Computer science major lands job with Intel

Robert Woodall made the most of the opportunities available at Baker University’s Baldwin City campus.

Recruited from St. Petersburg, Fla., to play football and run track for the Wildcats, Woodall embraced the academics, athletics and campus activities Baker offered. On Sunday, May 20, the honors student will proudly walk across the stage at the Collins Center to receive his diploma before heading to Rio Rancho, N.M., in early July for his first postcollege job at Intel, where he will be an application developer.

Woodall had not visited Kansas until arriving at Baker five years ago.

“I was ready to be away from home and try something different,” said Woodall, whose friend Alphaeus Willliams, another Baker student and football player, encouraged Woodall to consider Baker. “I really preferred the small-campus environment and knowing the professors personally outside of their jobs.”

In addition to athletics, Woodall served a year as president of Mungano, Baker’s student-run diversity program. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, which was formed at Baker the second semester of his freshman year. He also participated in Farm Hands, a group of students who work on area farms and gardens.

“I definitely tried to branch out,” Woodall said.

When he arrived for his freshman year, Woodall declared preengineering as his major. He soon changed his career path after performing well in a computer science class and receiving encouragement from a professor. He credits working with Val Kolesnikov, assistant professor of computer science, for providing a new direction. Kolesnikov specializes in computer programming, software engineering, Web development, database design and computer networks.

“Val saved my career here,” Woodall said. “He did not give up on me.”

Challenging courses and campus leadership opportunities prepared Woodall for a series of successful interviews with Intel management. He partnered with a classmate for a senior capstone project presentation, developing a web application that provides a possible solution to unwanted bulk email.

“The presentation and speaking skills I gained at Baker helped me become more comfortable,” he said. “I’d love to grow with Intel professionally and have an opportunity to learn something new during my time there.”

Woodall’s parents and three older sisters plan to be in attendance at commencement this weekend.

“For my family, I’m the first one to land a job in my major right after graduating,” Woodall said. “That means a lot to me.

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