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Akhila Raju Receives Eugene Lawler Sudent Award and Discusses Dealing with Disability in Tech

BCNM undergraduate Akhila Raju recently wrote about her journey through the computer science major at Cal while dealing with chronic depressive disorder.  We’re so proud of Akhila’s tenacity and perseverance and are thrilled to share her story. At BCNM, Akhila has been a vibrant personality, performing research with for BCNM faculty members, Greg Niemeyer and Eric Paulos.  Akhila embodies the BCNM spirit of critically approaching technology and its industry and has personally been involved in changing the inequities of the technology landscape at Cal as a founder of Tequity, an organization devoted to promoting inclusion at Cal in tech.  In recognition of her incredible success, Akhila was recently awarded the Eugene L. Lawler EECS Student Award, for being a student from a disadvantaged group who has surmounted difficulties and shown outstanding academic effort.  Akhila will continue her current research with BCNM faculty after her graduation this May.

From the post: My disability didn’t prevent me from pursuing my dream. It pushed me to persevere and get the major I wanted. I refused to succumb to depression and my inner fears of not being good enough, so I kept fighting for my dream. It’s been a very difficult path, especially knowing that I often had to put in more time than my peers. What kept me going was achieving that goal. I was a Computer Science major in every way except for actually having the major.

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