Black History Month: Making a difference for students and the West Virginia community with Statler College Professor Donald Adjeroh
In celebration of Black History Month, the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University is honoring students, alumni and faculty from diverse backgrounds to showcase their successes in engineering and beyond and share how they continue to make a difference in society.
Story by Adrianne Uphold, Graduate Assistant
Donald Adjeroh, professor and associate chair for faculty development in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, has been working in machine learning and computer vision at the Statler College for two decades.
With a passion for problem-solving, and a high interest in math and science as a child, engineering and computing came naturally to Adjeroh. He said being awarded the highly selective Shell Undergraduate Scholarship for an entire undergraduate degree program and finishing the program with first-class honors was one of his proudest achievements.
“Apart from covering all costs for my undergraduate education, the very high selectivity of the scholarship meant that awardees were being identified at an early stage for their potential as a scholar,” Adjeroh said.
Adjeroh’s research interests range from algorithms and data structures to artificial intelligence and machine learning to computational biology and bioinformatics. The first time Adjeroh felt like he made a difference in his career was when he received the Department of Energy (DOE)’s prestigious early CAREER award in 2002 for research on compressed domain analysis of large-scale genomic datasets. The CAREER program supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
“As a professor and researcher, knowing the significant difference you could make in the lifelong trajectory of our students and to the community at large is where I find my motivation,” Adjeroh said.
As lead investigator of “ Bridges in Digital Health,” Adjeroh is collaborating with WVU experts to address the combination of rising healthcare costs, expansion of the nation’s elderly population and health disparities through advances in digital health and artificial intelligence. The project recently received $3 million from NSF to address this need and train the next generation of professionals to develop and deploy such advances.
“Making connections between seemingly disparate entities is something I enjoy doing,” Adjeroh said. “Working in computer science and electrical engineering provided an easy platform to enhance our ability as humans to find such often hidden patterns or connections.”
Adjeroh said identifying your passion and determining what steps you need to take to get there will help you reach any goal you set.
“There will certainly be some obstacles along the way to your goals,” Adjeroh said. “But never use those as a reason to give up, rather consider what lies on the other side, your dream, if you can just overcome the immediate obstacle.”
Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit
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