Meet Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion Student Assistant Kayla Townsend

How are you connected to OMED?

I have been connected to OMED through the Edge program during my freshman year and, currently, as a student assistant in the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion.

What advice would you give to students on succeeding academically at Georgia Tech?

Join study groups! Even if you don't know anyone in your class, challenge yourself to introduce yourself to someone and ask them to study or do homework. Working with others can help you to pick up on things that you didn't know, and enforces your own understanding when you teach others. Additionally, you MUST keep a calendar. You don't have to schedule out every second of the day, but it’s good to have a general idea of all the things you have to do in a day. Organization is key!

What advice would you give to students on acclimating socially to Georgia Tech?

It sounds cliché, but I've found it extremely rewarding when I step outside my comfort zone. Join a random club and connect to people through your shared interests. This is how you widen and diversify your social circles!

What advice would you give students to encourage them to remain individuals and love each and every day here at Georgia Tech?

Find what you love and immerse yourself in it! I found it stressful spending so much time working on engineering courses, so I made sure that the extracurricular activities that I was involved in had to do my non-academic passions. I worked in a lot of organizations that catered towards my passions for diversity, inclusion, and leadership.

Where have you worked during your Georgia Tech career, and what did you enjoy about that experience?

I worked for Alcoa Inc., an aluminum manufacturing company, for the past two summers. It was a great experience working in industry and getting to expand my knowledge and skills within the field of environmental engineering. I learned a lot about working in the corporate world and got a feel for what I can expect in my future full-time careers.

What has been your favorite Georgia Tech experience?

This is going to sound crazy, but I had some of my best times at Tech during my finals weeks! Preparing for exams was definitely stressful, but the crazy late-night, caffeine-fueled study sessions with my friends were where I had some of my deepest conversations and made the most memories.

What are you involved with on campus?

I have been involved with Freshman Council, Engineers for a Sustainable World, National Society of Black Engineers, African-American Student Union, Women's Leadership Conference, Diversity Ambassadors, Department of Housing (Resident Advisor), CEED Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program, OMED, and the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion.

What has been your study abroad experience while at Georgia Tech?

Unfortunately, it did not work out in my course schedule to study abroad, but I have had the chance to travel during my time at Tech! I've been to Brussels, Metz, Paris, Barcelona, Ibiza, and Cancun!