Senior Spotlight 19: Divyaa Kamalanathan

“(Minot State professors) are so helpful and they’ve been so supportive of me. I couldn’t imagine being someplace where I didn’t have that kind of contact with my professors. That’s my favorite part about Minot State.”
Divyaa Kamalanathan, computer science

By Amanda Duchsherer
Digital Communications Specialist

MINOT, N.D. – A mandatory computer science class changed Divyaa Kamalanathan’s life.

Kamalanathan, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, started her college career a declared anthropology major in her home country, but she was soon ready to switch gears.

“I really enjoyed the computer science class and realized I was pretty good at it. It was something I had never been exposed to before,” she said.

Not only did she excel in the class, but she also realized she loved the subject. Kamalanathan next set her sights on Minot State due to a friend’s experience at the University.

“When I was deciding where I wanted to go, she seemed really happy,” Kamalanathan said. “She just seemed to be having more fun and being more involved, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Kamalanathan found the education she was looking for in the computer science department, largely due to the connections she formed with her professors.

“They’re so helpful and they’ve been so supportive of me. I couldn’t imagine being someplace where I didn’t have that kind of contact with my professors,” she said. “That’s my favorite part about Minot State.”

The magna cum laude walked across the commencement stage on Friday, May 10 and received her degree.

“My concentration, my field of specialization, is in computer security,” she said. “My dream job is penetration tester, that’s the person who tries to attack a system or network from the inside to figure out how difficult it would be for someone on the outside to get in. That’s my dream — to be a hacker, what’s called a white hat hacker.”

In addition to her desire to become a penetration tester, Kamalanathan finds purpose in empowering girls and young women in STEAM and computer science.

“When I first started out in computer science, I wasn’t a tech savvy person. I feel like that is the case for a lot of women; they don’t feel like they can do it, so my goal has always been to get more women into the field,” she said.

During her college career, Kamalanathan made programming and computer security accessible to the community through workshops hosted by the Minot State Computer Science Club, where she served as president, and by partnering with Full STEAM Ahead, a local youth organization providing STEAM-based opportunities.

“The most important thing about computer science is not necessarily knowing how to code or knowing about computers. It’s knowing how to solve problems,” she said. “Put yourself out there, try new things no matter how intimidating it sounds.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/13/19   

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