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MARCH 3, 2012 • ISSUE 158

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MS in Computer Science student Damian Finol

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Damian visiting the U.N. in New York City

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Damian with his classmates at MUM

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Damian in Egypt with the Wikimedia Foundation

Computer Science Student Travels The World Promoting Free Knowledge

Damian Finol grew up in Venezuela and received his undergraduate degree in computer science from Universidad Rafael Belloso Chacín in 2006. He worked in IT security for two of the biggest banks in Venezuela and later became associate professor of computer science at Nueva Esparta University in Caracas.

After working for six years, he decided to get a master’s degree. Several friends had recommended MUM and he liked the curriculum, which includes a two-year paid practical training with a U.S. company.

“The MSCS courses at MUM are incredibly up-to-date,” said Damian. “Classes in software development and programming practices teach the latest practical skills and algorithms, so you're ready for the current job field."

Damian loves to travel, which led him to volunteer for the Wikimedia Foundation where he helps establish Wikimedia chapters in different countries promoting the development and distribution of free multilingual content. He is one of only 10 international Wikimedia Chapter Committee members with this distinction.

In 2006, he gave a presentation at Wikimania, the annual conference of the Wikimedia Foundation, at Harvard University on the usage of Wikipedia in native South American tribes in northwestern Venezuela. Since then has traveled to Taiwan, Egypt and Argentina and during the upcoming spring break, he will be visiting Germany with the Wikimedia Foundation.

Damian appreciates the multicultural community on campus. “MUM encourages students to observe religious holidays and fosters students to express their culture and religion freely,” he said. “After only a couple days on campus, you can start calling the University your second home."

“Damian is a bright spot in the class with his clear insights and additions to our discussions,” said Dr. Gregory Guthrie, dean of the Computer Science Department. “From this I could understand why he has been so successful and accomplished in his technical career and why he will continue in that same manner of excellence.”

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