Shaw Graduate Pursues Passion for Technology
Professor Lloyd Williams wishes there were more students like Diego Choque.
Williams, program director for science and technology innovation, has watched Choque grow throughout his time at Shaw University, showing prowess as both a student and an athlete. On May 13, Choque graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and is one step closer to pursuing his passion for technology as a career.
"Diego is an excellent student who has been a top performer in every single class in which I have taught him," Williams says. "I have personally seen him demonstrate an excellent work ethic. He always consistently delivers work of the highest quality."
Choque worked in Williams’ research laboratory during his time as a student, and formed a close relationship with him as his mentor. This level of care and support was especially valuable to Choque as an international student pursuing an education 4,000 miles from home.
Born in Tarija, Bolivia, Choque has always been fascinated with technology and computer programming. After high school, he decided he wanted to study in the United States and applied for various athletic scholarships. He has been a competitive tennis player since he was 8 years old.
Choque says coming to America was not easy, but he kept a positive attitude and worked hard, focusing diligently on improving his English and his tennis skills.
After attending East Carolina University for one semester, Choque transferred to Shaw. As a student athlete, he worked hard on and off the court. He helped the Shaw Bears win the 2015 CIAA Men's Tennis Championship and was recognized with the Rookie of the Year and Chester Davis Sportsmanship awards.
Meanwhile, he won academic awards for maintaining a high GPA. He poured into his computer science studies, becoming interested in Williams’ work of creating wireless sensor networks using tiny, affordable computer systems called Raspberry Pi. He got involved in the Shaw Computer Club and served as president during his senior year.
Now, after celebrating his graduation, Choque looks to join other successful Shaw alumni in working within the competitive tech industry. He dreams of working for a major company like Dell. Mostly, he is committed to finding an environment of high standards, teamwork and innovation – all characteristics he’s learned to appreciate at Shaw.
He also has a passion for introducing others to new technologies and would like to use the knowledge and skills he’s acquired to bring these types of advances to his home country of Bolivia.
“In my country we don’t have the same technology that I have come to know here, so I look forward to sharing my knowledge with the people of my country and using the skills I’ve learned to help with development there," he says.
As he looks back on his time at Shaw, Choque encourages others to study something they really care about and enjoy, because it’s easier to learn when that passion shines through.
"Try to make a positive impact, always looking to be the best and help people as well," he says. "Being humble is the most important thing."