuals with disabilities. I modeled a proof of concept on what it means to build systems that are truly inclusive by showcasing the potential for technology to prioritize the needs of minority populations, consider diverse perspectives, and design solutions that cater to their specific requirements. My proof of concept inspires further exploration and innovation in leveraging technology for social good, emphasizing its transformative power when wielded responsibly and with a focus on creating positive societal impact. The minor allowed me to develop both the technical expertise and a multidisciplinary perspective that guided my approach to addressing societal challenges.

What are your current post-graduation plans?

Upon graduation, I am looking to pursue a career at the intersection of technological innovation and social impact. I am eager to apply the knowledge and skills I've gained at Minerva to develop software solutions as tools for positive change. I am also very interested in the field of social robotics and continue to explore opportunities around this, leveraging my past experiences to further my career. 

How do you think your Minerva education will make you uniquely prepared for post-graduate life?

Minerva, through coaching, mentorship, and the support of very committed professors has equipped me with a holistic set of skills and a multidisciplinary perspective which have been invaluable in preparing me for post-graduate life. Its innovative curriculum and global exposure have allowed me to develop strong critical thinking and effective communication skills, and gain a deep understanding of both technical and ethical considerations in this digital age. I feel uniquely positioned to tackle complex problems, innovate responsibly, and contribute meaningfully to advancing technology for the benefit of society throughout my personal and professional journey.

If you were inspired by Rose's story and are seeking a college experience that will teach you valuable pragmatic skills that will enable you to change the world, you may want to consider Minerva University.