On the Wright Track

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Orientation is both an anxious and exciting time for incoming students, designed to inspire them to make their mark at Georgia Tech. For Kourtney Wright, BS CS ’15, it was no exception. The Los Angeles native arrived on campus four summers ago eager to dive into all things Yellow Jacket.

But, Wright was in the dark about the custom of dressing in white and gold at FASET. Instead, Wright inadvertently sported the University of Southern California’s cardinal and gold on her first day. Assistant Dean Cedric Stallworth took note and playfully called her out during his opening presentation.

That USC sweatshirt has never been seen again. And Wright knew she’d found her new home, though she’d been ready to move in for several years

As a high school junior, she had her first visit to campus. That’s when she first realized that Georgia Tech was a special place. Wright attended the Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing the following year, and the College of Computing contingent welcomed her as a future Yellow Jacket with open arms.

Wright isn’t the first to be sold on the College’s cohesive community. And she’s working tirelessly to ensure she won’t be the last. The former high school track star is an inexhaustible volunteer for the College’s varied outreach programs. She particularly enjoys working with K-12 students and spreading the STEM gospel.

“At that age, I was involved in STEM, but all of my involvement and exposure came from my parents,” Wright said. “I would have liked to have seen people close to my age doing what I wanted to do. I want to provide the students with the same opportunity, to be exposed to people like them, not much older than them, doing what they aspire to do someday.”

Wright’s volunteerism is only one aspect of her efforts to strengthen the College’s community. She’s also entering her final semester as president of the College’s minority student group. The group frequently hosts study sessions and informative company recruitment presentations. Wright is looking to expand the group’s programming further this semester.

“Kourtney is a true example of the goal and mission of our office,” said Troy Peace, director of community for the Office of Outreach, Enrollment and Community. “She is a student who utilizes the resources of the College of Computing and its community in terms of getting involved, networking, and leading and guiding others as a result of her experiences both in and outside of the classroom.”

Outside of the classroom, many people know Wright as a serious Georgia Tech football fan. Her familiarity with the team even landed her an ongoing internship as a Golden Guide, responsible for hosting recruits and their families and providing administrative support. It’s almost impossible to imagine such a big Georgia Tech fan ever wearing another school’s sweatshirt on campus.

Although Wright is poised to graduate in December, she’s hopeful to cap her Georgia Tech experience with a second degree. Wright plans to apply for Tech’s Master of Science in Analytics Fall 2016 cohort. With multiple appearances on the Dean’s List and her other varied accolades, the odds are likely in Wright’s favor. Her goal is to become a technical consultant or project manager post-graduation.

“I enjoy working with people and I cannot imagine a career where I couldn’t do that,” Wright said.

It’s clearly Wright’s specialty. Just look around the College of Computing’s prospering community for proof