|Tahj Gayfield * Truman State University|
As a student at Truman State University, Tahj has helped make the campus more culturally inclusive by being actively involved with the Multicultural Affairs Center (MAC). He led the MAC’s efforts in organizing and planning the opening and closing ceremonies for the Martin Luther King Collegiate Challenge. In addition, he was actively involved in coordinating the Social Justice Leadership Summit by recruiting volunteers, finding speakers and panelists and planning fundraising events.
Tahj’s employment history consists of an Application Development Internship in Des Moines, IA at Principal Financial Group. There he applied agile methodologies to develop the back-end of various web applications. In addition, he works as a Student Advisor and Hall Desk Manager at Truman State University. While maintaining a 4.0 GPA in his Computer Science coursework, Tahj dedicates time to Track and Field. As a first-year student-athlete, he earned top 3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Tahj is a member of our BDPA St. Louis chapter. When asked to share his thoughts on being a Monsanto scholar, Tahj wrote,
"I participated in the BDPA High School Computer Competition team my junior year. It was great being able to meet and work with students who had a similar interest in computer technology. Being able to study, learn, and have fun was perfect. However, the most memorable event, I had was our six hour competition practice. It sounded a lot worse than it was. We were able to practice for the competition and correct our mistakes. In addition, we really got to know each other well, based on the fact that we were stuck in a room with each other for six hours. However, it was a blast because I had the opportunity to bond with the rest of my team members.
When I was younger, I used to play with the cardboard paper towel rolls. I used them in many different ways, and one of them was a “telescope.” They didn’t allow for better vision, but a narrowed outlook on certain aspects. However, when you put down the roll, you could see everything around you. That’s what BDPA did for me. Prior to joining, my knowledge of computer technology was limited to the programming language, Java. At the time I thought that was enough, mainly because most people I knew didn’t know how to program computers. BDPA opened my eyes to a world of technology that I never knew existed, and I thank them for that because now I want to keep studying and researching to learn about this new world.
Friends and other students know me as a highly involved student who always offers help to others and one who takes every situation as a learning opportunity. In the future, I want to work as a Software Engineer and pursue my Masters in Business Administration."
BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student on board as a member and as a winner of the Monsanto Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Tahj's career as he seeks to advance in the technology industry!