Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Meet the UMBC undergrads who organized their school’s first hackathon

Perry Ogwuche and Randi Williams are the masterminds of hackUMBC, the first campus-wide hackathon at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Perry Ogwuche and Randi Williams are the masterminds of hackUMBC, the first campus-wide hackathon at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for undergraduates there.
UMBC students can register for hackUMBC here.
The pair of UMBC students thought up the idea for the hackathon during a 10-week summer fellowship with CODE2040, a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit that places black and Latino computer science students in internships with West Coast startups. Ogwuche, a senior studying computer science, interned at Redbeacon, an online home services marketplace that was acquired by Home Depot.
“I was literally the only black guy in the company,” Ogwuche told the crowd gathered at Morgan State University‘s hackathon last weekend.
Williams, a sophomore studying computer engineering, spent the summer doing front-end web design work for Jawbone, an audio device and wearable tech company in San Francisco.
It was a hackathon the two participated in during their time with CODE2040 that inspired them to organize hackUMBC.
“The spirit of Silicon Valley was what we wanted to bring back with us,” Williams said in an e-mail. “The belief that anyone can work to solve the problems around us was a bold one that everyone in Silicon Valley seemed to have. It took hold of both of us over the summer, and we hope this hackathon will help us share it with the UMBC community.”

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