By Kasy Long
May 22, 2023
Computer Science Major
at Indiana State University
Computer science student Ahsan Khan’s path to Indiana State has been marked by his passion for learning, community engagement, leadership, and embracing his Pakistani heritage. Khan has demonstrated his leadership and Sycamore pride as a student assistant in the Office of the President and Provost, as a senator for the Student Government Association, and as a member of Phi Kappa Alpha.
The Sycamore celebrates his cultural heritage with his peers, and he frequently shares how the University’s welcoming, inclusive atmosphere made the campus feel like his second home.
Explain your journey to Indiana State. What brought you to Indiana State?
First and foremost, Indiana State’s academic reputation and commitment to excellence were major attractions for me. I was impressed by the University’s diverse range of academic programs and the quality of education it offered across various disciplines. Indiana State stood out as an institution that could provide me with a solid foundation for my educational journey.
In addition, Indiana State’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity strongly resonated with me. As someone who has a diverse background, it was important for me to find a place where I could celebrate my cultural heritage while also feeling a sense of belonging within the larger community.
Explain your work as a student assistant in the Office of the President and Provost. What are your responsibilities?
My role encompasses a wide range of duties, all aimed at ensuring a welcoming environment for executive guests and providing assistance for various events and initiatives. I also assist my supervisor with the annual commencement activities. This involves sending personalized letters to our deserving graduates and organizing graduation lists. Additionally, I actively participate in the preparation of the commencement venue, overseeing the decorations and managing the logistics with precision.
What has surprised you most about your Sycamore experience?
Stepping onto campus, I was initially shy and naive, uncertain of what college had in store for me. However, Indiana State embraced me with warmth and immediately opened countless doors of opportunity. I had the privilege of becoming a senator in the Student Government Association [SGA], a role that allowed me to have a direct impact on campus policies and advocate for student needs. This experience helped me find my voice and gave me a platform to address important issues within the university community.
Additionally, I joined Phi Kappa Alpha, a prestigious fraternity that focuses on making a positive impact in the community. I had the chance to participate in meaningful service projects, collaborating with fellow students to bring about real change. Indiana State not only provides the resources and support for academic success but also fosters a culture of involvement and leadership.
What do you like best about your program of study in computer science?
The faculty members within the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science are not only highly knowledgeable in their respective areas of expertise but are also dedicated educators. They bring a wealth of industry experience, cutting-edge research, and a passion for the subject.
How has Indiana State prepared you for your career?
Indiana State has prepared me for my career through a combination of hands-on experience as an office assistant, the technical skills acquired through my coursework, and the support and resources provided by the University. I have learned the importance of professionalism, effective communication, and maintaining a high level of efficiency and confidentiality. The University’s curriculum in computer science has provided me with in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience. Through coursework, projects, and assignments, I acquired technical expertise in programming languages, data analysis, software development, and other relevant areas.
You had an internship at iD Tech Camps at the University of California, Irvine. What was involved in this internship?
I embarked on a dual role as a software engineer intern and an instructor. I crafted an innovative curriculum that wove together theoretical concepts and immersive coding exercises, eliciting a 90 percent satisfaction rate among students. Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to actively contribute to iD Tech’s broader mission of promoting technology education and innovation. This experience not only enhanced my technical skills but also refined my instructional abilities and strengthened my communication and leadership skills.
What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
As an Asian American, this month holds great significance for me. It is a time to celebrate and honor the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For me, this month is an opportunity to reflect on my own heritage and the experiences that have shaped my identity. My heritage as an Asian American, specifically with Pakistani roots, is a tapestry woven with vibrant traditions, values, and stories passed down through generations. It is a fusion of my Pakistani cultural heritage and my experiences of being raised in the United States.
What does your heritage and culture mean to you?
To me, my heritage is a precious treasure that connects me to my roots and ancestry. Growing up, I was immersed in the enchanting sights, sounds, and flavors of my Pakistani heritage. From the captivating melodies of qawwali music to the aromatic spices that dance in our traditional cuisine, every aspect of my heritage resonates with a deep sense of identity and belonging.
My heritage is also shaped by the strong sense of community and familial bonds that are deeply ingrained in Pakistani culture. I have been nurtured by the warmth, love, and support of my extended family, who have instilled in me a deep appreciation for the values of respect, hospitality, and togetherness. My heritage is a testament to the resilience and perseverance of the Pakistani people. It is rooted in a rich history of overcoming challenges, striving for progress, and embracing diversity. My culture molds my identity, shaping my perspective on the world and guiding my interactions with others.
What do you think prospective students should know about Indiana State?
At Indiana State, you won’t merely be a student; you’ll become an integral part of a close-knit family, surrounded by faculty, staff, and peers who will empower and inspire you every step of the way. You will forge lifelong friendships, collaborate on innovative projects, and discover hidden talents within yourself.