Spotlight: Andrew Sosanya '20

Andrew Sosanya is a ‘20 studying Physics and Computer Science. Andrew is Nigerian and was born in the United Kingdom before moving to Newark, New Jersey. On campus, Andrew values making human connections and is an Undergraduate Advisor, a Computer Science Tutor, and the booking manager for the Friday Night Rock concert series. He enjoys fostering his passion for STEM as a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Vice President of the Dartmouth Physics Society. To find out more about Andrew, Black Praxis stopped by one of his homework sessions and asked him about his experiences on campus.

BP: You seem like someone who is interested in enriching your education in STEM inside and outside of the classroom. Where do you think your interest came from?

Andrew: My senior year of high school I took a physics class that I thought was interesting. I took it because I wanted to know more about the way the world works and I enjoyed the class because I got to think critically. However, when I came into Dartmouth I thought I was going to be an English major. I really love writing and the humanities. But when I got here I ended up running into the president of NSBE during orientation week and she invited me to check it out. I also met my best friend that week while he was coding a game and it got me interested in trying to take computer science. The class actually gave me the same sense of wonder as my physics class did in high school. So I tried out a physics and computer science class together the next term and I actually did very well in them so I kept going from there. Since then I have become a tutor and am now the Vice President of the Physics Society, so I am working to try to resurrect it.

Black Praxis: You are a UGA for School House this year. What interested you in becoming one and what has that experience been like for you?

Andrew Sosanya: There are three main reasons I wanted to become a UGA. The first is because I love socializing and talking to people. I like to get to know people’s stories and build relationships. Second, I would say that I love helping people because I would not have gotten to where I am in life today without other people helping me. Basically, it’s like a domino effect. Since I have been mentored a lot I want to pay it forward by mentoring other people. I have a huge charisma for those who have been in a similar place as me. The third reason is just to get involved on campus more.

BP: In addition to your day-to-day role as a UGA, it seems you also reach out to other students on an academic level. Can you tell us about your experiences as a tutor?

Andrew: Certainly. The biggest excitement that comes from tutoring is watching people learn and building your own understanding through teaching. As a tutor, I was able to revisit the fundamental concepts of computer science, but I also get to see other students grow throughout the term. Last term I knew someone who was really struggling with CS10. After the first midterm, she decided to sign up to be my tutee and we would meet on Sunday mornings in the cube. It felt like I had my own mini-class because I got to prepare my lesson plans to teach each week. Yesterday I actually started thinking about going back to teach at my high school after I finished up here in college.

BP: What can we hope to see from you during the remainder of your time at Dartmouth?

Andrew: I want to get more heavily involved with the Physics Society. I’m also applying for the presidential scholars program and then I want to write an honors thesis. I think it would be really cool to publish a physics paper before I leave.

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