WSU international student now among Utah’s top tech women
OGDEN, Utah — Davina Kamikazi developed her passion for technology growing up in Kigali, Rwanda, often solving problems with computers and televisions. Now, she is turning her passion into a career, and recently won an award putting her in company with Utah’s tech industry leaders.
While studying computer engineering at Weber State University, Kamikazi won the Student Pathway Award last fall at the 2023 Women Tech Awards, recognizing her dedication to STEM studies. Her professor, Shellee Dyer, nominated her.
At the ceremony, she felt encouraged meeting other women in STEM and seeing female CEOs from major tech companies. “There was actually a group networking session, and I learned that even though I’m still struggling in college, I’ll be able to make it,” she said.
As a child, Kamikazi participated in the Rwandan government’s One Laptop per Child program, which aimed to enhance education by introducing technology in primary schools. She decided to come to the United States for college to be close to tech companies she could work at after graduating. She chose WSU for its financial aid, international student community, small class sizes and quality reputation.
Deciding on her major took a little more thought. “I knew I would love to do something related to tech, but I also loved mathematics,” she said.
She discovered computer engineering encompasses both. “It pushes me out of my comfort zone,” she said. “I get to learn as well as solve issues with hands-on experience.”
Being a woman in STEM, particularly engineering, can feel overwhelming at times. “Imposter syndrome is a thing in the engineering field,” she said. Luckily, she has a strong support network and knows her family and friends are cheering her on from Rwanda. “Their words of encouragement and my trust in God have been moving me through the course,” she said.
Kamikazi also works in Weber State’s graduation office, ensuring students meet graduation requirements. After graduating herself in spring 2026, she would like to gain work experience in the United States before fulfilling her long-term goal of launching a startup company in Rwanda that will help improve agriculture through digital technology.
She would love to see more Rwandan girls succeeding in technology.
“At first, it looks impossible, but you have to believe in yourself and allow yourself to be challenged,” she said.
Jaime Winston, Marketing & Communications
Rachel Badali, news coordinator