Student Success – Tim Sturla
03 February 2021
“HCC was one of the most influential and transformative experiences of my life.”
Harford Community College alumnus Timothy Sturla earned an AS degree in Engineering in 2018. After graduation, he transferred to University of Maryland, College Park where he is now majoring in Computer Engineering.
“I was immensely satisfied with my experience at Harford. I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in pursuing higher education. HCC is a great place to start. It gives you the confidence to continue learning and to become not just a better student, but a better leader.” During his time at Harford, Tim reinstated the Engineering Club and served as its president. He was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta National High School & Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society.
“I always wanted to be an engineer, a career that typically requires a degree. As a first-generation college student, I had no idea how to traverse the path of higher education. Harford gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of attending a university and more importantly, to pursue my dream of becoming an engineer.” Professor Chris Jones, Assistant Professor Lisa Ovelman and Assistant Professor Gene Cooper, faculty in the College’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) division, helped Tim navigate the path of higher education. “It is with no reservation when I say that these exceptional professors changed my life.” The classes at HCC pushed him to be a better student. “At the time I attended, there weren’t many viable technical electives for prospective computer engineers. However, the professors still found classes that were good substitutes.”
With the help of Professor Jones, Tim has obtained a position where he is gaining real-world experience. He said, “I work directly with former Executive Secretary of the National Security Council and former Deputy Secretary of Department of Energy, William Flynn Martin. He’s provided me with opportunities to collaborate with engineers, analysts, and officials from the Department of Energy, State Department, and National Security Council on sustainable energy and its socioeconomic impact. Additionally, I assisted Mr. Martin in drafting annual outlooks that aided White House officials’ decision-making regarding geopolitical and foreign affairs.”
Tim received the HCC Alumni and Friends Association Scholarship when he transferred to the University of Maryland. He said the transfer process itself went smoothly, and he expects to graduate from UMD in May 2022.
In his free time, Tim plays guitar and enjoys being in nature.
His advice to other students: “Start off at your community college. It’s an affordable way to determine what career or interests you might want to pursue. Even if you already know what you want to major in, start off at a community college anyway to complete the prerequisites.”