Rosy Sultana grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, so George Mason University was a big presence in her childhood. But getting there was not without challenges. “As a first-generation student, going to college was a pipe dream. But I used to come to Mason on field trips. I got to know more about the programs, opportunities, innovation, and diversity and community, and I fell in love with Mason.”
She graduates this May with a degree in Computer Science from the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC).
Engineering appealed to her from an early age, especially the notion that engineering is a helping profession. “I was born with an underdeveloped clubbed left hand. As a result, there have been many instances where people have doubted my ability to accomplish things. That doubt became a motivating factor for me—from learning to ride a bike one-handed, to getting a drivers license to going to college, I wanted to prove that a disability is not a lack of an 'ability' but a 'unique ability' in-and-of itself."
She continued, "One day, I came to Mason we toured the engineering department, seeing the innovations that engineering students were making and deploying for use in everyday life. That inspired my love of engineering—I realized it's a field where I can apply my creativity and innovation to help others, using my unique perspective. In short, engineering is like doing magic and Mason is like Hogwarts teaching me to harness that power.”
Sultana's experiences outside the classroom have been essential. “I have loved and learned a lot of things from my internships, including serving as a software engineer, in DevOps engineering, and as an ML/AI engineering intern. I have experienced hands-on activities, learned to make mistakes, and learned to learn from those mistakes because there is no answer key in the real world. Learning to fall and get back up and adapt—while also building unique innovations and working together—has been an amazing growth opportunity. I have been fortunate to work on projects that help our service men and women as well, through implementing new tech,” she said.
The Honors College improved her collegiate life considerably. “The Honors College simplified my schedule so that I could actually focus on doing things like internships and juggling two part-time jobs, as well as getting a start on my master's as a BAM (Bachelor’s to Accelerated Master’s) student. Also, it has given me an opportunity to build into an amazing community, getting to know great faculty and students.”
She said, “The Honors College has given me confidence to become a better leader, and I am honored to have served as the director of the Honors College Recruitment Team and secretary for the Honors College Student Advisory Board. Lastly, it helped give me a break in the middle of my overwhelming engineering courses by letting me enjoy small classes with professors who are very passionate about the topic. Overall, I have loved every moment of being in the Honors College!”
Sultana said Mason has been an incredibly supportive environment. “Mason has been an immersive, interactive, diverse, and respectful experience for me. I felt accepted regardless of my physical or mental status, and I was given every opportunity to succeed without discrimination.”
After graduation, Sultana plans to work as a software engineer for Peraton, providing national security solutions and technologies. The company serves space, intelligence, cyber, defense, homeland and citizen security, and health markets. She is going to continue with graduate school in CEC. “I am also being persuaded by certain Honors College faculty to do a PhD, so I guess we will see where things go,” she said.
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