Meet Harris! Harris is in his third year at OU, and he works on our Learning Spaces team. We think of our Learning Spaces team as superheroes who fix classroom devices when they won’t work, make sure our computer labs are up and running, and always utilize their tech skills to help. Harris is a computer engineering major and also one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet.
Let’s start with the basics, where are you from?
I’m from Malawi–it’s a small country in Africa surrounded by Mozambique.
Woah! You’re a long way from home. Are you an international student?
No, actually. My family and I moved to Indiana in 2007, then we came to Norman when I was in 8th grade. My mom is working on her doctorate here at OU. My sister went to OU too, and she graduated recently.
What is Malawi like?
There are at least 100 languages spoken there, which is cool. I was more of a city kid though so I grew up speaking english and watching english TV. It’s a very small landlocked country, but there is a huge lake that runs through the middle of it so seafood is a really big deal. People love it, in fact, fish and chips is a delicacy there. I still have a bunch of family in Malawi but I haven’t been back to visit since I moved to the U.S.
Can you tell us about what you do for Learning Spaces?
We take care of a lot classroom technology issues. We go into rooms where there are TV’s, projectors, and touch panels, and we make sure everything is in working order. Same with computer labs–we make sure everything is working, and we send over LEL’s who stay in the lab to assist people. I also help our Services team with express check ins. I go pick up machines or devices for professors and run them across campus to get them fixed.
What do you do in your free time?
I play soccer a lot, and I LOVE Fifa. I also like to make music. I guess you could call what I do indie-rapping. I write my own stuff and have my friends record it and make the beats. It started out as something I did as a stress reliever, and now I really like it. I’ve been starting to make videos to go along with it as well. I’ve got a Youtube channel that you can find if you look up my name.
That is such a cool stress reliever! Are you the only musically talented one in your family?
My late uncle was actually a musician in Malawi, and he turned out to be a little famous over there! His name is Bright Nkhata. When I was little he would take me up onstage with him so I could dance around while he performed. But yeah, I really like music so I thought why just listen to it when I can make it too?
If you had to describe yourself in like a 140 character tweet, what would it say?
I’ll use my favorite line, “sophisticated mind, deep thinker, sometimes intelligent.” I think that sums me up because I do think about things more than I let on. There’s a lot going on in the world, and it’s easy to be negative, but I don’t want to be that guy that brings everybody down. What I mean is, internally I have deep thoughts, but on the outside I try to bring positivity. No matter what I’ve got going on, I try to be light and look on the bright side.