A student ambassador on the campus of Tennessee Tech University understands how the university is constantly growing, changing and evolving in an effort to provide the best possible educational opportunities for a growing number of diverse students. He is also showing his support with his actions in both his educational duties and his organizational affiliations.
Triston Whitescarver, a senior computer engineering major from Dickson, chose to come to Tech based on the reputation of the engineering departments and the low cost to attend. Once on campus, he found a place he could learn and grow as an individual.
In his time on campus, he has seen diversity grow at Tech since he arrived in the Fall of 2018. However, as is the way with many things, he feels there is room for improvement, and is doing his part.
“There needs to be more minority figures here on the campus,” Whitescarver said. “I do see Tech is working on its diversity efforts. As a minority student I appreciate that.”
Whitescarver is an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers at Tech, previously serving as its president, and currently serving as the telecommunications chair. He helps promote the rise in the number of minority engineers who exceed academically, thrive professionally and positively impact their communities.
He also is a mentor for the Reaching Achievement and Committed to Excellence Program. It is a peer mentoring program that exists to assist first-time students from underrepresented ethnic populations with their adjustment to life at the university.
R.A.C.E. is designed to provide social and intellectual support for students to help them become involved in campus life and has been credited with markedly helping with student retention and success.
“I have never felt held back solely on race. A majority of my interactions on campus have led to wonderful opportunities,” Whitescarver said. “I have been given multiple opportunities to improve leadership skills, engage with the community and better myself outside the classroom. These ultimately led to scholarships, internships and co-ops.”
Whitescarver also serves as an ambassador for the College of Engineering. A student ambassador is a member of an elite group of current students that have distinguished themselves academically. They provide campus tours for prospective students, represent Tech during college events, work with diverse populations, and provide tips on being a successful student.
“I enjoy events like the Spring Showcase,” Whitescarver said. “I get to interact with prospective students, help answer questions, and tour them around the campus.”
Whitescarver intends to return to Tech this fall to attend graduate school, pursuing a master’s degree in computer engineering. He plans a career in hardware, integrated circuit design, and eventually in the world of academia.
Whitescarver said he believes a community is defined by the overall perspective of its people.
“I want to feel like Tech is fighting for me in times of questions,” Whitescarver said. “I want to see statements that combat the immoral views of others.”
As for ensuring that Tech continues to ensure its relevance for future students, Whitescarver would like to see Tech continue to pursue advancements that better student success.
“I see the College of Engineering continuing to create innovative engineers,” Whitescarver said. “With the upcoming resources, such as the Ashraf Islam Engineering Building, the programs will continue to soar.”
The people, as well as the atmosphere, within the Tech community are one of the best things about Tech according to Whitescarver.
“The people here are so nice and playful. I really enjoy the atmosphere here,” Whitescarver said. “There is always a reason to laugh, even during stressful times.”
He credits several individuals that helped him achieve success at Tech. Charria Campbell, director of Intercultural Affairs; Robert Owens, chief diversity officer; and Harry Ingle, director of diversity, recruitment, and student success in the College of Engineering, helped him obtain the resources and skills needed to succeed, according to Whitescarver.
J.W. Bruce and Syed Rafay Hasan, both associate professors in the electrical and computer engineering department, guided him in the correct direction when it came to his field of interest, he said.
“I also appreciate my close friends made here at Tech,” Whitescarver said. “These relationships have helped me focus on my goals.”
A degree in computer engineering will open doors to wide-ranging career opportunities. Tech has a solid foundation in technology problem-solving, and that along with the unique opportunities it offers to conduct research as an undergraduate and have internships and co-ops, have given Whitescarver a strong footing to a rewarding career.
“My experience at Tech has been one that I already cherish. The vast amount of laughter, joy, and fun I have had here is indescribable,” Whitescarver said. “I will remember my time here for the rest of my life.”
For more information on the opportunities in the College of Engineering visit https://www.tntech.edu/engineering/index.php. For more information on the National Society of Black Engineers and R.A.C.E visit https://www.tntech.edu/intercultural/orgs/nsbe.php, https://www.tntech.edu/intercultural/race-plus.php.