Groups Scholar Isaiah Hudson spends his final year at IU by taking advantage of every opportunity

Four years after Isaiah Hudson first stepped onto Indiana University's Bloomington campus as a Groups Scholar, he's giving back to the program that helped shape his academic future and career path.

"My college experience would have been so different without Groups," the senior informatics major said. "I wouldn't have had half as many of these connections, networks and ability to help others."

That includes his time as a Groups First Year Seminar teacher's assistant. Plus, Hudson holds office hours and schedules panel discussions for the current Groups freshmen. He also serves as a Groups resident assistant after being inspired by his own RA during his first year with the program.

Isaiah Hudson scans a student's Crimson Card during a Friday morning class for Groups Scholars.  Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

The Indianapolis native first heard about IU and the program from his rugby coaches when he played at Pike High School. The Groups Scholars program allowed Hudson to take some elective classes the summer before his freshman year.

"Being a Groups Scholar has given me this family that I needed," he said. "Since we started together earlier than everyone else on campus, we really got to know each other.

"Even the traditions that they instill are something that's special to me. You get your photo taken on the first day you arrive at IU as a freshman year and get that same photo back at graduation to see how far you have come."

Now, with the Groups Scholars program celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Hudson has taken a large role in setting up the festivities. He is on the graduation committee in charge of planning the anniversary celebration during graduation. There will also be a homecoming celebration to honor the anniversary.

"Both celebrations are going to be full of Groups alumni, and I'm excited to be a part of the 50th," he said. "It will be great to meet everyone who has come before me."

When Hudson isn't participating in a Groups-related activity, he is working hard toward his informatics degree and getting experience in the field he enjoys.

"I started realizing that informatics was what I wanted to do when I was a sophomore," he said. "I thought about numerous majors such as nutrition or engineering. I met my mentor, Tiana Iruoje, and she introduced me to informatics. She has opened up so many doors for me."

Isaiah Hudson is a teaching assistant for the Groups First Year Seminar.  Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

Iruoje, who is director of student engagement and success with the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, met Hudson when she became his student advisor. She now serves as his mentor and offered him his current student engagement technology internship at the SICE Living Learning Community. There, he oversees the 3D printer and is working to deepen student engagement through designs he's making to promote the school.

"Isaiah works with diligence and integrity, and I can always count on him to complete any task," Iruoje said. "I have watched him grow over the years and do a lot of great things with his college experience. He has stepped out his comfort zone by helping teach classes, giving presentations and setting up panels for other students. He represents this university well."

Hudson's involvement doesn't stop there. Also a 21st Century Scholar, he serves as a Teach IT Communications team lead for Serve IT, a program that serves nonprofit organizations like the local Boys and Girls Club.

Hudson's involvement doesn't stop there. Also a 21st Century Scholar, he serves as a Teach IT Communications team lead for Serve IT, a program that serves nonprofit organizations like the local Boys and Girls Club.

"Once I learned that informatics was my passion, I started finding ways to do more," he said. "Staying busy with projects, work and clubs has helped me do my best here at IU."

Hudson also plays a major role in his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, where he serves as the first vice president and is in charge of recruitment. The fraternity is known for its creative step routines and will be participating in the Yard Show at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Alumni Hall.

Hudson also plays a major role in his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, where he serves as the first vice president and is in charge of recruitment. The fraternity is known for its creative step routines and will be participating in the Yard Show at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Alumni Hall.

As Hudson wraps up his final undergraduate year at IU, he hopes to go to graduate school for human computer interaction and design with the goal of becoming a user experience designer.