Danny Kim
As my career progresses, I hope to be able to contribute to scholarship funds so that I can help young students like I was helped.

UMD degree: B.S. ’14, Electrical Engineering
Currently: UMD Ph.D. student, Computer Engineering

When it was time for Maryland native Danny Kim ('14 electrical engineering) to look at colleges, he knew affordability was going to be an issue. His parents—who immigrated to the United States from South Korea before Kim was born—were already helping his older sister at the University of Maryland, and there wasn’t much to spare in the college savings fund.

Thanks to Kim's A. James Clark Scholarship, he was able to not only attend the well-respected school that had been one of his top choices all along, but also alleviate some financial burden.

“What my scholarship really gave me was the gift of time,” says Kim. “Because I didn’t have to work to support myself, I was able to do things that were important for my education, like focus on my studies and get hands-on experience.”

As an undergrad, Kim interned as an electrical engineer for Key Tech, which uses novel sensors, microfluidics, optics, and robotics to develop medical, industrial, and consumer products. He also was a teaching assistant (TA) for the first-year course Introduction to C Programming.

Now a fourth-year Ph.D. student at UMD researching cybersecurity, Kim focuses on using advanced program analytics to understand how malicious software, or “malware,” behaves so it can be more easily detected and halted. He also continues his TA duties in upper level electives such as Computer Organization and Design.

Kim was one of several scholarship students to attend the Building Together: An Investment in Maryland event last fall. Of the history-making announcement he says, “This investment is vital for engineering students and the engineering industry, because it allows students from all types of backgrounds to have a chance at getting an education at one of the best engineering schools in the country.”

After graduation in Spring 2018, Kim hopes to work on the applied and research side in industry, continuing to ask the questions about cybersecurity to which we don’t yet have answers.

“As my career progresses, I hope to be able to contribute to scholarship funds so that I can help young students like I was helped,” he says. “My scholarship helped set me up for success, and I want to be able to do the same for someone else.”

Learn more about Building Together: An Investment for Maryland by visiting buildingtogether.umd.edu.

By Kathrin Havrilla
Image: Al Santos