Posted May 13, 2009

Introducing Kendrick Davis

Bachelor of Science: Mechanical Engineering

Davis is the student Commencement speaker for the Class of 2009

Born and raised?

In Pittsburgh, a good place that I’ve come to love. But as a recent college graduate, it’s hard to get rooted there. My mom warned me and my brothers not to come back once we left.

What drew you to Temple?

It was the only school that I’d visited that also accepted me. No, seriously, I fell in love with Temple a long time ago when my family and I came to orientation for my brother Cornell (Temple Class of ’05). One thing that really grabbed my attention and stuck with me all those years was the opportunity to be a resident assistant, which I ended up doing for three years. Being an RA appealed to my desire to continue building my leadership skills.

Your best year?

My junior year was tough, very hectic. One semester I took 20 credits and my grades actually dropped. But I also won the Diamond Award that year and began to see the fruits of my labor. I joined the National Society of Black Engineers and chaired the Pre-College Initiative, a program for high school students interested in pursuing careers in math, science, engineering and technology. The opportunity helped them hone their interests, but maybe even better, gave them the experience of being in a college environment and also seeing people like them in college. Three of the students are now going to college for engineering.

Photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University
Kendrick Davis

Favorite TV show?

“Family Guy”

Where to now?

Either Washington University in St. Louis for aerospace engineering or working for the Department of Defense.

Hardest class?

Mechanical vibrations was absolutely outrageous. The professor let us bring whatever we wanted to tests — books, laptops — but it didn’t matter we all still failed.

Favorite spot on Temple campus?

My room (an apartment in Temple Towers). From the time I wake up, I’m around people all day so it’s been nice to have a place where I can go and be alone.

Favorite food truck?

The crepe truck (on Norris St. next to Presser Hall). I’m upset that I didn’t find it until my junior year.

What will you miss most?

Definitely Welcome Week. It was a unique experience to be a part of that year after year as an RA. Every year, I’d get to see myself as a freshman in the mirror all over again. Freshmen bring a breath of life to campus. They’re full of energy and want to know about everything that’s offered and available to them.

What’s first thing you’ll do the day after graduation?

. I’ve unofficially diagnosed myself with sleep deprivation.

About that speech:

I don’t see it as a pressure but a responsibility. A graduation speech is supposed to be exciting and you want the speaker to leave you with something. It’s so easy to be discouraged during challenging economic times. I want to be optimistic for everyone. When I told my mother I’d been selected, she was speechless.

Reaching out:

Through NSBE, we visited neighbors in the Temple community to talk about education. I met one person who got his GED while in jail and another who wants to get his GED. Most people want to do better. This is the same type of neighborhood that I grew up in. Your neighborhood doesn’t have to define you. It’s up to your own drive and dedication and finding people to encourage and support you.

Most meaningful interaction:

As a teaching assistant for Dr. Raymond Coughlin for six semesters. There is nothing more fulfilling than influencing the academic experience of so many students that I can readily identify with. Helping to create a sense of understanding math in the midst of uncertainty is something I can attest to many times over!