FIRST Scholarship Provider: Syracuse University

Jan 04, 2021 Written by FIRST Scholarship Provider: Syracuse University

Hello FIRST® Students,

Greetings from Syracuse University! My name is Kayla Saladyga and I’m a junior electrical engineering major at Syracuse University. In high school, I was on the electrical sub-team of Team 3015 Ranger Robotics from Spencerport, NY, and my experiences with FIRST greatly helped to prepare me for studying engineering in college. 

One of my favorite classes was Digital Logic Design with Professor Shiu-Kai Chin. He’s a very helpful professor who really wants his students to succeed. He is always willing to work with students on problems and take the time to answer questions. The class taught us about the functions that underlie computing, and it was interesting to understand the organization of the hardware related to the functions of the different components.

I had an amazing time in the Kansai region of Japan during the spring semester of my sophomore year. I studied at Kansai Gaidai University and was able to take many interesting and culturally fulfilling classes while abroad. Staying with a host family allowed me to experience Japanese culture in the most authentic way (great food included). I loved seeing the country and exploring many of the shrines and temples Japan had to offer. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend you study abroad at Syracuse.

I met many of my closest friends through the Engineering and Computer Science Living Learning Community during our freshman year. This was a great opportunity to live with other engineering students to do homework and study together. I highly recommend you choose this for your freshman year housing at Syracuse! I’ve also met many of my best friends through Alpha Omega Epsilon, the professional and social STEM sorority. A.O.E. has helped develop my professional skills and expanded my network. We have a lot of school spirit at Syracuse, and alumni are always willing to help current students. That’s why we call it the Orange family!

FIRST has provided me with many opportunities, including a connection to L3Harris, where I worked as an intern last summer. I was able to gain new skills in Visio along with other online tools for engineering, and I was able to learn a lot from the onsite engineers. I’m excited to return this coming summer for another internship with L3Harris!

I hope you will check out the opportunities that Syracuse has to offer as part of your college search. You can see video tours of some of our engineering labs online. You should submit the form on this page to be considered for the Syracuse FIRST Scholarships. Syracuse offers $25K/year renewable FIRST Scholarships to selected admitted students. I’m a FIRST Scholar here at SU, and this has been very helpful with my education. Feel free to reach out to me at with any questions about Syracuse!

Wishing you well for the rest of the school year and Go Orange!
Kayla Saladyga

Kayla Saladyga while studying abroad in Japan

Kayla Saladyga at Fushimi Inari-taisha while studying abroad in Japan.

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