Aaron Hill
Student, Class of 2026

Extracurricular Activities

- Founding president of Game Development Club: Leading a project to repurpose Oregon Tech's e-waste into a student arcade, mentorship - Independent game developer - Beta tester for GameMill Entertainment - 24 hours of volunteering committed since January - Represented the CSET program in a Student Advisory Committee - Member of the Portland-Metro Growth Task Force

A Little Bit About Me

I'm a second-generation college student born in Hawaii and living in Oregon as of 2004, as well as the first in my family to be pursuing a career in STEM. I take great pride in my academic success considering my disadvantages as an underrepresented minority in STEM with ADHD, though I still consider myself very lucky to have been supported by teachers who didn't let my potential go to waste, and for the friends that supported me through some of my many struggles regarding mental health. In my free time, I work on my game development projects, read academic journals and textbooks about topics from psychology to policy, to software engineering, volunteer, build new skills, and spend my remaining time sleeping, cooking, or relaxing with my cats to recharge for another day of hard work.

Why I Chose Oregon Tech and My Major

I chose Oregon Tech and the Software Engineering program because I'm someone who can appreciate applied learning. It's one thing to study Computer Science and theory, but actually being able to do something with that theory was more of what I was looking for. Luckily, Oregon Tech offered just that, and it's definitely a blessing that the Portland-Metro campus is so close to home.

My Influential Professors

I don't like picking favorites, but I have to show appreciation for the CSET professors Phong Nguyen and Thomas Klemz for the considerable impact they've made on my learning and the development of my skills as a programmer. It's really refreshing to learn directly from people who've spent a lot of time in the industry they're teaching about, and it's a lot easier to imagine myself being successful in the future thanks to them. I also have to show appreciation for Dr. Hammond who, likewise, has a lot of valuable experience and nuanced knowledge that makes the applicability of the classes I've taken from him very clear.

My Greatest Learning Experience At Oregon Tech

One of the best parts about Oregon Tech is the resources that the school provides for its clubs, but more generally for any extracurricular activity its students are interested in pursuing. Without the dedicated club budget pool, special consideration funds, or events like Give a Hoot Day, a lot of the extracurricular opportunities that are created by students wouldn't be possible. Leading my club is a great learning experience and a fun excuse to pour time into projects that actually end up being applicable to my studies.

My Plans After Graduation

My primary interest lies in the game development industry, and I'm excited to explore all of the opportunities that exist within that realm. Graphics, AI, physics simulations, and production tool programming are what interest me most on the technical side, but of course the freedom to be creative and expressive is what keeps me most satisfied. After graduating, depending on my situation, I'd like to work for a while or jump straight into pursuing a graduate degree in AI and computer science.