By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Engineering an Impactful Future

A student from the iSchool empowers their dreams through tech, entrepreneurship and service.

Ud Joseph holding a piece of paper and smiling.

While studying to become a software engineer, Ud Joseph ’24 explores how technology and entrepreneurship can support underrepresented populations achieve their goals in education and careers.

Ud Joseph ’24 came to Syracuse University knowing he wanted to become a software engineer, but he had bigger ambitions as well. “I’m passionate about technology and also interested in humanitarian work. Coming into Syracuse, I knew I’d also eventually want to start my own business and be involved in helping others,” he says.

Studying information management and technology in Syracuse’s School of Information Studies (iSchool), Joseph delved into his interests at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and service. He has made tremendous progress toward his goals: He will graduate in May with a job offer at H&R Block and the foundation to launch a program to support immigrant youth.

Ud Joseph standing with fellow classmates.

Joseph is a proud first-generation student and became involved with many student leadership and community organizations on campus, including the Haitian American Student Association.

Big Ideas and Big Goals

One of the most meaningful courses Joseph has taken is called What’s the Big Idea, with iSchool Professor Bruce Kingma. “The class was basically for creative brainstorming,” Joseph explains. “We considered modern-day social problems—ones we had some knowledge of and could relate to—and came up with ways that we could address them.”

Joseph developed a concept for a mentorship program for immigrant youth. “I decided on this idea because it’s something that I can really understand,” he says. Joseph was born in Haiti and immigrated with some of his family to Florida, where he grew up. He is deeply familiar with the challenges new immigrants can face and knows how transformative support and mentorship can be.

As a high school senior, Joseph was awarded a prestigious Posse Scholarship, which made higher education attainable. Syracuse was the only out-of-state school he applied to. “I chose Syracuse because of the strong programs and the alumni network I’d heard about, and the great outcomes that come from that,” he says.

Ud Joseph sitting with other students at a table.

Through the Blackstone Launchpad program, Joseph developed his business plan and supported other student entrepreneurs. “Ud has been an integral part of our success,” says the Launchpad director, Traci Geisler’90. “He provided peer mentorship, tech services and worked on numerous business initiatives.”

Resources and Support

Joseph says one of the valuable things he’s learned during his Syracuse experience is to take advantage of opportunities and to seek help when he needs it. For example, when he took his mentorship program idea to Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University Libraries—an innovation hub connecting Syracuse students to resources to help them start businesses—he found a supportive community to help him move his idea forward. “Through Blackstone LaunchPad, I made connections with a lot of people who are doing amazing projects and who are very knowledgeable in areas I wanted to learn more about.”

“I chose Syracuse because of the strong programs and the alumni network I’d heard about, and the great outcomes that come from that.”

Ud Joseph '24

He also became involved in a wide range of student organizations and activities. He’s served as a resident assistant and taken a leadership role in the Haitian American Student Association. He’s particularly appreciated the fellowship and community fostered through the Our Time Has Come Scholarship program. “If I could give any advice to new students, it’d be to know that wherever you come from and whoever you are, there are others on campus here who can relate to you and your experiences, and who you can connect with,” he says.

Ud Joseph standing with computer materials.

Joseph’s summer internship with H&R Block led to a job offer for after he graduates. “I can now call myself a software engineer,” he says.

Options and Opportunities

Last year, Joseph attended a conference of the National Society of Black Engineers. He credits his unabashed networking during that event to the summer internship he was offered at H&R Block, after meeting company representatives at the conference. “The internship at H&R Block in Kansas City was a great experience. I was on the e-file team and created a seasonal report of their tax return statuses for each state. I also got to explore different sectors of the company so I could get a sense of everything they offer. I really enjoyed myself,” he says. “I received good reviews from my performance—and they offered me a job! I can now call myself a software engineer.”

“If I could give any advice to new students, it’d be to know that wherever you come from and whoever you are, there are others on campus here who can relate to you and your experiences, and who you can connect with."

Ud Joseph '24

Joseph looks forward to continuing working toward his other goals, as well. As a McNair Scholar, his academic journey has included research in areas he might pursue in greater depth in graduate school. Working with his advisor, iSchool professor Kelvin King, Joseph has started investigating impacts of artificial intelligence on marginalized populations, specifically as it pertains to the housing industry. He also hopes to launch his mentorship program soon, in partnership with local agencies who serve refugees.

First though, Joseph is closing out his time as a Syracuse student by taking advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. Joseph, who was awarded a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, is spending this semester studying at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, where he’s excited to take programming courses and learn about leading edge advancements in his field. He’ll be ready, he says, to start his next chapter as an Orange alum.

Sarah H. Griffin

This story was published on .

Also of Interest

Group of people talking at a table.

Lights, Camera, Actionable Advice

Filmmaker and alumnus Tari Wariebi shares wisdom on navigating Syracuse University and launching a creative career.

People in a conference room talking.

Studying Abroad While Defending Democracy and Human Rights

Syracuse University students studying in France gain new insights into democracy while broadening their global perspectives.