Shaunda Shaw & Shineil Taylor
Brianna Ebony Simpson
Kavya Manyapu is an aerospace test engineer, a designer of Boeing Company’s Commercial Spacecraft and a participant in the Mars Society research project that will someday prepare humans for life on Mars.
She’s also a Georgia Perimeter College alumna.
Manyapu got her start at GPC because of its affordability, but found that the college prepared her to tackle the tough curriculum at Georgia Tech and move toward her career goals.
“As a new immigrant to the United States, I had applied to Georgia Tech for aerospace engineering, but because of my non-resident status, my parents were unable to afford the out-of-state tuition and fees,” she says. “We learned about GPC via family friends, and I realized I could do my initial courses here and transfer to Georgia Tech eventually.”
Manyapu says her instructors at GPC were extremely helpful and attentive. “Compared to four-year universities where freshman classes would have more than 100 students, GPC has a higher instructor –to-student ratio,” she says. “This gave students like me more opportunities to interact with their instructors directly.”
While at GPC, Manyapu tutored other students in math and science, was inducted in the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and received the Outstanding Engineering Student of the Year award. “These things helped build my confidence and taught me to be more responsible, motivated and helped me concentrate further on my education to pursue my goal,” she says.
When it came time to transfer to Georgia Tech in 2004, Manyapu already had finished her math, physics, chemistry, humanities and other elective courses. “I think GPC gave me the experience and time management skills needed to recognize and tackle courses at Georgia Tech. I took away certain lessons learned at GPC that I applied at Georgia Tech with regard to managing multiple projects at one time.”
Now a U.S. citizen, Manyapu was named a member of “Boeing Six,” a group of talented young engineers who have distinguished themselves by their work ethic and community service.
“GPC laid the foundation for my education in teaching me time management, working in teams and giving me an opportunity to interact with professors one-on-one to get mentoring and help with my classes," she says. "I would definitely recommend GPC to others. It’s a great place to start an undergraduate degree. It’s affordable and has very smart professors who are willing to help students through their courses, as well as shaping their career paths.”