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Student of the Month | April 2023 | Alysia Davis

Hillside High School Senior IB diploma candidate and straight-A student Alysia Davis has after-graduation options that speak volumes about her aspirations. Either Duke or Harvard will have the privilege of her presence on one of their campuses, and she will study computer science with an eye toward becoming a software developer, cybersecurity analyst, or a data analyst. Even further, she hopes to help close the gender gap in this arena.

“I am motivated by my desire to be a pioneering woman in tech. These days there is a gender divide between the number of women in tech in STEM fields. Furthermore, there is a lack of representation of black women in tech. Therefore, my goal is to address the gender gap,” Alysia said.

She’s already begun the work, and has made a contribution to the medical IT field. While serving as an intern with Duke’s biomedical engineering department last summer, she wrote a software program which she personally notes as her biggest accomplishment thus far. 

“The Ph.D. student I worked with studied cornea cloud computing using Python. I combined the research conducted by members of the lab with my own to create a graphical user interface that could potentially be used by doctors to help with cornea transplant surgery. The software I created allows doctors to analyze a patient's cornea and then store the data in an online storage area to be accessed later. This was my biggest accomplishment because it took around a month to develop this software and complete the research,” she said.

Alysia also volunteers with an organization called Tech-girls, teaching workshops for middle school girls about different tech topics. She writes blog posts for them about her technology experience. She also serves as president of the Math Club at Hillside, leading meetings, facilitating a variety of math projects, and exploring math-related topics. As if this doesn’t keep her busy enough, she serves as president of Theta Phi Delta sorority at Hillside. 

Her work has paid dividends, thus her acceptance into two Ivy League schools.

“My greatest success currently is getting into Harvard. It's something I have worked on for my entire academic career and it is a major success for me because it made all the hard work I put toward my education worth it,” she said.

Alysia is forthright about the hard work. 

“I would say one challenge is being a part of the IB (International Baccalaureate) program. As IB students, we are expected to do a large amount of writing and critical thinking in multiple subjects. It's difficult to constantly be expected to critically think and read between the lines of the subject matter we are given,” she said.

But she was prepared, thanks to people in her life who not only expected excellence from her but exposed her to other experiences in life.

“My grandpa has made a huge impact on my life. He has shaped a lot of my identity and culture. I grew up around his work on UNC Chapel Hill's campus and I was always instilled to value higher levels of education. I also grew up in his hometown called Jamesville where I learned to fish, hike, and appreciate all the wonders of nature.”  

Alysia represents and serves Hillside well. She is an officer in Theta Phi Delta, Student Council, the National Honor Society, and the Science National Honor Society.

"Alysia embodies all that is Hillside. She is focused, determined, and destined to make a positive impact on the world. Her kindness and generosity will continue to serve her well as she navigates college and beyond," said Austin Hogan, a Student Assistance Program Facilitator at Hillside. “Unbeknownst to her, several of us have deemed her the ’voice’ of Hillside as she is often called to participate in interviews with various media outlets or simply by serving as an ambassador for our school. She is definitely a team player who is always prepared to help out wherever she can. Alysia has set lofty goals for herself and has worked diligently to achieve all of them.“