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A Goodnight Spotlight: Kodjo Akouedjinoude

Goodnight Celebrates Black History Month!

Kodjo Akouedjinoude, Transfer Class of 2025, moved to North Carolina five years ago from Togo, West Africa. Read on to learn more about his interests within his major and his experiences in the Goodnight Scholars Program.

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Kodjo Akouedjinoude and I am a junior in mechanical engineering at NC State. I was born and grew up in Togo, West Africa, and have been calling North Carolina my home for the past five years. I am a natural problem solver which is why I chose a mechanical engineering major. In my free time, I like to read a good storytelling book. As a fun fact, I know a couple of languages.

Do you have any extracurriculars you would like to discuss?

I recently developed an interest in computer programming and currently serve as a lab instructor for CSC113 Matlab on campus. It is inspiring me to think about computer programming as a potential minor.

What are some of your favorite aspects of the Goodnight Scholars program? Any favorite memories that come to mind?

Some of my favorite aspects of the Goodnight Scholars program are the Community Wide Social events during which many scholars come together for fun activities. I remember my first time going for a paintball game with my fellow scholars; it was exciting to learn how to shoot paintballs and later on, I worked on a project that involved the engineering dynamics of a paintball gun. In sum, these events are fun and also full of discoveries.

Tell us more about your transition from Togo, West Africa to North Carolina.

One of my biggest challenges was to transition from everything that I’ve always known to adapt to a world with everything to learn. My life has been all about learning. From moving to the US to learning the English language, and going back to college it has been quite challenging. But those challenges helped build the person I am today.

What are your future career and life goals? Do these goals connect to your racial and ethnic background?

As an immigrant and first-generation in college, I recognize that the Goodnight Scholars program has been the ultimate resource to fuel my desire of obtaining a degree and pursuing a career in the mechanical engineering field. Only two years ago, while attending a community college, I had been pushing wheelchairs on the weekend at the Charlotte Douglas international airport. I remember telling every single passenger I met that I was going to continue my education at NC State University, one of the best engineering schools in the nation, while I internally had no clue how I would be able to afford it. 

Now, my career plans are to become a professional engineer and join the vast task force of engineers dedicated to serving our communities. However, conducting research in graduate school will be the epitome of understanding the world. As the opportunity comes, I will not hesitate to pursue even higher education, since that allows me to share my experiences and research through teaching to the next generation of scientists.