Clear to partly cloudy. Low near 65F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph..
Clear to partly cloudy. Low near 65F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: August 24, 2022 @ 3:11 pm
University of Rhode Island International Engineering Student Kevin Suggs in front of the historic Slater Mill in Pawtucket, R.I.
Kevin Suggs works as an interpreter for Makoto Motoyama, a Shimadzu service supervisor and engineer from Japan during a project at the University of Rhode Island. Suggs will take classes at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan this fall.
University of Rhode Island International Engineering Student Kevin Suggs in front of the historic Slater Mill in Pawtucket, R.I.
Kevin Suggs works as an interpreter for Makoto Motoyama, a Shimadzu service supervisor and engineer from Japan during a project at the University of Rhode Island. Suggs will take classes at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan this fall.
PAWTUCKET – Growing up with an interest in anime, a Japanese style of animation, and electronics, local student Kevin Suggs said it was easy decision to enroll in the five-year University of Rhode Island International Engineering Program.
An alumni of the pre-engineering program at Davies Career and Technical High School in Lincoln, he said he was drawn to the opportunity to continue his education in engineering, while also learning more about Japanese culture through the international education program.
“I heard about the International Engineering Program during orientation,” Suggs said in a press release from the college. “When I noticed there was an option for Japanese, I seized the opportunity to be in the program.”
The Pawtucket native entered URI through the Talent Development program, a special admission program for Rhode Island’s students of color and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Suggs said the program helped him “stay on a track to success” and helped him financially with grants.
“I had an advisor I checked in with and he directed me to resources that were useful for my classes and my well-being,” Suggs said.
Getting to URI’s Kingston Campus was sometimes as challenging as learning a foreign language, he said, as he had to take a public bus from his home in Pawtucket to arrive in time for an 8 a.m. class. While he missed out on hours of sleep, the hard work has secured him a full-year studying abroad in Japan.
The fifth-year student is headed will head to Japan in September to complete the requirements for his bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering and Japanese through URI’s International Engineering Program. For the fall 2022 semester, he will take humanities and language classes at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. He’ll conduct research or work as an intern for a Japanese company during the spring semester.
“When I was in high school, I never imagined I would be able to study and intern in Japan,” said Suggs.
According to the press release, his trip became more affordable thanks to a Beatrice S. Demers Foreign Language Fellowship grant and David L. Boren scholarship. Suggs was one of seven URI students to receive a Boren Scholarship, which is considered the most prestigious study abroad award offered to U.S. college students.
As he prepared for his upcoming year abroad, Suggs took advantage of opportunities state-side to practice his Japanese. This summer he spent two weeks as an interpreter for an engineer from Japan who was part of a team installing a new electron probe microanalyzer in URI’s Shimadzu Engineering Research Core Facility.
While he’s not sure where this experience in Japan will take him, Suggs said he’s open to the possibilities.
“I would like to work as an engineer in America or Japan,” he said. “What I like most about computer engineering is its versatility. There are many different career paths I could take, such as software, hardware, architecture, and more. I find technology to be very cool and interesting, so I would love to contribute to that in some way.”
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