Photo: Caitlin Cunningham
Hometown: Los Angeles
Major: Applied psychology and human development; minors in cyber strategy and design, and computer science
Activities: As research assistant for City Connects, conducted cybersecurity risk assessments for K-12 schools for an independent study; member, 2021 ACC-ALN ImpACCt Design team selected for finals of the international RSA Student Design Awards competition; taught piano to fourth- and fifth-grade students at Brighton’s Thomas A. Edison K-8 School.
Mentors: Julia DeVoy (Lynch School of Education and Human Development); Anjun Biswas (Computer Science); Kevin Powers (Woods College of Advancing Studies).
Post-Graduation Plans: Will work as an associate information security analyst at ServiceNow, a Santa Clara-based software company that develops a cloud computing platform to assist companies in managing digital workflows for enterprise operations.
Woo traveled 3,000 miles for college and discovered—and embraced—all of the geographical, climate, and academic differences and challenges that Boston College posed. Unafraid to take a new path, he returns to the Golden State changed, and better.
How has Boston College made a difference in your life?
When I first came to BC, I had a bit of a culture shock. Everything was different: the food, the people, the weather. But I’m glad I was able to experience such a new environment with a supportive group of friends and faculty. It really shifted my perspective on life—those new and different things can be a source of great change and progress for oneself and others.
Who has had the greatest influence on you during your time at BC?
[Lynch School Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students and Programs] Julia DeVoy’s decision to include the cybersecurity minor at the Lynch School changed my career path in my sophomore year. It was an engaging minor, as she encouraged me to create opportunities where I could apply both my cybersecurity and education studies. It was innovative, similar to how she transformed the Lynch School program into a diverse curriculum, with not just education studies, but cybersecurity, design thinking, and more. Her outside-the-box approach influenced me the most, and I have high hopes for the Lynch program and its future students.
What BC experiences had the most significant impact on you?
The BC classroom experience impacted me the most, especially the Applied Psychology & Cybersecurity courses. The small class sizes definitely made it easier to connect with the professor and ask questions. I thought the Applied Psychology professors taught the material very well, and I very much enjoyed the learning process.
The Cybersecurity classes were exciting as well. It was the same class as the Cybersecurity Master’s program, and I was often the only undergraduate in a class full of working professionals. The atmosphere in these classes was very different from other BC courses; I felt less pressure to raise my hand because everyone was there to seriously learn. The material was also very current and applicable; it was the same content I learned during my internship at ServiceNow.
Your involvement in the ACC-ALN ImpACCt Design team, which involves the application of design thinking and innovation to help solve complex, real-world problems, introduced you to transportation injustice. What was the problem, and how did your team address it?
Those with physical disabilities encounter many transportation issues in cities, such as stairs, uphill slopes, etc., which makes public transit extremely inefficient. One of the most glaring problems was wheelchair navigation in high density, urban areas. Our project “Wheelable” offered a solution by providing a “Google Maps” for more proficient wheelchair navigation, and more user-tailored options, by combining topological, transit, and crowdsourced obstacle data to provide the most efficient route. This was my first time on a business-related case study, and I truly enjoyed the whole process of developing our framework. Plus, our team had very diverse academic backgrounds—from engineering to psychology—and I appreciated how all of these fields contributed to our project.
What will you miss most about BC?
The weather! I really enjoy the four seasons, especially the snow and misty rain. It is nice to come home and eat a hot meal when it’s cold outside. The cold weather also makes you more appreciative of nice, sunny days.
Phil Gloudemans | University Communications | May 2022